The 1960s was a time when a lot of changes occurred in various industries and markets around the world, including music, toys, movies, and more. Because of how popular some of the items that have come out of the 1960s are, they are still available for purchase today since they are considered timeless classics. So, if you have a friend or a family member that had lived their most memorable moments in the 1960s, giving them a gift that is related to that era would be wonderful. Here is a list of nostalgic 60s gift ideas so that you will know which items to give to your loved ones.
The mushroom lamp is a peculiar-looking lamp that is designed to have an exterior that is made from just one or two materials. Most mushroom lamps are made of metal, but there are also plastic ones that are sold for a much more affordable price. As the name of these decorative items already suggests, mushroom lamps have a mushroom-shaped dome that is opaque and forces the light to illuminate downwards instead of being spread in different directions.
Take a look at these three mushroom lamps that you can purchase online:
The Panton Chair is a type of plastic chair that is S-shaped and was invented by a Danish designer named Verner Panton, who released the chair to the public in 1967. The Panton Chair is known for its weird shape that looks like it wouldn’t be able to hold a person’s weight while sitting. However, it is strong and sturdy enough to sit on since it has a relatively wide base.
The idea for a stackable plastic chair was first conceptualized by a German architect named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe before World War II, but he wasn’t able to make his idea into reality. Fortunately, it was Verner Panton who was able to create the first molded plastic chair. Today, the Panton Chair is being sold by a furniture company called Vitra.
Boucle furniture was quite popular in the 1960s, and the pieces that you would often find in homes are the boucle chair and the boucle pillow. Boucle is a type of yarn that is looped multiple times to create a rough texture that feels hairy and loose to the touch. Its texture is what made it popular in the 1960s, and you would still find many pieces of boucle furniture in homes today simply because of how elegant they look.
If you are looking for boucle pillow covers, here are three products to check out:
- DOMVITUS Cream Boucle Pillow Covers
- Foindtower Pack of 2 Textured Boucle Throw Pillow Covers
- Sunkifover Boucle Pillow Covers
Wicker furniture was also a popular type of furniture in the 1960s, although it has been around since the time of the Iron Age (1200 BC to 400 AD in Europe). Wicker is not really a material, but a method wherein strands of natural material (like rattan, willow, bamboo, or reed) are weaved to make different shapes. The name of the method is said to have been derived from the Scandinavian word “Vika,” meaning “to fold.”
The wicker chair was the best-selling piece of wicker furniture in the 1960s, and this chair is usually placed in patios or backyards because of how it blends so well in nature or outdoor sceneries. You can still buy wicker chairs and other pieces of wicker furniture or home décor in physical stores and online shops today.
Here are three popular wicker chairs that you should take a look at if you are planning to buy one as a gift or for your home:
- Christopher Knight Home Ellen Outdoor Wicker Swivel Egg Chair
- Patio Sense Deluxe Coconino Wicker Lounge Chair
- BALI OUTDOORS Stackable Outdoor Wicker Chairs
Eames Lounge Chair
The Eames Lounge Chair is a specific model of lounge chair that was developed by Charles and Ray Eames, a married couple who were known in the fields of graphic and industrial design. The Eames Lounge Chair features bottom and back portions that are made from molded plywood, while the top of the chair and the back post is made from leather. The lounge chair would usually come with an ottoman, a piece of furniture that is often used for resting the legs and feet.
The lounge chair first became available in 1956, and it was manufactured and sold by a furniture company called Herman Miller, which was named after the father-in-law of the founder, Dirk Jan De Pree. While it reached its peak in popularity in the 1960s, the Eames Lounge Chair became such an iconic piece of furniture that it is still very popular today. The lounge chair is even considered a piece of art, as it is currently a part of the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
A jukebox is a music-playing machine that is typically operated by coins and is connected to an electrical outlet. Inside the jukebox are several vinyl records, and when a person selects a song on the control panel of the machine, the vinyl record that contains the selected song will move toward the built-in vinyl record player.
Many bars and restaurants in the 1960s had a jukebox where customers could select a song that would be played through the machine’s speakers, but there were a few people that had jukeboxes at home. Even though it is difficult nowadays to find a working jukebox, you have the option of getting a battery-powered mini jukebox with Bluetooth capabilities. For reference, you can check out these two mini jukeboxes online:
Go-go boots are low-heel style fashion boots that emerged in the mid-1960s and were originally defined by French fashion designer André Courrèges in 1964. The original go-go boots, which were also designed by Courrèges, were white in color and featured low heels for comfort and mid-calf in height for better flexibility for the legs. The original white go-go boots were sometimes referred to as the Courrèges boot after its designer.
One of the most prominent wearers of the go-go boots was Barbra Streisand, who was photographed in the August 1965 issues of Vogue while wearing the boots manufactured by fashion company Golo Footwear. In the 1960s, go-go boots were available in different colors and materials, including patent leather (a shinier kind of leather) and kidskin (traditionally made from goatskin). The go-go boots would become much more popular in the mid-1960s when Nancy Sinatra, a singer and elder daughter of the legendary Frank Sinatra, released a song titled “These Boots Are Made for Walkin” in 1966.
