How To Style a Shift Dress For a ’60s Subculture Mod Look

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There’s so much to love about the 1960s: The Beatles, the Kennedy family, and of course – the fashion. Mod style was a prominent part of the ’60s fashion subculture, and when we think mod, we think about the many ways to style a shift dress.

The shift dress was practically a staple for women half a century ago. Back in the ’60s, shift dresses were frequently styled with knee-high socks and a flipped-out hairdo.

While the hairstyles of the 1960s didn’t stick around, the shift dress cut definitely did. There are a ton of women still rocking this retro frock style, so pick up a shift dress and take a few tips from these fashionable ladies.

Alexa Chung attends the Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, FranceAlexa Chung attends the Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013, in Paris, France.

Alexa Chung’s go-to dress always seems to be a mod frock. In this example, her styling is very simple. She just lets the dress shine without much embellishment or accessorizing.

Also, she keeps it simple but striking in a pair of flats. Even for red carpet events, Alexa can’t get away from her snazzy flats.

Mary Jane flats pair perfectly with a retro-mod dress. Style your hair in a chignon and accessorize with a simple leather bag.

Ophelia Lovibond in a white structured dress and Charlotte Olympia heels at the world premiere of "The World's End"Ophelia Lovibond in a white structured dress and Charlotte Olympia heels at the world premiere of “The World’s End” held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on July 10, 2013.

We love Ophelia’s outfit at the premiere of “The World’s End.” Her white mod dress wasn’t loud in color, but it definitely spoke volumes regardless. She wore it with what looked like ankle-strapped pumps and a clutch.

Aside from the styling, you can also copy Ophelia’s hair. The fringe and the volumized updo are characteristic of the ’60s mod subculture.

Kelly Osbourne attends the House Of Holland show during London Fashion Week SS14 on September 14, 2013 in London, EnglandKelly Osbourne attends the House Of Holland show during London Fashion Week SS14 on September 14, 2013, in London, England.

Kelly Osbourne chose a mod dress for a fashion week appearance. See how simple the styling is? The dress didn’t need a lot of accessories. But Kelly gave the look extra punch by wearing embellished pumps.

Kelly’s hair is also very ’60s mod. You can switch this to a flipped out hairdo for that authentic mod feel.

Poppy Delevingne attends the World Premiere of Rush at Odeon Leicester Square on September 2, 2013 in London, EnglandPoppy Delevingne attends the World Premiere of “Rush” at Odeon Leicester Square on September 2, 2013, in London, England.

Cara’s older sis, Poppy, has a more feminine style. For a world premiere, she chose this grid-printed shift dress. She gave it a more modern appeal by pairing it up with thick-heeled pumps.

Also not much accessorizing here. Don’t you love her milkmaid braids?

Fashion blogger Tini Tani rocks a printed shift dress with socks and lace-up heelsFashion blogger Tini Tani rocks a printed shift dress with socks and lace-up heels

Fashion bloggers have a more interesting approach to styling the shift dress. Here is Tini Tani wearing her printed shift dress with a pair of socks and lace-up heels.

Fashion blogger wears socks and sandals with a beautiful dress and headwrapFashion blogger wears socks and sandals with a beautiful dress and headwrap

Wear your dress with sandals and socks. This ensemble works on fashion blogger Theresa Wu. We also love her headwrap!

There is no shortage of gorgeous shift dresses these days. Here are our favorites from Nordstrom and Shopbop.

Lisa Perry Reversible Twist Dress and Lisa Perry Amazing Dress1. Lisa Perry Reversible Twist Dress, $1395.00
2. Lisa Perry Amazing Dress, $1295.00

Jenni Kayne Suede Shift Dress and Club Monaco Haley Knit Dress3. Jenni Kayne Suede Shift Dress, $995.00
4. Club Monaco Haley Knit Dress, $170.00

Theory Randla C Dress and Camilla and Marc Rhythmic Shift Dress5. Theory Randla C Dress, $375.00
6. Camilla and Marc Rhythmic Shift Dress, $460.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs Quilty Argyle Dress and Sea Plaid & Chambray Dress7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Quilty Argyle Dress, $348.00
8. Sea Plaid & Chambray Dress, $405.00

Aren’t you ladies glad that ’60s-inspired shift dresses are now back in fashion?

Credit: WENN / Lia Toby / Daniel Tanner

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