The 1970s were unlike any other decade. The decade brought together far-flung fashion, from tie-dye-wearing hippies to leather-clad punks to sequin-clad disco dancers. All those styles are making a comeback almost after forty years.
We've compiled a list to help you go back to the disco era and add the classic vintage aesthetics to your wardrobe.
Bell bottoms were fitted through the thigh and flared from the knee down, similar to today's flare jeans. Bell bottoms were a popular disco pant style in the 1970s. Their airy silhouette and high-rise, made of sequins, vividly coloured satin, or printed polyester, were great for dancing the night away.
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The 1970s were experimental in every way, especially when it came to fashion. Plain shirts were so dull that adding every hue of the rainbow in unique cotton candy-like swirls, dubbed tie-dye, became popular, especially among hippies worldwide. It also looked fantastic under black light.
Tight-fitting shirts with unnaturally large (and often pointed) collars were popular among men and women in the 1970s. Collars in the 1970s were rough, twice the size of conventional collars today. The more chest/neck males revealed with ridiculous collars, the better and usually christened with a medallion necklace.
Like many other 70s fashion fads, Kaftan dresses involve some cultural appropriation. While women in the Middle East and Africa have worn ankle-length dresses for millennia as traditional attire, they did not become fashionable in Western culture until the 1960s and 1970s. While some bohemian styles resembled conventional Indian and African motifs and ceremonial clothes, others had more psychedelic prints and bright hues. Kaftan dresses from the 1970s had an enormous, rectangular form, a plunging v-neck, and were made of lightweight silk, velvet, brocade, or cotton.
Though pantsuits are most commonly associated with the 1980s, they first acquired popularity in the 1960s and continued to grow in popularity into the 1970s. It was the first time a French couturier presented pants as eveningwear for women when Yves Saint Laurent launched his notorious Le Smoking look— a black fitted tuxedo with a satin side stripe—in 1961. The outfits sparked a heated controversy among fashion commentators, as wearing blazers and pantsuits by women was considered innovative at the time.
Shearling jackets were the decade's must-have outerwear style, thanks to the buttery outside and fleecy inside. An oversized fur coat like 70s supermodel Celia Hammond's sheepskin and a suede coat with a large shearling collar and sleeves could be obtained at nearly any department store. The rich suede, leather, and fur coats of the 1970s were manufactured with animal hides, predating today's realistic faux-fur and polyurethane textiles.
For the time, talk about risqué. Hot trousers were not what you'd expect from a pair of pants. These women's short shorts sparked many heated social disputes that they were dubbed "hot pants."
Unlike the stretch vinyl space boots of the 1960s, 70s over-the-knee boots were more subdued. The shoes, typically made of neutral-coloured suede or leather, had a boho vibe that went well with fluttering flowery midi skirts and crocheted complementing sets. A square toe, block heel, and platform sole were standard features.
The humble scarf symbolises the freewheeling attitude of the times better than any other accessory. Small square scarves were commonly worn as headbands, turbans, headscarves, and neckties, drawing inspiration from 1960s hippies. They looked well with maximalist maxi dresses and bold makeup and were often made of vividly printed silk or polyester.