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25 Groovy Fashion Trends from the 1970s

CEO Tinh Phung
Sure, the 1970s were a time of political turmoil and dissatisfaction with the American government. But if you were to judge the era by its fashions alone, it was a pretty great decade. Embracing Iconic...

Sure, the 1970s were a time of political turmoil and dissatisfaction with the American government. But if you were to judge the era by its fashions alone, it was a pretty great decade.

Embracing Iconic Styles of the 70s

Punks, mods, hippies, and disco all shaped the unique style of the 70s. This remarkable decade brought fringe, psychedelic prints, and micro-mini clothing into the mainstream. Whether you lived through the era or simply long for its groovy looks, let's take a trip down memory lane and explore the essential outfits and accessories that every cool person had in their closet.

1970s fashion tube top Wikimedia Commons/Jeanne

Embracing the Tube Top

The feminists who abandoned their bras in the 1960s didn't need them by the time the '70s rolled around, thanks to the rise of the tube top. This strapless style saw a surge in popularity toward the end of the decade and was frequently worn by fashion icons like Cher, Bianca Jagger, and Suzanne Somers.

1970s fashion fringed leather Wikimedia Commons/Torbjörn Levin

The Rise of Brown Fringe

While punks wore black leather jackets in the '70s, everyone else with an eye for fashion was wearing brown fringe. The popularity of these garments, also known as buckskins, accompanied the rise in popularity of western wear at the time. Bolo ties, embroidered button-ups, and fringe were major trends that shaped the fashion landscape.

Miniskirt {Style Through the Years} Wikimedia Commons/John Atherton

Liberation Through Micro-Minis

Though the trend was first popularized in the 1960s by mod designer Mary Quant, micro-minis gained even more followers in the 1970s. Feminists like Gloria Steinem identified the trend as a form of liberation from the longer hemlines of decades past. It was a bold statement and a fashion favorite among stylish women of the time.

Tie Dye in the 1970s

A Psychedelic Sensation - Tie Dye

Colorful tie-dye gained traction during the 1960s with the rise of the hippie movement. But in the '70s, the psychedelic pattern saw its popularity surge. Tie-dye's ubiquity was due in no small part to everyone's ability to create the look using little more than some rubber bands and dye. It became the symbol of individuality and rebellion against mainstream fashion.

70s fashion Wikimedia Commons/Alkivar

The Revolutionary Mood Ring

In 1975, inventors Maris Ambats and Josh Reynolds hit the zeitgeist when they created the mood ring. These rings, changing color in response to the wearer's body heat, became a must-have item for the fashion-forward. With high-end versions selling for upwards of $250, the mood ring was more than just a piece of jewelry; it was a reflection of the wearer's inner world.

Women in the 1970s Clogs

Walking Tall in Clogs

While wooden-soled shoes have been worn throughout Europe and parts of Asia for centuries, it wasn't until the 1970s that clogs hit the fashion mainstream in the United States. These trendy shoes, typically made with leather upper material, wooden soles, and visible metal studs, became the go-to footwear for countless '70s style icons. The chunky platform heel added a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

BTK8R7 Peter Marshall, 1975, Millrun Playhouse Theater in the Round, Niles, Illinois.

The Iconic Leisure Suit

The leisure suit was the epitome of disco-inspired style. Consisting of a fitted jacket, bellbottom or flared pants, and a button-up shirt with the top few buttons undone, this ensemble captured the essence of the '70s party scene. The iconic white suit worn by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever elevated this style to new heights and solidified its place in fashion history.

1970s Fashion Maxi Dresses Wikimedia Commons/Koch

Embracing the Maxi Dress

In the '70s, when it came to dresses, the longer, the better. Maxi dresses were long, frequently oversized, and had a defined shape with plunging necklines, tie waists, and fitted sleeves. They gave wearers a glamorous and streamlined look. Maxi dresses were a symbol of elegance and femininity in the fashion world.

Aviator Sunglasses From the 70s {Cool 70s Style} Flickr/Dennis Harper

The Timeless Aviators

Though aviators were first created in 1936 to keep pilots' eyes safe during flight, the '70s saw these stylish sunglasses surge in popularity. Fashion icons like Elvis Presley brought this trend into the mainstream, but it was Ray-Ban's brand that flooded the market. Aviators added a touch of cool and sophistication to any outfit.

Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dress 1970s {Style Through the Years} Alamy

The Iconic Wrap Dress

A more form-fitting alternative to caftans and loose maxi dresses, the wrap dress became a staple among '70s trendsetters. Diane von Fürstenberg, the designer behind this iconic style, brought a knit jersey wrap dress to the market in 1974. Her creation led to a fashion empire worth more than $100 million by the end of the decade.

woman wearing bellbottoms {cool 1970s style} Reddit/14thCenturyHood

The Iconic Bell Bottoms

Bell bottoms are nothing short of iconic. This bold style gained an international following when husband-and-wife entertainers Sonny and Cher repeatedly wore the pants on their television show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Made from denim, bright cotton, and satin polyester, bell bottoms soon became one of the decade's must-have fashions, capturing the free-spirited essence of the 1970s.

Elton John leaves Heathrow Airport. He is going to Los Angeles for the party of Elton John Trinity Mirror/Mirrorpix/Alamy Stock Photo

The Corduroy Craze

Corduroy fabric had already been around for decades, but the 1970s saw the material become suddenly fashionable. From bell bottoms to dresses to full suits, if you were a stylish dresser in the '70s, your wardrobe was definitely full of the stuff. The soft texture and vibrant colors of corduroy made it a favorite among fashion enthusiasts of the time.

