What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions 70s fashion ? Most people immediately think of platform shoes, bell bottom pants and body hugging Lycra clothing. Yes, these things did help define the seventies, but they are just the tip of the iceberg.
The seventies seem so long ago but every now and then you will see a fashion designer release a new seasons line that has strongly been influenced by seventies fashion . Fabrics may come and go ( and there were many forgettable fabrics being used in seventies fashion ), but classic styles will never die. They may fade like a pair of old denim jeans, but you know , at some point in the future, those styles will return again.
70s fashion , as with every decade, has its highly memorable styles as well as its fair share of failures. Looking at the fashion shows and runways today, I can’t help but smile when I see a glimpse of the past being reborn and repackaged as today’s fashion.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that most of the clothing made in the 1970s was made from the new emerging fabrics of the time. These fabrics were polyester, orlon, nylon, and acetate which, over time became seen as lower quality fabrics.
70s Fashion And The Hippie Look
A carry over from the 60s
One look from the sixties that pasted over and became one of the early 1970s fashion trends was the “Hippy Look”.
This look featured loose fitting clothing and in particular, Kaftans, Kimonos and Muu Muu’s.
These garments were sown from various materials and commonly referred to as “Comfort Wear” due to their loose, flowing nature.
Quite often these garments would be tailored from more exotic fabrics and lined with silver or gold trimmings to add to their glamorous appeal. The peace symbol was a common fashion accessory.
Beautiful Skirts – A 70s Fashion Trend
When talking about a 70s fashion trend , how could we not mention the lovely skirts of the time and the change to choice they initiated. During the sixties, fashion designers decided the length of skirts. In the early 1970s, women were choosing not to buy the new season miniskirts, but instead turning to midis and ankle length maxis’ instead. Fashion houses began releasing ranges in mini, midi and maxi giving women the luxury of choice.
In the early seventies, skirts commonly dropped to the ankles (maxis) and were worn with 2 – 4 inch platform shoes. A few years later midis were popular, and then mini shirts. By the mid seventies, to the delight of most men, the micro mini was in fashion.
The knee length peasant skirt attracted attention with racy reds and flirty pinks. The underlying attraction of the peasant skirt has always been in the gorgeous swirls of cloth used in their designs.
If you have ever seen the original, Charlie’s Angels you would notice the prominence of women wearing trousers. By the mid seventies the length of jackets had dropped to just below the hip, sleeves had extended to full length and women wearing pants was an accepted fashion.
Notice the contoured waistlines of the 50s and 60s are no longer highlighted but hidden under straight fitting clothes. Plaid was the “in” pattern and to wear a matching. Brightly colored plaid outfit was considered stylish.
If there was one coat to define 70s fashion above all, it would have to be the wrap coat. The poplin trench coat, a traditional menswear line which had been popular for many years was now re-fashioned for women’s wear. Wool, leather, tweed or cashmere, it didn’t matter; if you wore a coat that was belted by its own sash, you were considered to have “the look”.
As women’s pants continued to grow in popularity, long coats were replaced by stylishly shorter jackets.
Knitted fabrics were also trendy in the early 1970s. Long knitted cardigans were commonly belted or sashed at the waist and worn as a fashionable coat. But, all good things must come to an end and by the latter part of the decade belts had been thrown away as a shapeless or a straight silhouetted style became vogue.
Granny Dresses, Empire Waists And 70s Fashion
Empire waist dresses were a common sight in the early seventies. What is an Empire dress (pronounced om-peer ) I hear you ask? The waist line on this style of dress is raised higher than the normal waist position; often it’s raised to just below the breast. This dress can create the illusion of length and so can disguise the presence of a bottom-heavy physique.
Empire dresses were available in either a straight or flared style and, for that night on the town you had been looking forward to, you could get them with elaborate sleeve designs to add a little “ pizzazz .”
Halter necks, maxi dresses and cat suits were all designed to capture the beauty of women, highlighting femininity and charm. Granny dresses gained acceptance around this time and were often included in a women’s wardrobe as both casual and evening wear. Granny dresses were loose fitting, high neck dresses with long sleeves. The high neck line was often embellished with frill and/or lace to add to the femininity of the dress.
