Fab Fashion Fads of the ‘70’s!

Culture | September 15, 2017

Have you ever heard the saying, “Life is about change”? Well, life isn’t the only thing that changes; so, does fashion. The concept of fashion has been around as long as people have been wearing clothes. Fashion is an ever-evolving priority in most societies. What people wear is a personal reflection of their personality and/or how they would like to be perceived by their peers as well as society, as a whole. Interestingly, it has been said that fashion, although constantly evolving, follows a trending cycle of repeating itself. If you think back, I’m sure you know all about that!

If you were mindful of fashion in the 1970’s, you must remember the fashion fads that followed the Ozzie Nelson/June Cleaver era. Riding on the coattails of the 1960’s counterculture, fashion took on a life of its own with flashy, funky and fun attire. People traded-in the pressed, conservative, predictable and responsible look for something more provocative. All caution was thrown to the wind and people started to go out on a limb, outwardly, to express the fashion beast living within! Although fashion, in and of itself, lends itself to the theory of conformity, ironically, many people were finding themselves doing just that in an effort to distance themselves from past social standards. That’s deep, right?

As a rule, most of us are drawn to like-minded people who share similar interests and ideologies, traveling in the same social circles as our peers. So, prior to the internet and (very) limited television influence, how did a person know what was in style? Well, besides being aware of the world around you, one way was to subscribe to periodicals; which by the way, have been around since the 1600’s! While men were drawn to magazines like Esquire  and Gentlemen’s Quarterly, women tended to gravitate to magazines like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. It would have been mind-blowing in the ‘70’s to try comprehending the concept of a fashion blog!

A lot of the 1970’s mod fashion crazes were unisex! Both men and women found themselves gravitating to clothing that included wide collars, BIG glasses (the bigger the better), tye-dyed shirts, anything “fringe”, bell bottoms, bell sleeves, hip huggers, platform shoes/boots, tight, tight (really tight) pants, and Jack Purcell tennis shoes! No matter if you were an athlete or not, it was not uncommon to wear a warm-up suit as well as headbands and/or wristbands. Clothing was often made of fabrics like satin, velvet, velour, and suede. Yikes… right?!  

Styles that were popular for women during this time were wrap dresses/skirts, peasant blouses, ponchos/capes, crocheted vests (um… I know!), cowl necks, gauchos, jumpsuits, pantsuits, crop tops, tube tops, wedges, go-go boots and the chain-link belt. Also popular was the obligatory mood ring; otherwise, how would you and/or others be able to gauge your mood?   

Not to be outdone by the women, men had their own craze going on! The word, suit, tends to bring to mind the connotation of a more formal look. Well, society had its collective mind blown with the concept of the leisure suit! Men were given the OK to wear a suit without a tie… enter John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever! Not only did the polyester look come without a tie, but the shirt, probably satin, most was usually worn unbuttoned as far as possible. Sorry, Mom!

Whether or not you are able to grasp the fashion movement of the 1970’s, it is difficult to ignore the fact that fashion plays a significant role in individuality as well as society. Social trends play a huge part in our lives! Being mindful of this concept will help you keep it all in perspective.

Tags: A Brief History Of... | Cosmopolitan | Fashion In The 1970s | Vogue

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Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.