1970s in fashion
1970s fashion, which began with a continuation of the mini skirts, bell-bottoms, and the androgynous hippie look from the late 1960s, was soon sharply characterized by several distinct fashion trends that have left an indelible image of the decade commemorated in popular culture. These include platform shoes which appeared on the fashion scene in 1971 and often had soles two to four inches thick. Both men and women wore them.
Wide-legged, flared jeans and trousers were another fashion mainstay for both men and women throughout most of the decade, and this style has been immortalised in the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, which starred John Travolta. The "disco look", complete with three-piece suits for men and rayon or jersey wrap dresses for women, which the film further popularized. Platform shoes gave way to mules and ankle-strapped shoes, both reminiscent of the 1940s, at the very end of the decade. The 1970s also saw the birth of the indifferent, anti-conformist approach to fashion, which consisted of sweater, t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. An style which made a comeback in the 1990s.
- 1 Women
- 2 Men
- 3 Hairstyles
- 4 Cosmetics
- 5 Image gallery
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early 1970s (1970-1973)
- The decade began with a continuation of the hippie look from the 1960s, giving a distinct ethnic flavor. Popular early 1970s fashions for women included Tie dye shirts, Mexican peasant blouses, folk-embroidered Hungarian blouses, ponchos, capes, and military surplus clothing. Bottom attire for women during this time included bell-bottoms, gauchos, frayed jeans, mid-calf-length dresses called "midis" (which were unpopular), and ankle-length dresses called "maxis" were also worn in the early 1970s, thus offering women three different skirt lengths. Hippie clothing during this time was made in extremely bright colors, as well as Indian patterns, Native American patterns, and floral patterns.
- Women's hippie accessories of the early 1970s included chokers, dog collars, handcrafted neck ornaments, and accessories made from natural elements like wood, shells, stones, feathers, Indian beads and leather. All of these replaced standard jewelry. Unisex hippie accessories included headbands, floppy hats, flowing scarves, Birkenstocks, and earth shoes.
- Although the hippie look was widespread, it was not adopted by everyone. Many women still continued to dress up with fancier clothes, inspired by 1940s movie star glamour. Other women just adopted simple casual fashions. More simple early 1970s trends for women included fitted blazers (coming in a multitude of fabrics along with wide lapels), long and short dresses, mini skirts, maxi evening gowns, hot pants (extremely brief, tight-fitting shorts) paired with skin-tight t-shirts, his & hers outfits (matching outfits that were nearly identical to each other), and flared pants. Pastel colors were most commonly used for this style of clothing, such as mauve, peach, apple green, pink, yellow, white, wheat, camel, gray, and baby blue. Rust, tangerine, copper, forest green, and pistachio became more popularized from 1973 onwards. Sweaters were a huge phenomenon in the early 70s, often outfits being judged entirely by the sweater. This fragmented into more styles, such as sweater coats, sweater dresses, floor-length sweaters, and even sweater suits. Many of them were trimmed with fur, especially fox. Chunky, shawl-collared, belted cardigans, often in brown and white, were also commonplace.
- Fancier women's accessories of the early 1970s included cloche hats, pearl earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, boas, black-veiled hats, clogs, wedgies, cork-soled platforms, and chunky high heels. Golden chains, gold-button earrings and rhinestone clips started to become popular again in 1973 after several years of homemade jewelry.
- In the early 1970s boots were at the height of their popularity, continuing onward from the mid 1960s. Women had boots for every occasion, with a wide variety of styles being sold in stores for affordable prices. Despite the wide variety, the most popular boots were Go-go boots, crinkle boots (boots with a shiny wet look that was wrinkled), stretch boots, and granny boots (1920s style lace-up boots that ended just below the knees).
Mid 1970s (1974-1976)
- By 1974, the T-shirt was no longer considered underwear, and was by then made in elaborate designs such as slogans, sports teams, and other styles.
- By the mid 1970s, the hippie look had completely disappeared, although casual looks continued. In the mid 1970s women wore sweaters, t-shirts, cardigans, kimonos, graphic t-shirts and sweaters, jeans, khakis, gauchos, workmen's clothes, and vintage clothing. Around 1976, casual fashion adopted a Parisan peasant look. This included capes, turbans, puffy skirts and shirts with billowing sleeves.
- In the mid-1970s, accessories were generally not worn, adopting a minimalistic approach to fashion akin to that of the 1950s. Small leather shoulder bags were worn by women everywhere, and popular shoes included Mary Janes, knee-high boots with rounded toes, platform shoes and sandals, Birkenstocks, and loafers. Despite the lack of accessories, the mood ring was a big fad in the mid 1970s.
