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c. 1969

See the out-of-sight fashions of the hippie era

Feeling groovy? Take a trip back to California in the late 1960s, when flowers, fringes, and bell bottoms were on full display

These photographs, taken for LIFE magazine in the fall of 1969, document women’s fashions across high schools in southern California—or, as LIFE put it, “the freaky new freedom” of the “high-school fashion parade.”

Some of the women show the strong influence of the “hippie” movement—long hair, beads, fringes and bell-bottoms. Others wear outfits that connect to psychedelia—luminous colors and loud patterns. Some have even fused elements of both—and more—to create their own personal expression.

The shoot focused almost exclusively on women, but the few men who can be seen, by contrast, are wearing clothes almost indistinguishable from today. Their hairstyles are a different matter.

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Beverly Hills High School student Rosemary Shoong, in a fringed dress she made herself. Rosemary memorized the pattern of a store dress and made this one within 24 hours. Her dress cost $14.95, the store one—$95.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Woodside High school teacher, Sandy Brockman.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Corona del Mar High School students Pam Pepin, Pat Auvenshine, and Kim Robertson. All wear Pucci tights.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
“The latest rule in girls’ high school fashion is that there isn’t any.”
LIFE Magazine, 1969
Southern California high school students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Student Lenore Reday, Newport Beach.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Two Southern California high school students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
“I wake up and look out the window. If it’s a pretty day I dress pretty. If it’s an iccok [sic] day, I dress iccok.”
LIFE Magazine, 1969
Woodside High School students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Southern California high school students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A Southern California high school student.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A Southern California high school student.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A high school student marching band and a trio of women students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A trio of Woodside High School students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A group of Beverly High School students.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
A high school student among other classmates while wearing black bell bottoms.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Beverly Hills High School student Erica Farber and an unidentified friend.
Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
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