Angel flight suits had a huge impact on the 70s fashion. If you have ever seen an episode of the Brady Bunch or remember Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta, then you would have seen an Angel Flight suit. The shirts that went with the suits were often made from satin or another shiny fabric and always had large collars.
Angel sleeve blouses and dresses also were a bit of a rage for a while. Angel sleeves, instead of being fitted to the arm, are cut with plenty of extra material, giving them the appearance of “wings” when the arm is held out. The exact length of the sleeve varies greatly and can go from just below the elbow, all the way down the arm and cover the hand. The term “Angel Sleeve” in generally used to describe any sleeve with excess material that doesn’t have a gathered cuff.
The seventies loved add-ons and trimmings. Lace was quite often attached to borders with beads and sequins being a feature of evening attire. Cheesecloth was yet another clothing material that became a fad in the seventies. Cheesecloth had a crinkly appearance similar to what is seen on fashion runways in 2011.
Hot Pants, Flares And 70s Fashion Jeans
As you look back over the years, denim jeans have always had a place in fashion. The seventies were no different and the early part of the decade saw people favoring frayed edged denim jeans or cutoffs.
If you wore jeans, the ends of the pants had to be frayed and worn out or you were not part of 70s fashion. By the mid seventies the trend had turned to flares and then by the late seventies the popular fashion was straight, cigarette cut jeans. Hipsters were popular in the 1970s.
High waisted banana jeans were worn by many teenagers of the 70’s. To wear these jeans the cool way, you needed to place the buckle around on your backside, below the back area. Capri pants that are such a rage today were also a part of 70s fashion. The Chemin de fer jeans were also a part of the 70s fashion. These had 6 buttons on each hip. When unbuttoned, it would form a flap. This was also the era of the bell bottoms, waist-high flared jeans, loons and parallel jeans to mention but a few.
High wаіѕt jeans and glitter ѕoсkѕ (sосks ѕprіnklеd wіth gоld or sіlvеr glitter) were often worn together. 70s fashion heated up as women started showing a bit more leg in sexy hot pants. To add style, a wide belt was often paired with the hot pants. Hot рants have аlready madе а соmebаck (See, 70s fashion wasn’t all bad now was it).
70s Fashion Video
Bell Bоttom Pаntѕ And 70s Fashion Trends
Bell bottoms are a style of jeans that increase in width, starting at the knee. This width then continues to expand the further down the leg you go. If реоplе ѕeе Bell bоttоms from the frоnt оr behind, the Bell bоttоmѕ take on the shape of a trumpеt оr bell. Bell Bottom jeans again became popular in the 90ѕ and also in the early 2000′s when they were renamed “bооt сut” jeans аnd wоrn by bоth mеn and women.
Disco And Latex – The Glamor Of 70s Fashion Trends
Disco became popular as more and more nightclubs began opening their doors. A new trend of glitz, sparkle and, above all, GLAMOR was emerging. John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever is an excellent example of this 70s fashion statement.
Lycra became a popular fabric due to its shiny look and reflective effect under disco lights. Sexy hot pant, spandex, cling fabrics, jumpsuits, waistcoats, halter necks and animal prints were all disco inspired fashion styles
Jumpsuits ѕtуled into bеllbоttomѕ, worn in ѕіlk оr dеnim, caught оn during the 1970′ѕ. Elvis Prеѕlеy was famous fоr ѕроrting оne aѕ wеll!
As far as fabric pattern went, the lеoрard ѕkin раttеrn was the “look”. Men lоved wearing satin jасketѕ with large, bling-type medаllіоns dangling from over their chests. Hang Tеn ѕatіn јaсkets were аlsо commonly seen at a disco. In the 70s fashion was about being noticed and disco styles made that happen.
70s Fashion Shoes Hit New Heights
Platform shoes were the look of the day and both men and women were wearing them. On the streets, in libraries, parks and at discos, platform shoes were seen everywhere. Unfortunately, due to their instability and being totally impractical for dancing, platform shoes were responsible for many injuries.
Cork Ease or Kork Ease shoes were the hot 70s fashion trend for much of the early to mid 1970′s. Other popular footwear of the time were flip flops, clogs and of course, shiny disco shoes to match your spandex disco outfit (ah.. 70s fashion flashbacks).
Other interesting 70s fashion pages –