Fashion in the 1970s was a mixture of hippie styles left over from the 1960s and bohemian trends from far-flung countries. Flared pants, big collars and clothing with multi-colored prints were the main staples of most women’s wardrobes during that period. Skirt lengths were either ultra-short or very long, providing a huge variety of looks for everyday wear.


Bell-bottoms or flares were tight-fitting pants which had flared legs and got their name because they resembled a bell in shape. The flare could be small or large with so much fabric that it pleated in on itself. The most common kind of bell-bottom pants were jeans, in light or dark washes.


The kaftan was a kind of flowing robe popular among women who wanted to dress in a more bohemian manner. They were often made in bright colors with highly patterned panels and tended to have details and edges embroidered in metallic thread. They were usually floor-length, loose garments with bell-shaped sleeves. Other versions of ethnic robes included the muumuu, djellaba and jalabya.

Afghan Coat

Afghan coats were popular for both men and women and were a type of wool coat made with the skin on the outside. The skin was either left natural or dyed in a bright color. The coats tended to be long and embroidered on the front and around the hem, but the most notable design feature was that they had frayed or woollen edges at the bottom of the coat and of each sleeve. This detailing mimicked a popular Russian-influenced look which featured fur trim on coats, bags and other items.

Tank Top

A tank top is a close-fitting, knitted garment usually worn under shirts or blouses with large collars. It had either a scoop or V-neck and was sleeveless. Tank tops were either plain in design or had patterns knitted into the front and had a ribbed hem. Patterns commonly used included checks, plaid, diamonds and stripes.


The miniskirt is one article of clothing from the 1960s that was still popular in the 1970s. Miniskirts tended to be mid-thigh length and either straight or slightly tapered in design. Two variations, the micro miniskirt and ultra-short hot pants, appealed to women who wanted to be a little more daring.