Andrew Parker

25 Eccentric 60’s Trends That Didn’t Quite Stand the Test of Time

The 1960s were definitely a wild time to be alive, thanks to all that big hair and wild fashion. But while some of the trends from this decade became timeless classics, some of them just didn’t make the cut. Let’s take a look at 25 of these trends that seemed cool but just didn’t hang on.

Paper Dresses

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Who thought wearing paper was a good idea? Back in the day, paper dresses were the next best thing for all of one minute because they were cheap and you didn’t have to wash them. But to nobody’s surprise, they weren’t exactly durable, and just a little rain could turn your chic outfit into a papier-mache project.

Astrology Parties

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Astrology is still pretty big today, but astrology parties? Not so much. You’d go to a party and get your fortune told…and that was about it. It was a fun idea for a few parties, but then people started realizing that the stars probably don’t hold all the answers. Soon enough, the novelty faded away.

Phone Booth Stuffing

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People used to compete to see how many people they could stuff into a phone booth, which took getting to know each other to a whole new level. It wasn’t comfy or particularly safe, and once the laughter died down, so did this trend. People must’ve been bored in the ‘60s to do this.

Lava Lamps

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Lava lamps were the ultimate symbol of cool until they weren’t. They were a must-have for any room because they looked so cool, and they promised a chill time with every floating blob. But as time went on, they started to feel like more of a cheesy throwback, especially since people realized just how long it took for the lamps to actually do anything.

The Mashed Potato Dance

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It’s weird to think about how many ‘60s dance moves were named after food, and the Mashed Potato was no exception. It was a dance that had everyone twisting their feet in a way that supposedly mimicked the way we’d mash spuds. It caught on quickly, but it turns out that not all dance moves are meant to last, and this one was too goofy to stick.

Vinyl Car Seats

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Nothing screams the ‘60s more than vinyl car seats, which were so sleek and shiny. But during the summer, they’d feel like torture because you’d practically end up sticking to them. After all, there are only so many times you can peel yourself off from them before you’re sick of them. It’s no surprise this trend cooled off.

Pet Rocks

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Tell anyone from a younger generation about pet rocks, and they’ll probably think you’re just joking, but they were a real thing in the 60s. No-fuss? Yes. Funny? For sure. A bit sad? Maybe. After the initial laughs wore off, people started wondering why they’d spent money on a stone. Needless to say, this pet didn’t stick around for long.

Mood Rings

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Mood rings were those magical bands that changed color, which was supposedly because of your mood. At the time, they seemed really cool, although the truth was that they were just reacting to temperature changes. Mood rings lost their charm pretty quickly and faded out of fashion as quickly as their colors.

Smiley Face Everything

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We might have emojis today, but in the 1960s, there was only one emoji around, and that was the smiley face. You’d see them practically everywhere, and they started as a reminder to be happy. But, like with anything, you can have too much of a good thing and people got tired of seeing that same grin everywhere.

Capsule Wardrobes

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The idea behind a capsule wardrobe was simple enough because it meant only keeping a few pieces of clothing that you mix and match. In today’s environmentally-conscious world, that sounds pretty good. But it turns out people like having options and having just a handful of outfits didn’t cut it when you wanted to feel fresh.

CB Radios

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CB radios were like an early form of chat rooms, as they gave you community and communication in one device. You’d listen to drivers chatting away and sharing road trips that seemed so revolutionary at the time. Nowadays, thanks to smartphones and GPS, you’ll probably only ever find a CB radio in an antique store.


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Waterbeds promised to be the future of sleeping because you’d just lie down and float away to a restful sleep. Except, it was more like sleeping on a boat since it wasn’t sturdy, and you’d feel seasick. Plus, the fear of getting a leak was all too real. It’s no surprise that traditional beds became the norm for a good night’s sleep.

Black Light Posters

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Black light posters were meant to turn our rooms into a neon dream, and all you needed was a black light to see the walls come alive. There’s no denying that they were cool for themed parties, but they were a bit much for everyday decor. Once the party died, we’d roll up most of these posters and tuck them away.

Avocado Green Appliances

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In the ‘60s, if your kitchen wasn’t decked out in avocado green, were you even living? This color ruled our appliances for more time than we’d like to admit, although it’s pretty dated now. Today, most of us see avocado green as an outdated throwback instead of something that’s actually stylish.


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General Foods marketed Tang as the drink that astronauts took to space, which made everyone want to try a sip. But the novelty wore off quicker than a trip to the moon, and people fell out of love with its high-sugar content. You can still buy Tang today, although it’s nowhere near the cultural icon that it used to be.

Beaded Curtains

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Beaded curtains instantly made any room look boho with every clink and clatter, although the noise could get annoying after a while. Walking through them without getting caught wasn’t exactly fun, either. They might’ve been charming at first, but these curtains soon became pretty annoying.

Shag Carpets

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Shag carpets looked cool and felt great under our feet. So what was the problem? Cleaning, of course. You’d have to dig deep to get the dirt out of those fibers, and keeping them spotless felt like more trouble than it was worth. Many people eventually swapped them over lower-maintenance options because you just can’t beat practicality.

Dashboard Hula girls

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Dashboard hula girls were cute, weren’t they? They gave us a slice of Hawaiian charm right in your cars…but that’s about it. Soon enough, a lot of these figures ended up in garage sales or tucked away in boxes, forgotten as drivers moved onto car decor that didn’t look so kitschy anymore.

Fondue Sets

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Fondue sets were the life of the party, and melting cheese or chocolate was so much fun. Even so, it’s one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than in practice because cleaning hardened leftovers was never fun. Most party planners swapped the fondue for other culinary activities that weren’t so demanding.

Psychedelic Art

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Psychedelic art was out there, quite literally, as those wild patterns looked like they came straight out of a weird dream. There were definitely people who liked this style, but for most people, it was a bit too intense. And with so many minimalist-style homes today, psychedelic art looks completely out of place.

Jelly Shoes

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Back in the ‘60s, every kid wanted jelly shoes because they were so cute, and you could get them in practically any color imaginable. But if you wore those shiny plastic shoes for too long, you’d end up with some serious blisters and very sweaty feet. Over time, people began to choose footwear that didn’t feel like a punishment.


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Of course, people still tie-dye their clothes today, but not like they did in the 1960s. It was the perfect way to show off your personality with those psychedelic patterns until the appeal wore off. People started to prefer simpler and less eye-catching clothes, which turned tie-dye into a fun weekend activity instead of an actual style.

Chainmail Dresses

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Chainmail dresses are just as strange as they sound. For some reason, people thought they looked fierce in the ‘60s, and they were certainly unique. But these dresses fell out of favor, as their weight made them far too impractical, and wearing them became a chore.

Hovercraft Skirts

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Speaking of fashion, hovercraft skirts were meant to lift the hem just slightly off the ground. While it sounds fun, wearing a bulky and battery-powered outfit just didn’t fly with ordinary people, and the slight updraft wasn’t worth the constant sound or weight. Even so, flying dresses are still a thing.

Electric Hairpieces

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We all thought that electric hairpieces were perfect for parties because they’d illuminate any look and were eye-catching at night. Yet, like most things on this list, the impracticality of wearing them soon outweighed any cool factor, along with the need for constant power. People decided they’d rather stick to traditional hair accessories.

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