What Did Women Wear In The 70s? 1970s Fashion Trends

The 1970s was a memorable decade. Civil wars, new technologies, economic issues, blockbuster films, and revolutions constituted this groovy decade. When it comes to fashion, the “Me” decade smoothly shifted from the sixties to the seventies, taking inspiration from the hippies’ movement. Loud colors and groovy patterns dominated this era.


The Hippy movement had was known to start in rejection of mainstream clothing. So, entered cheap and low-quality material which made readily available clothing a new fashion. Those styles are still considered iconic and are staying’ alive in the hearts of people. And this article goes into the details of all the possible aspects of 1970s fashion trends.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s?

The seventies is fondly remembered to have given birth to several leading fashion designer who would go on to rule the world. With those fashion designers came fashionistas, iconic dresses, and local street styles. Flared jeans, peasant tops, pearl strings, bold colors, polka dots, bohemian hats are some of the many trends that maintained their popularity throughout the seventies. Here are the seventies fashion trends, icons, moments, and the trends making a comeback.

Hippies and Bohemian 

It can be rightly said that the hippies and bohemians carried the decade of the 70s. Peasant looks, tie-dye t-shirts, vintage clothing from the 1950s worn with a careless attitude meet the staple Hippie fashion. The extravagant Native American motifs started getting identified to the common people and went on to motivate several upcoming designers. Bohemian style was prevalent Not only in clothing but also in accessories. Chokers, dog collars, handcrafted neck ornaments made from natural elements like wood, shells, stones, feathers, Indian beads, and leather constituted the accessory collection of women.

Miniskirts

As the world was saying goodbyes to the sixties decade, they embraced the mini-skirt fashion a little longer. A trend that made it mandatory for girls to have at least a pair of minis in their wardrobe, however, dissolved in the mid-seventies. It can be noted that despite its decreasing consumption, it never really got out of style and has maintained its popularity as even today you can see women wearing minis, unlike some of the other fashions of this period.

Hot Pants

A type of inexpensive yet controversial everyday wear, hotpants created a rage in the early 70s. Women shifted from skirts to shorts In the blink of an eye and defined a new type of leisurewear. Mary Quant and Mariuccia Mandelli are credited to have made hot pants famous among the elite and common masses alike. The extent of its popularity caused a song written on it. And this is a trend that didn’t lose its charm over the years and continues to be one by girls and young women today.

Flared Jeans

Another classic hippy look was the high-waisted Flared jeans. While formally introduced in the 60s, the flat or bell-bottom didn’t gain much momentum till the seventies, when they served as global domination. The singers of ABBA embraced the bell-bottoms and created that iconic look for women that was copied all around the world. A style adorned by both men and women flared jeans and their variations were highly admired throughout the seventies.

Platform Shoes

A trend started by many glam rock musicians, platform shoes were issues with a thick sole that served as a heel worn by both men and women, Platform shoes with the go-to shoes for going to clubs, parties, and obviously disco. Though it was an old-style whose first instance can record back to the 1930s, the seventies saw a sort of resurrection of this fad. And though platform shoes again me to come back in the 1990s, the amount of impact that the seventies shoes had with light up bulbs and live aquariums, Was not achieved.

 Clogs

Clogs were an important fashion element back in the day, normally paired with bell-bottoms, wooden clogs. Imported from Scandinavian countries, this footwear could be seen on every woman’s feet. Traditional meets hippie, these types of footwear give an edge to the person wearing them and make them stand out in a crowd. Celebrities like Eva-Marie Saint, Melissa Gilbert, and Jaclyn Smith found comfort in these shoes and continued to increase their popularity. Today brands like Birkenstock have taken inspiration from these clog designs.

Disco Style

The seventies saw a rise in the number of disco clubs, and all the credit goes to the John Travolta starrer Saturday night fever. Depicting the disco life of the people of that era accurately, it revived the disco style of leisure suits and glittery dresses in the late seventies. Grooving to the tunes of Bee Gees in satin disco dresses and jumpsuits defined the ultimate look of women. But it was the silky wrap-up dress that symbolized a liberal and fun-loving disco-going girl.