- Clean-cut, All-American active wear for women became increasingly popular from 1975 onwards. The biggest phenomenon of this trend was the jumpsuit, popular from 1975 onwards. Jumpsuits were almost always flared in the legs, and sleeves varied from being completely sleeveless to having extremely long bell-sleeves. Other sportswear trends included tracksuits, tunic shirts, crop tops, tube tops, sweatshirts, hip-huggers, low rise pants, and leisure suits. This continued into the 1980s.
- Accessories were less of an importance during this time, but two very desirable accessories included sneakers and tennis headbands.
- Starting in 1975, women's semi-formal wear became more tailored and sharp. This included a lot of layering, with women wearing two blouses at once, multiple sweaters, pants underneath tunic dresses, and jumpers worn over long, fitted dresses. The 1970s also featured some of the most scandalous dresses worn publicly in American history up to that point. Other clothes worn in this style include suede coats, peacoats, blazers, cowl-neck sweaters, pencil skirts, backless dresses, extremely low-cut dresses, palazzo pants, tube dresses, evening gowns, jacket dresses, and pinstriped pantsuits. Women's dresses in the mid 1970s were dominated by pastel colors, but Asian patterns also had a good run.
- Accessories for the more formal styles included high-heels (both low and high, mostly thick-heeled), turbans, and leather shoulder bags. Boots continued their popularity in the mid 1970s. This trend expanded to other styles, most notably the wedge heel (arguably the most popular women's shoe of the mid 1970s). Boots became rounder, chunkier, heavier, and thicker, and were more expensive than they were in the early 70s. Popular boots of the mid 1970s included wedge boots, ankle boots, platform boots, and cowboy boots.
Late 1970s (1977-1979)
- In the 1977, fashion became more baggy. This caused much controversy, as women with trim figures bemoaned not being able to flaunt them while heavier women complained the looser clothes made them look even larger. To make up for this, it became fashionable to show more skin. This resulted in shirts being unbuttoned, sleeves being rolled up, and tops being strapless, see-through, and lacy. Shiny satin and gold colors were also used to make up for the lack of tighter clothing. Styles became curvier in 1978, with shoulder pads, tighter skirts, and narrower waistlines. The silhouette that resulted was an inverted triangle, it was positively received by the general public. By 1977, pants were only flared slightly and sometimes not flared at all.
- Women's fashions in the late 1970s included cowl-neck shirts and sweaters, pantsuits, leisure suits, tracksuits, sundresses worn with tight t-shirts, strapless tops, lower-cut shirts, cardigans, velour shirts, tunics, robes, crop tops, tube tops, embroidered vests and jeans, knee-length skirts, loose satin pants, mini-skirts, designer jeans, culottes, daisy dukes, and tennis shorts. This continued into the 1980s.
- Accessories included scarves, gold jewelry, flowers, ankle boots, 1940s style hats (often tilted), skinny and wide belts, boas, braceleted gloves, spike-heeled sandals, mules, ankle-strapped shoes, waist cinchers, and obi wraps. Color had almost completely faded from fashion in the late 1970s, with earthy tones like browns, light blues, tans, grays, whites, and blacks making a comeback.
- The frenzy for boots had cooled down by the late 1970s, but they remained popular, especially in the winter. They became less flamboyant by that point in time, and they mostly came in black, brown, or burgundy. The most popular boots were either knee-high or reached the mid-calf, and were made in leather, suede, urethane, or rubber. The toes were rounded, and zippers were on the side. The heels were usually only 2-4 inches, and the heels were sometimes even flat. Women continued to wear wedge heels and ankle boots, as well as knee-high boots with thick kitten heels.
- In 1977, American actress Farrah Fawcett popularized the one-piece swimsuit which in turn launched the trend for the maillot. This was, when it resurged in the 1970s, a sexy, tight swimsuit, with deep neckline and high-cut legs, worn by young women and girls in lieu of the bikini, although it did not entirely replace the latter. This continued into the 1980s.
- Disco fashion featured fancy clothes made from man-made materials. The most famous disco look for women was the jersey wrap dress, a knee-length dress with a cinched waist first designed by Diane von Fürstenberg in 1972. It became an extremely popular item, as it flattered a number of different body types and sizes, and could be worn both to the office by day, and to nightclubs and discos by night.
- Disco fashion was generally inspired by clothing from the early 1960s. Fashions ranged from short, tight miniskirts to long, elaborate gowns for women. Disco clothes worn by women included tube tops, sequined halterneck shirts, blazers, miniskirts, spandex short shorts, loose pants, form-fitting spandex pants, maxi skirts and dresses with long thigh slits, jersey wrap dresses, ball gowns, and evening gowns. Shoes ranged from knee-high boots to kitten heels, but the most commonly worn shoes were ones that had thick heels and were often made with see-through plastic.
