High School Fashions, 1969

All images by Arthur Schatz

Thank you to LIFE archive.

19 comments to High School Fashions, 1969

  • Julia

    Did teenagers value more their smiles in the late 60′s than now? Or did they trivialize less the action of being photographed?

  • Kathy Moriarty

    I was there! My absolutely favorite time for fashion. It was never more fun than the late 60′s.

  • gandalf randolph

    I think everybody was smiling because they knew this was a Life magazine photo shoot. That said, everybody’s looking good. Like they could step into 2024 and not miss a beat.

  • Phil Woodford

    Like outta sight.

  • Steve Pinkston

    What a time that was! Nothing was off-limits. Sleeves could be puffy, pants could flare out at the bottom. Arizona could be EAST of Texas…

  • ltrainxpress

    I think most of the students probably knew Life Magazine was coming so they put on their best clothes. Some of those girls look like they were trying too hard to be hippies.

  • Tut

    I wonder who’s decision was it to print the photo with the teacher in front of the map backward.

  • SMcCue

    All the GirlFolk. Most of the Boys were wearing Green in ’69….

  • Kathy Moriarty

    I have to say that in my high school we really did dress like this and I am no California girl. I am from Detroit. one of the things I noticed in these photo’s is that the girls clearly didn’t have the pressure to bleach their hair blonde. We were free to be natural and be ourselves! By the way I wore one of those midriff shirts in high school.

  • Nico

    Cute girls! But yeah, surprising how happy they all seem. Imagine high school kids really smiling that much nowadays.

  • joanne ciccone

    I was a junior at Kansas State University. These must be girls (in this photo shoot) that were dressed by whatever company took the pictures, because at Kansas State Univ. in 1969, I was a junior, all I saw was baggy old jeans, big flannel shirts and no bras on girls. Maybe the sorority set wore this looks, but they didn’t seem to be around the big campus much plus their housing was a good distance away. It was a very confusing time for me personally with encounter groups all the rage and protests of all kind. No memories that these models appear to have.

  • Sandy

    @Joanne, the article says “high school fashion” not college fashion. I imagine there was still a bit of naïveté on high school campuses.

  • beful

    Thry look like mock-ups from a vintage catalog.

  • Charlie

    @Tut – the whole photo is backwards…

  • NicktheLick

    The black teacher is gorgeous… =o) Quite a few fine fillies right there…

  • Ladygogo84

    I love these photos! It’s funny that a lot of these styles right down to the prints are all revived in fashion at the moment, I would wear any of those outfits happily. It seems along with the best music the 60′s claim the best fashion :) – I Missed out!

  • Riot Nrrrd™

    These are not posed shots. The entire issue of “Life” (with poorer scans of these photos) is available

  • Riot Nrrrd™

    … here on Google Books (gee, thought I could use HTML tags here):


  • DavidH

    In 1969, our SoCal high school was featured in at least two print and one television report because the student body fought the ‘dress code’ and won. (My mother still refused to let me grow my hair.) We did dress outrageously when the cameras were expected, but the rest of the time we dressed much less so. Still, puffy sleeves and bell bottoms, fringe vests and moccasins, beads and headbands were daily wear for some. We were having fun. Great to see these photos.

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