70s Dresses 

Jumpsuits

The Seventies was a period when jumpsuits were considered glamorous. And the wide variety of colors and fabrics made it a good alternative to miniskirts and maxi dresses. Its comfort and practicality soon made jumpsuits a favorite clothing item among women. Be it casual or formal, office or party, home or disco flared jumpsuits in bold colors was a must-have. Even today, if anybody wears a jumpsuit, they surely turn their heads and eyes.

Wrap Dresses

While maxi dresses were the go-to dresses, it was not the most popular style. Yes, you are right. It was the wrap dress that caused a stir. Diane von Fürstenberg created a new wrap dress that revolutionized fashion for women. A stylish outlook and a classy look made wrap dresses an instant hit. It also made glamourous looks a little easy to achieve, a thing that was unheard of at the time.

Midi and Maxi Dresses

A fit perfect for spring, midi and maxi dresses which were mid-calf length were the go-to dresses for every 70s woman. Extremely bright and colorful with vivid patterns including stripes, florals, paiselys, and plaids flooded markets. The maxi and midi dresses can be cited as the most influential and sought-after pieces of clothing of the seventies. Though originally a boho style, this dressing style found a place in the hearts of every young girl.

1970s Fashion Timeline

1970 – Moroccan themes dominated this year. The transition from the sixties to the seventies brought with it the leftovers of the past decades of the twentieth century. Designers like Laura Ashley and Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax popularized the prairie dress phenomenon.

1971- Yves Saint Laurent decided to break some norms and launched its 1940s revived spring collection called the The Forties” or the “Liberation” collection that were deemed to be scandalous yet changed the perspective of women in clothing.

1972- Printed leather skirts and colorful knits became a rage among the people. And with that, the era of miniskirts was saying goodbye and making the way for high-waisted flared jeans. Along with jeans, sweaters were being brought into vogue by elite designers like Halston. 

1973- People grew fond of short, blunt haircuts leading to an increased demand for hats. Accompanied by boas or feathers, hats became an essential accessory while going out. Tweeds, flannels, plaids, checks, and stripes dominated the pattern of clothes. 

1974- The people were becoming sick of the boho look and were shifting to a more elegant and sophisticated get-up. Instead of the skin-hugging and tight-fitted clothes, designers adopted a more relaxed and smarter look that at the same time provided a chic look.

1975- Italy-based Giorgio Armani found his lost love for clothes and launched his luxury brand. Also, jumpsuits were at a high in 1975 and wanted to women by everybody. Diane von Furstenberg designed the wrap dress, which would be adorned by Cybill Shepherd in Taxi Driver, 1976.

1976- Leisure suits and formal wear formed a class of their own. Simultaneously, Charlie’s Angels premiered and made all the three leads, especially Farrah Fawcett into overnight sensations. The hairstyle and the overall look of the model/actress were wanted by all. 

1977- Ralph Lauren served as the consumer designer for Diane Keaton’s role in Annie and knowingly or unknowingly created a look that would go on to define the seventies decade over the next many years. Gianni Versace also worked hard to make a comeback of glamour in an average American woman’s daily life.

1978- Textures were being experimented on a large scale, keeping view the more, the merrier slogan. Saturday Night Fever revived the disco look and flooded markets with tube tops, midriff seams, cummerbunds, glittery shirts, afro hairstyle, and loud eye-makeup dubbed as the Retro Look. 

1979- Standard American Sportswear was gaining momentum with the arrival of the eighties, and by the end of the year, the clothes transformed from what people called the seventies to what today they called the eighties. With the eccentricity at its height, people were looking forward to the eighties style of fashion.