Early 1970s (1970-1973)
- For the first time in decades, there was a significant shortage of raw materials and fabrics. The cost of synthetics such as vinyl and nylon rose as well. As a result, everyday designers kept things simple.
- The early 1970s were a continuation of late 1960s hippie fashion. For men this particularly meant bell bottom jeans, tie dye shirts, and military surplus clothing. Other early 1970s clothes for men included matching outfits, sports jackets, khaki chinos, chunky sweaters, storm coats, battle jackets[disambiguation needed], peacoats, flannel shirts, pleated pants, baseball jackets, corduroy pants, pullover sweaters and sweater vests, tassels, cardigans, and hip-huggers.
- The most popular accessories of the early 1970s for men were homemade, with necklaces, headbands, and bracelets being made from all-natural materials such as wood, hemp, flowers, leather, shells, stones, and Indian beads. Unisex hippie accessories included headbands, floppy hats, and flowing scarves. Mens footwear in the early 1970s included flip-flops, oxfords, Birkenstocks, platform shoes, earth shoes, and cowboy boots.
- In the early 1970s, there was a trend for unisex men's and women's matching outfits with little to absolutely no differences. They often came together in matching sets.
Mid 1970s (1974-1976)
- Fashion in the 1970s was generally informal and laid back for men. Most men simply wore jeans, sweaters, and T-shirts, which by then were being made with more elaborate designs. Men continued to wear flannel, and the Leisure suit became increasingly popular from 1975 onwards, often worn with gold medallions and oxford shoes. Vintage clothing, khaki chinos, workmens clothes, sweatshirts, leather coats, and all-denim outfits were also desired among young men. Other trends include printed shirts, zip-up cardigans, Birkenstocks, mood rings, and raincoats.
- Around 1975, American suits started to resemble the slimmer European suit. This new model, named the quasi-European suit, featured padded shoulders, higher arm holes, a smaller waist, open patch pockets, and a small flare to the pants and jacket. In 1976, it became fashionable for men to wear velvet tuxedo jackets with more casual pants to formal events, and vests came back into vogue. It was this year that mens pants started to feature smaller flares or no flares at all. This continued into the 1980s.
Late 1970s (1977-1979)
- By the late 1970s, most men and women were wearing sports clothing as everyday apparel. This was primarily based on tracksuits, jumpsuits, velour or terry cloth shirts (often striped and low-cut), sweaters, cardigans, sweatshirts, puffer vests, flare jeans, straight-leg jeans, and collared shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve. Around this time it also became fashionable for men to leave their shirts untucked.
- Late 1970s accessories included low-top sneakers, tennis headbands, puka shell necklaces, and wristbands.
- All styles of clothing were affected by the disco style, especially those of men. Men began to wear stylish three-piece suits (which became available in a bewildering variety of colours) which were characterized by wide lapels, wide legged or flared trousers, and high-rise waistcoats (US vests). Neckties became wider and bolder, and shirt collars became long and pointed.
Punk as a style originated from London from the designer Vivienne Westwood and her partner Malcolm McLaren. Before the Modern world a punk was a person who attacked someone's cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., based on error or superstition. Due to the harsh economic realities of Europe and Britain in the early to mid-1970s, this movement was a direct reaction to the economic situation during the economic depression of the period. Punk had at its heart a manifesto of creation through disorder. The punk style represented a feeling of separation and rejection from society through the combination of not only fashion movements, but musical movements as well.[page needed] Safety pins became nose and ear jewellery, rubber fetishwear was subverted to become daywear, and images of mass murderers, rapists, and criminals were elevated to iconographic status.
Punk fashion can be traced to the ripped jeans, torn t-shirts, scrappy haircuts, and worn and torn leather jackets sported by members of the Sex Pistols. When they released Anarchy in the UK in 1976,The Sex Pistols were dressed by Malcolm McLaren, their manager, whose partner Vivienne Westwood owned a clothes store called "Let It Rock" in the Kings Road, Chelsea area of London. These styles can be traced back further to New York artists at the Andy Warhol Factory or bands such as the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith Group or New York Dolls. By the 1980s, punk fashion and punk bands had shown up in cities across the world. There was a Do It Yourself quality to the fashion. Some small elements that spoke of a person's punk roots were safety pins, black PVC or tartan bondage trousers, leopard-print t-shirts, mohawk, spikes or harshly dyed hair, filthy tennis-shoes, or pointy Beatle boots. There is an element of a makeshift, thrown together look and a sense of poverty.