To make it easier for you to choose a pair of go-go boots to give to your loved ones, here are three pairs that you can buy online:
- Ellie Shoes Women’s Go-Go
- Coutgo Women’s Square Toe Go-Go Mid-Calf Booties
- Heiyom Women’s Go-Go Boots
The pillbox hat is a small hat that features no brim, a flat crown, and straight sides. These features make the pillbox hat look like a circular pillbox, hence its name. The pillbox hat was originally used as a form of military headgear, and historians believe that the first wearers of the hat were the Roman soldiers of the late Roman Empire. Throughout the centuries, the pillbox hat was worn by various military groups, including the Victorian-era British Army.
By the 1930s, the pillbox hat became known as a luxury fashion item that was worn by women because of its elegance and simplicity. Pillbox hats during that era were made from different kinds of materials, such as leopard skin, velvet, fox fur, and wool. Solid colors were preferred for pillbox hats, and while the design of the hats was simple, some women prefer it to look more elegant by adding a veil. Jacqueline Kennedy, the former First Lady of the United States and wife of President John F. Kennedy, was one of the prominent wearers of the pillbox hat during the 1960s.
Check out these three pillbox hats for reference:
- Lawliet Cocktail Hostess Pillbox Hat
- ORIDOOR British Style Pillbox Hat
- Z&X British Vintage Wool Felt Pillbox Hat
The miniskirt, as its name implies, is a smaller kind of skirt that was popular among women in the 1960s. This type of skirt became so iconic in the world of women’s fashion that it is now considered a staple that will never go out of style no matter the decade. However, before it was worn by women, the miniskirt was worn by soldiers in ancient times as an extra piece of clothing for protection. Short skirts worn by women were first referenced in 20th-century science fiction stories. One sci-fi writer, Earle K. Bergey, depicted women from the future as having a “stereotyped combination” of a pair of boots, a bra, and a metallic miniskirt.
Miniskirts started becoming more popular in the 1960s when the “Swinging London” cultural revolution began. Two of the most influential fashion designers that popularized the miniskirt were Mary Quant, a London-based designer, and André Courrèges, the creator of go-go boots.
Here are three miniskirts that you can give as a gift or you can keep for your wardrobe:
- Urban CoCo Women’s Vintage Velvet Stretchy Flared Mini Skirt
- EXCHIC Women’s Casual Stretchy Flared Mini Skirt
- Made By Johnny Women’s Basic Stretchy Flared Casual Mini Skirt
Capri pants, also known as crop pants and three-quarter legs, are a type of pants that stop a few inches above the ankle and below the knee, so they are not as long as trousers, but they are not as short as shorts. Capri pants were originally designed by German fashion designer Sonja de Lennart and introduced in 1948. The popular name of the pants was derived from an Italian isle of the same, and it is in this isle where the capri pants rose in popularity during the late 50s and early 60s.
In the 60s, capri pants were popularized by actress Audrey Hepburn, who would incorporate the pants as a part of her signature style. Besides Hepburn, other celebrities that wore and popularized the capri pants included French actress Brigitte Bardot and American model Marilyn Monroe, who always wore the pants while traveling.
Have a look at these three capri pants that are available online:
- Briggs New York Women’s Pull-On Capri
- Lee Women’s Plus Size Flex-to-go Mid-Rise Relaxed Fit Cargo Capri Pant
- Lee Women’s Petite Relaxed Fit Capri Jean
Drainpipes, popularly referred to today as slim-fit pants, are a type of pants that has a narrower fit compared to regular pants. So, these pants feel snugger to the legs and are often worn by women to show off the shape or curve of their lower body. But, before the 1960s, tight-fitting trousers were already worn by men during the 1800s, as they were even fashionable from 1805 until 1850.
Slim-fit pants would eventually experience a resurgence in popularity by the 1950s, as they were worn by popular celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Sandra Dee, and Elvis Presley. In the 1960s, drainpipes were part of the decade’s fashion trends, and they were worn frequently by musicians, such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles. Much like the miniskirt, slim-fit pants are already considered a staple in fashion, as they are timeless and are perfect to pair with any piece of clothing.
Check out these slim-fit pants that are perfect as gifts:
- Plaid&Plain Men’s Slim Fit Dress Pants
- Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Casual Stretch Khaki Pant
- Calvin Klein Men’s Slim Fit Dress Pant
The smiley face that we know today, which is yellow in color and has round black eyes, actually started to become popular in the 1960s. The first use of the yellow smiley face is believed to have been in 1962 when a New York radio station called WMCA released a yellow sweatshirt with a smiley face on it as a marketing campaign. In just one year, WMCA was able to give away 11,000 yellow sweatshirts. From then on, the smiley face became more common in clothing, like jackets and shirts.