1970s Fashion Icons

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Flickr

Farrah Fawcett

Who better could sum up the obsession with the biggest, blow-dried hair trend in the 70s other than the blonde favorite, Farrah Fawcett. The original Charlie’s Angel, Farrah Fawcett, was unarguably one of the biggest and most popular style icons of the 70s. The red one-piece bathing suits and the flared jeans became a staple of every American house, thanks to her. And even today, ladies take inspiration from her golden days. 

Bianca Jagger

While Yves Saint Laurent might have been criticized initially for the ‘Le Smoking’ pantsuit, Bianca Jagger rocked the look, making it the first preference of any girl. The IT girl of the decade, she popularized menswear among women that continue to influence designers to this date. From formal all-white suit looks to the shimmery halter dresses, Bianca has carved a niche for herself in the history of fashion.

Cher

Well, who has not heard of Cher? A global icon that created buzz first in the 60s, with her beloved songs and the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Cher also continued to become a fashion icon. While some might view her looks as bizarre, her preference for bold and over-the-top looks made her somewhat different from her contemporaries. The bedazzled two-piece dresses and the long shiny locks of hair along with loud eye makeup constituted the classic Cher look.


Liza Minnelli

Daughter of legend Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli, Liza Minnelli created a name and status for herself in the entrainment business. The musical drama Cabaret cemented her name as a fashion icon. With short blunt pixie cuts, sequin dresses, and exaggerated eyelashes became synonymous with her. She created a style of her own that was bound to be copied by millions of girls over the generations.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Getty Images

Ali MacGraw

For the Hippies and the Bohos, Ali MacGraw was their fashion guru. The concept of relaxed elegance and casual yet glamorous way of dressing was introduced to the world by her. Maxi dresses, headscarves, and bohemian jewellery made what was called the “Ali MacGraw” look. She streamlined easy routine wear in such a way that even in the 21st century designers design wardrobes taking inspiration from her personal style.

Jane Fonda

Two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda is one of the most celebrated icons of all time. And she is much more than just a brilliant and refined actor. She is also a style icon. Continuing her legacy from the sixties, Fonda retained her status as a fashionista all through the seventies. She is known to have adapted herself to the “in” look with each decade and created unforgettable looks, which girls of all ages desperately wanted to recreate.

Diana Keaton

While it may be Kathrine Hepburn who broke the norm and wore men’s pants, it was Diane Keaton who spun femininity to the next level. With the release of her film, Annie Hall, Diane Keaton became a household name and unknowingly created a new fashion wave in Hollywood. The quirky vest-and-tie outfit, corduroy pantsuits, and her ability to make a bowler hat match with almost anything. And the layering of clothes, which seems to be making a comeback in 2021, was Keaton’s style statement.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo:Flickr

Joni Mitchell

Another legendary singer who had a deep impact on the fashion timeline was Joni Mitchell. Ladies channelized her hairstyle, parting their straight blonde hair in the middle and giving a devil-may-care look. She defined the gypsy meets chic style and carried it with grace and sophistication. The high collars, peasant tops, chunky sweaters, hippy jewelry, and oversized sunglasses, all with vivid colors and bold patterns, constituted her modish look.

Olivia Newton-John

All of you, at least once in your lifetime must have either dressed up as or have seen someone as Sandy from Grease on Halloween. This iconic get up created by Olivia Newton-John has made it a fanbase of its own. However, it is not just limited to that. The late seventies saw a revival of the midi skirts, floral prints, overalls all famously wore by her. The thing different about Olivia was that she unknowingly targeted the teenage audience and became and icon for them.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Flickr

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the former first lady, created looks dubbed as having changed the world. Be it her ivory silk satin evening dresses, or her strapless gowns, or her tailored coats, she carried even the most simple outfits with elegance. Even when the White House days were behind her, Jacqueline never stopped experimenting. On the contrary, she started to adopt bolder and dauntless looks. And you can not argue with the fact that formal suit dresses were revolutionized by Jackie Kennedy.