Throughout much of the decade, women and teenage girls wore their hair long, with a centre or side parting, which was a style carried over from the late 1960s. Other hairstyles of the early to mid-1970s included the wavy "gypsy" cut, the layered shag, and the "flicked" style, popularly referred to as "wings", in which the hair was flicked into resembling small wings at the temples. This look was popularised by the stars of the television series Charlie's Angels. Blonde-streaked or "frosted" hair was also popular. In 1977, punk singer Debbie Harry of Blondie sparked a new trend with her shoulder-length, dyed platinum blonde hair worn with a long fringe (bangs).
In the 1970s, making one of the popular hairstyles for a woman didn't take a lot of time. These hairstyles, including Afro hairstyle, Shaggy Hairdo and Feathered hair (then known as "Farrah Fawcett hairstyle") were said to be perfect when you're on-the-go and would still keep your expressive style in-check.
For Blacks in the United States and elsewhere, the afro was worn by both sexes throughout the decade. It was occasionally sported by whites as an alternative to the uniform long, straight hair which was a fashion mainstay until the arrival of punk and the "disco look" when hair became shorter and centre partings were no longer the mode.
Young men's hair was worn long until well past the mid-1970s. Unlike the unkempt 1960s, it was often worn styled in soft layers. In California, the tousled blond, surfer hair was fashionable for teenage boys and young men. In the early part of the decade, sideburns were popular.
Continuing on from the 1960s, the ducktail and Pompadour hairstyle (then known as the "Elvis Presley hairstyle") were popular among young Italian-American and Mexican-American men in big cities like New York. Large quantities of grease or brylcreem was normally used to keep the hair in place.
Cosmetics in the 1970s reflected the contradictory roles ascribed for the modern woman. For the first time since 1900, make-up was chosen situationally, rather than in response to monolithic trends. The era's two primary visions were the daytime "natural look" presented by American designers and Cosmopolitan magazine, and the evening aesthetic of sexualized glamour presented by European designers and fashion photographers. In the periphery, punk and glam were also influential. The struggling cosmetics industry attempted to make a comeback, using new marketing and manufacturing practices.
Images representing the fashion trends of the 1970s.
The early 1970s' fashions were a continuation of the hippie look from the late 1960s.
Woman in miniskirt, 1970
David Bowie in early 1970s. His avante-garde style of dressing exerted a strong influence on fashion in the first half of the decade.
American First Lady Pat Nixon wears a shirt with the wide collar that was popular until the final years of the decade.
Los Angeles high school students, 1973. The tousled, blond surfer hair was popular for young men in southern California.
Young woman wearing a 1930s-style dress and platform shoes, 1973.
British singer Rod Stewart, 1976.
Two punks from the late 1970s
Debbie Harry of Blondie in 1977. A female punk icon, her dyed platinum blonde hair was widely copied by teenage girls and young women in Britain and America.
In 1979, there was a 1940s influence in women's fashions. The woman in the photo wears a belted dress, bloused at the chest, and a pair of ankle-strapped shoes
Singer Barry Manilow wears his hair longish in the soft, layered style favoured by men in the 1970s.
By the end of the decade, straight-legged jeans were common in fashion, both wide and slim.
Alan Bennett in 1973, wearing a wide necktie
Frisbee player Ken Westerfield wearing draw string bell bottoms in the 1970s
- Paperpast Yearbook
- "Fashion in the 1970s". Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "HIPPIES". Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "Gaucho Pants". Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "1970s Fashion for Women & Girls". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "1970s Dresses & Skirts: Styles, Trends & Pictures". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Birkenstocks". Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Earth Shoes". Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "1970s Boots for Women: Styles, Trends & Pictures". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Mood Rings". Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Hip Huggers". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Paperpast Yearbook
- "Designer Jeans". Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Pendergast, Tom and Sarah (2004). Fashion, Costume and Culture. MI, USA: Thomson Gale. p. 933. ISBN 0-7876-5422-1.
- "1970s Fashion for Men & Boys". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Cunningham, Patricia A.; Barbara K. Nordquist (1991). Dress and Popular Culture. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
- De Castelbajac, pp. 147–48.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1970s fashion.|
- 1970s Fashion History
- 20th Century Fashion History: 1970s
- Men's Fashion History from the 1970s
- Turkish Fashion History from the 1970s
- It Came from the 1971 Sears Catalog
- Children's clothing from the 1970s
- "1970s - 20th Century Fashion Drawing and Illustration". Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 3 April 2011.