The ’70s were a groovy time full of hippie chicks, punk rockers and disco queens. Girls not only looked to trends to help them style their wardrobe, but to famous icons of the ’70s such as Jerry Hall, Farrah Fawcett and Ali McGraw. While some trends carried over from the ’60s, such as mini-skirts and peasant tops, there were many new styles that became fashionable during the ’70s.
Casual wear in the ’70s was all about peace, love and comfort. Mini-skirts carried over from the ’60s and continued well into the mid-’70s for women. In addition, bellbottoms were a hot fashion item that hugged the hips and were often worn with tye-dyed T-shirts or peasant-style tops. These jeans pushed wide-leg extremes and often covered the entire foot with extra room to spare. Girls would adorn the jeans with flowers, studs and embroidery and even use markers to write expressions of love and hope to each other. Women also pushed the extremes with hot pants and halter tops, or torn jeans that were bleached to vary the color with sequined bra tops and tube tops.
Girls often wore skirts when dressing up, along with a coordinating top or jacket, such as a frilly collared shirt and a satin jacket. The skirt length varied from mid-thigh in the early ’70s, to longer lengths as the decade wore on. In addition to skirts and tops, jumpsuits with belts, caftans, kimonos and muumuu’s were dressy go-to outfits. These pieces could double as casual wear; however, some fabrics were much too delicate and beautiful for casual wear only.
Swimwear was either a one-piece or two-piece ensemble and came in a large variety of necklines. Different suit designs included strapless one-pieces with horizontal stripes and a wide center belt, solid bikinis with boy short bottoms and colorful suits with a cut-out bodice design. Girls often coordinated the swimsuits with a cover-up or caftan.
Accessories highlighted the outfit to show off the trends of the ’70s. Hippie chicks often wore handmade items such as beaded belts, bracelets and necklaces made with intricate design patterns. Necklaces with large peace signs and surfers crosses were worn around the neck on heavy chains. Fashion-forward girls wore large, wide-brim hats and oversized sunglasses. Other accessories included gloves, especially for momentous occasions, and handbags that ranged in size from small to large. Girls did not often wear earrings, especially if they were still in school.
Platform sandals were the ideal shoe choice for both casual and dressy wear. Platform shoes are shoes that raise the wearer off the ground 2 to 4 inches, while still providing support to the foot and ankle because of the wide base. The platform was often seen in wild prints, glittery exteriors and sometimes transparent. Knee-high go-go boots were also the rage during the ’70s, especially paired with a mini skirt. The boot was made of both synthetic and natural materials and often seen in discos. Women also wore flat, gladiator-type sandals, leather clogs and earth shoes, which had a thick sole shoe with a thin heel and contained a large front buckle.
References and ResourcesFashion Era; The 70s Disco Fashion; Pauline Weston Thomas
Fashion Era; 1970s Punk Fashion History Development; Pauline Weston Thomas
Baby Boomer Headquarters: Fashion in the '60s and '70s
Resources"W"; Remodeling the '70s; March 2011
Classic '70s: '70s Fads