1970s Fashion Moments

  1. Diana Ross in a loose satin slip dress with billow sleeves gives meaning to the definition of iconic. The highlight of the eyes and hoop earrings complemented the light-colored dress in a classic moment encaptured forever in the seventies. The style and dressing sense of Diana Ross only could handle such an outfit.

2. The singing group of Sheila Ferguson, Valerie Holiday, and Fayette Pinkney added a little bit of the nineties to the seventies. High-waisted flared jeans with crop tops highlighted their fashion sense was way areas of their time. All thanks to the Third Degree group for blessing our eyes with their utter elegant style.

3. Olivia Newton-John is not only famous for her transformation from good Sandy to bad Sandy. Her monochrome orange outfit with chubby furry and a matching hat made headlines during her time in London. Olivia’s innocent looks add beauty to this fashionable get-up.

4. As today there is Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, the seventies had Jean Shrimpton. And to be honest, anything she wore became iconic. However, it is the floral minidress with black Mary Jane shoes, which is our favorite look of hers. The straight her and wide eyes give yet another strong and bold look of hers.

5. The seventies gave birth to turtle neck and over-the-knee boots, and the way supermodel Laura Hutton carried them, nobody could. Wearing a stunning white turtleneck and painting it with contrasting boots made this otherwise outlandish look voguish and extremely in style. A quirky cap made the look even more cooler and appealing and defined it as a memorable fashion moment.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Flickr

Bell-bottoms

Flared jeans were the quintessential wear of the seventies. The richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, everybody loved a pair of bell-bottoms. And while a lot of styles like skinny jeans and low-waisted jeans come and go, a style that has come around is the flared design. Comfort and elegance combine to form a lovely outfit that has all the young teenagers going gaga.

Tie n Dye

The psychedelic print was a major thing back then. And it is certainly becoming now. Tie and dye have become a go-to look in American sportswear and leisurewear. The pandemic has become the reason for the return of this daring and fad style. And some may think that it is not everybody’s look, put on A tie and dye tea and throw a blazer on it, and that’ll do the work of changing your views.

Halter Tops

Halter tops were big in the day are certainly on their way to become big in 2021. While they may be in and out of trend, halter tops have been a favorite among celebrities all through the seventies. Every Cher outfit had a halter top or its form. And while people at that time might not have appreciated it that much these days, halter tops are the in thing. So, what are you waiting for? Go and get one to channelize your inner Cher.

Groovy Prints

After the loud patterns and textures of the seventies came a period when people preferred natural and earthy shades. Now the tables have turned, and people the looking back to their bold colors to make them different from others. Brands like the House of Sunny and popularize it with today’s generation. It looks like groovy patterns and textures are here to stay.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Flickr

Headscarves

If you are a fan of minimalistic fashion style, then the comeback of the seventies fad of headscarves might be perfect for you. The stylization of headscarves by each individual has been loved, admired, and embraced by the Gen Zers and welcomed with open arms. Sparkling turbans of the Studio 54 scene, headscarves, and silk articles of clothing are here to stay.

The Trouser Suit

Menswear grew surprisingly popular in the seventies and has again been welcomed in 2021 with an overwhelming response. Chequered blazers with a square cut have been accepted as a neat and easy way to look chic and elegant. Taking inspiration from icons like Diane Keaton and Bianca Jagger, young and fresh designers are recreating trouser suits.

Crochet

Back when Pam Grier rocked the crotchet look, women copied the look. And the summer knits never totally went out of style after that. Be it shirts, pants, shorts, or skirts adding a bit of crotchet gave it a funky look. And we guess the people of 2021 are attracted to that exact look. Young sensations like Olivia Rodrigo are creating commotion wearing crotchet these days.

What Did Women Wear In The 70s
Photo: Flickr

Tinted Oversized Sunglasses

Over-the-top glasses tinted in loud shades are seeking their way to make a comeback in 2021. Originally sported by celebrities like Jackie Kennedy and David Bowie, these unisex sunnies are bound to regain their lost fame. Famous personalities Bella Hadid and Jennifer Aniston have already created some buzz wearing those.

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