1970s fashion studded belt Wikimedia Commons/Lars Jacob

Embracing the Punk Style

As punk rock grew in popularity in the early '70s, so did the styles associated with the genre. Studded belts became a way for fashion-conscious individuals to emulate some of the subculture's styles without fully committing to a punk makeover. These belts added a rebellious and stylish touch to any outfit.

DRX8B5 Young woman modelling dress and platform shoes Britain 1972 1970s Alamy

The Glamorous Platform Shoes

In essence, platform shoes are a fashion trend that keeps coming back. The 1970s saw the introduction of knee-high, square-toed, and block-heeled boots, which were commonly known as go-go boots. These bold and trendy boots were worn by some of the world's most famous models and actresses, adding extra height and style to any outfit.

70s fashion dog collars dog tags Wikimedia Commons/Ollie Atkins

Oversized Collars: A Bold Choice

Small collars were totally square by 1970s standards. Oversized collars became a popular choice, worn by everyone from Elvis to Mick Jagger. These statement collars added flair to button-up shirts, allowing individuals to express their personality and break free from traditional fashion norms.

Sheepskin Coat Ad From the 1970s {Cool 1970s Style} Alamy

The Ubiquitous Sheepskin Coat

Sheepskin coats, also known as shearlings, were as common in the 1970s as iconic Members Only jackets were in the 1980s. These jackets, defined by their buttery exterior and fleecy interior, were available at virtually every department store. Despite their luxury status, sheepskin coats managed to become a staple of '70s fashion, offering both style and comfort.

1970s fashion halter tops Wikimedia Commons/Gene Daniels

The Timeless Halter Tops

If you weren't wearing a halter top in the 1970s, you might as well have been from another planet. Halter tops tie around the neck, giving wearers a flirtatious and free-spirited look. They were so popular that famous designers like Halston and Missoni incorporated them into their evening-wear lines, elevating the halter top to new heights of elegance.

1970s fashion black leather jackets Wikimedia Commons/Tim Schapker

The Iconic Leather Jacket

The leather jacket has been an emblem of counter-culture style for decades. In the 1970s, this staple of rebellion became customized with studs, patches, and pins, showcasing the wearer's individuality. This classic piece symbolizes the spirit of freedom and defiance that defined the era. It remains a timeless and edgy fashion choice to this day.

women wearing hot pants in 1971

The Bold Hot Pants

Hot pants, or extremely short shorts, are an iconic '70s fashion statement. Luxury designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino offered high-end versions of this daring trend. Hot pants were worn by celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, and even David Bowie. They were a bold and glamorous choice that left a lasting impression.

1970s fashion gold chains Wikimedia Commons/Southerly Clubs of Stockholm

Bold and Gold - The Jewelry Trend

When it came to 1970s jewelry, the prevailing style was big, bold, and gold. Yellow-gold jewelry made a major resurgence during the 1970s, with thick yellow-gold chains becoming a staple during this period. The trend carried over into the following decade and became a hallmark of hip-hop style.

man wearing a caftan in the 1970s Alamy

The Rebirth of Caftans

Caftans saw a major rebrand in the 1970s, moving away from their reputation as frumpy house dresses and beach cover-ups. These figure-obscuring frocks became so popular that luxury brands began making their own iterations. Fashion houses like Missoni, Halston, and Christian Dior embraced caftans, transforming them into elegant and glamorous garments.

A comfortable alternative: Thick-soled creepers Flickr/Asli Nalbant

The Revival of Creepers

Creepers were a comfortable alternative to traditional platforms, popular among punks, hippies, and mods in the 1970s. These chunky-soled shoes made a comeback in recent years, with celebrities like Rihanna creating their own lines. Creepers add a unique touch to any outfit and make a bold statement.

Head Scarf 1970s Style Wikimedia Commons/Ed Uthman

Turban Style with Headscarves

Taking inspiration from the hippie style of the '60s, headscarves were a popular accessory in the '70s. Made of polyester or silk and dyed in bright colors, headscarves were typically tied in a turban style or used as headbands. They added a touch of bohemian chic to any outfit and were a favorite among fashion-forward individuals.

1970s Jumpsuit Image via Flickr/Glen.H

The Glam of Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits, available in various fabrics like polyester, fishnet, silk, and macramé, were a must-have for any fashionista in the 1970s. They were worn by celebrities like Farrah Fawcett, Cher, and Jerry Hall. Whether on the dance floor or at clubs like Studio 54, jumpsuits became synonymous with disco style, exuding sophistication and glamour.

Go Go Boots Ad Karl's

Go-Go Boots: The Iconic Footwear

Since their debut in 1964 by designer André Courrèges, go-go boots have become a symbol of iconic '70s fashion. These knee-high, square-toed, and block-heeled boots became a staple after some of the world's most famous models and actresses were spotted wearing them. From Twiggy to Brigitte Bardot, go-go boots were the ultimate fashion statement of the era.

Embrace the 70s Fashion

The fashion trends of the 1970s were bold, groovy, and unforgettable. From tube tops and fringe leather to micro-minis and tie-dye, this era defined self-expression and individuality. It's no wonder that many of these styles have made a comeback in recent years. So, take a trip down memory lane, and embrace the iconic fashion of the groovy '70s!

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