Trend Alert: 60s Beatnik Style
Kerouac introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” in 1948, generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time.
While in the mainstream, adolescents were donning billowing hourglass skirts in an echo of Christian Dior’s New Look, beatniks opted for black, lots of black, and favored streamlined silhouettes which deferred attention away from themselves. Straight-leg cigarette pants and black turtleneck sweaters became a uniform of choice, while women took to wearing black leotards and stirrup slacks – tight clothes which allowed freedom of movement – AnotherMag.com
With the movement came the fashion. Much of beat styles consisted of berets (which may have been influenced by the popularity of jazz music), black loafer shoes, ballet flats, turtlenecks, skinny black pants, newsboy caps and of course, striped tops. The beat generation didn’t last, but the style certainly did.