If you are looking for great nostalgic 60s gifts, you can take a look at these smiley shirts:
- Feelin Good Tees Smile Face T-Shirt
- ReachMe Women’s Summer Cute Smile Face Graphic T-Shirt
- Pink Smile Face Have A Good Day Trendy T-Shirt
Beatles Vinyl Album
The Beatles was arguably one of the most popular bands in the 1960s, and they were so popular during that time that they caused their own craze called “Beatlemania,” which started in the United Kingdom and spread in the United States and other countries. Even though the band was active for only ten years from 1960 to 1970, the Beatles remains a very influential band that inspired many musical artists and bands.
The band has released 13 albums, and fans would often debate as to which albums are significantly better than the others. However, most fans would agree that the band’s two greatest albums were Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) and Abbey Road (1969). Some fans would also include Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1965), and The Beatles or The White Album (1968) in the list of the band’s greatest works. If you have a family member or friend that is a massive Beatles fan, then you should give him or her a Beatles vinyl album if they don’t already have one.
Popular Board Games from the 60s
People that grew up in the 1960s would most likely have fond memories of playing board games at home with friends or family members. There have been numerous board games that became popular in the 1960s, but only a few are considered classics and are still played by people of different ages today.
One of the best-selling board games of the 1960s was Risk, a strategy board game that was released in 1957 by Parker Brothers (now owned by Hasbro). Risk is a complex board game where players would have to battle, conquer, and make peace with other players in order to win the game. Other board games that were popular in the 1960s include Sorry!, Monopoly, and The Game of Life.
Books About the 1960s
There were so many fascinating historical events that happened in the 1960s, and one way to know more about those events is by reading about them in articles or books. There are so many books about the 1960s that were published over the years, with some being better written than others. Here are three books about the 1960s that you should definitely check out:
- LIFE The 1960s: The Decade When Everything Changed
- The 60s: The Story of a Decade (The New Yorker)
- Cars of the 1960s: Detroit’s Diverse Decade: Compacts, Luxury, and Muscle
Peanuts 1960s Collection DVD
Peanuts is a comic strip that was written and illustrated by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. Publication of Peanuts began in 1950, and by the 1960s, it became one of the most popular comic strips in the United States. It was also in the 1960s when some of the most iconic Peanuts TV specials, like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).
The comic strip was first adapted into animation in an episode of The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, a variety program that ran from 1956 to 1961. If you want to watch all the popular Peanuts TV specials from the 1960s, you should get the Peanuts 1960s Collection DVD, which contains all six TV specials from the said decade remastered. The DVD contains A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown’s All Stars, It’s the Great Pumpkin, You’re in Love, He’s Your Dog, and It Was a Short Summer. The DVD is also a great gift for loved ones that love Snoopy and Peanuts.
Barbie is a classic doll that will never decrease in popularity no matter what the decade is. But it was in the 1960s that Barbie started to become more popular. Barbie is a fashion doll that was introduced by a toy company called Mattel in 1959.
The doll was created by Ruth Handler, who also served as the co-founder of Mattel. Barbie was inspired by the German toy doll Bild Lilli, who was considered the first successful adult-bodied doll. Before Barbie became popular, the only forms of dolls that were available for many kids were baby dolls. So, Ruth Handler wanted to introduce an adult-bodied doll. At first, the other executives at Mattel rejected Handler’s idea, but they eventually approved it after it was redesigned by Handler and Jack Ryan, who was one of the toy designers at Mattel.
While the Barbie dolls from the 1960s are already out of production, there are still different kinds of Barbie dolls that you can get today as a gift. Here are three of the best Barbie dolls that you can buy:
G.I. Joe Action Figure
Another toy line that was selling well in the 1960s was G.I. Joe. This specific toy line was introduced by a big toy company called Hasbro in 1964 and is considered the line that helped popularized action figures. The original G.I. Joe action figures were grouped into four types that are inspired by the four branches of the US armed forces. These four types of G.I. Joe figures were the Action Soldier (based on the US Army), the Action Pilot (based on the US Air Force), the Action Sailor (based on the US Navy), and the Action Marines (based on the US Marine Corps).
Today, the G.I. Joe brand has several toy lines that are composed of action figures of different sizes and quality. If you want to get a G.I. Joe action figure that is closer in design to the originals in the 1960s but is smaller in size, check out these three products:
- G.I. Joe Retro Collection Baroness 3.75-inch Action Figure
- G.I. Joe Retro Collection Snake Eyes 3.75-inch Action Figure
- G.I. Joe Retro Collection Cobra Trooper 3.75-inch Action Figure
The 1960s was an interesting era that was filled with new things and changes in different industries. The said era was also filled with fun and memorable items that are connected to home décor, fashion, and entertainment. We hope that this article has helped you get a better idea of what nostalgic 60s items to buy as a gift for your loved ones.