Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion (everything you need to know)

Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion (everything you need to know)


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion (everything you need to know) – So you are interested and want to understand the fashion trends of the 70s? The most important thing is to start our introduction to the society and the events of the 70s. To understand why the clothes that were in fashion at the time were in fashion, it is important to know the background of the society.


In this article, we look beyond the key trends of the era to the social context. We look at what events happened in the background that influenced the way people dressed.

We also look at the most important films of the 70s. If you read this article, you will know it by the end:

  • The most important events of the 1970s
  • The most famous fashion designers associated with the 70s
  • The most important styles of women’s clothing in the 70s
  • The most important styles of men’s clothing in the 70s
  • The most important films associated with the 70s



What were the dominant schools of thought? For example, the 1970s saw the first female prime minister in the UK. And the film about it, stars the wonderful Maryl Streep. To understand fashion in a particular era, you need to understand what was happening in that era.

The 1970s saw major changes in world history. We usually think of this decade as a change in world history. Most notably, it was marked by the economic upheaval that followed the post-war economic boom in the United States.


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It was also a decade of frequent coups, civil wars and internal political conflicts around the world. The social movements that had begun in the 1960s in the previous decade continued and grew in the 1970s.

One such social progressive value was the political consciousness of women that led to the victory of Margaret Thatcher in the UK in 1979. She was the first female British Prime Minister. The film The Iron Lady tells the story of her life, her political career and her election.

The 1970s saw great technological and scientific advances.

At the beginning of the decade, the microprocessor appeared and changed the world on a huge scale. The decade saw a profound transformation of computing. Previously, computers were housed in huge machine rooms that only large corporations could afford. The microprocessor started a very significant process that led to the emergence of the personal computer. This is what later brought computers into people’s homes.

Concorde made the world’s first commercial supersonic passenger jet flight. The rapid pace of social change had a profound impact on people. The role of women in industrial society changed. The exponential growth of anti-war protests, the Kent State shootings in 1970.

Environmental issues came to the fore. Countercultural movements often broke social taboos. In the Western world, the dissolution of marriage, extramarital sex and homosexuality were increasingly accepted.

Nudity in films and television was increasingly accepted. In the area of civil rights, social groups began to define themselves more in terms of their differences. The election of Harvey Milk was a huge step forward for the gay movement. Celebrities such as Freddie Mercury and Andy Warhol came out openly as gay.

The Godfather, Rocky, Annie Hall and Kramer vs. Kramer all won Oscars during the decade. The highest grossing films include Star Wars, Jaws, Grease and Saturday Night Fever. In the UK, Doctor Who has peaked. In the 1970s, literature returned to classic, old-fashioned storytelling with Erich Segal’s novel Love Story, which was made into a film. Books about Nixon and the Watergate scandal topped the best-selling list.

Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

Years in the 70s fashion trends


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion | 1970 in the 70s fashion trends

1970 is a really special year for IT fans, as Unix time starts on 1 January. The Pintsuit from Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 1970 collection is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 1984 exhibition.  Secondly in 1970, fashion designers were making women’s skirts that reached from the knee to the ankle. This is called a midi skirt. Finally fashion designer Bill Blass is inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion | 1971 in the 70s fashion trends

On 4 February 1971, the Nadaq stock exchange is founded in New York. And on February 5, Apollo orbits 14 moons. And on June 13, the New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers.

So at the Coty American Fashion Awards, Halston receives the Women’s Wear Award, named the best evening wear designer in American society. And this year, a standoff develops. So fashion designers were making something different from what people wanted to wear.

A new trend of wearing Chinese evening dresses among the wealthy emerged. Yves Saint Laurent recreated the trends of the 1940s in his Paris collection. Ad this did not go down well with the critics, but the collection was embraced. Coco Chanel died at the age of 87. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel remains one of the greatest fashion designers of our time. The fashion industry was saddened this year.


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion | 1972 in the 70s fashion trends

On January 9, the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth is destroyed by fire in Hong Kong harbor. And on 2 March, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft is launched to become the first man-made spacecraft to leave the solar system. And on 15 March, the film The Godfather is shown at Loew’s State Theatre in New York.

First of all Kansai Yamamoto is making David Bowie’s costumes for his tour. So fashion is relaxed. The mood for sportswear has moved to day and evening wear for women. Designers say the busy modern woman wants to be relaxed and alsace. Halston’s clothes were worn by Liza Minelli.

They were cashmere sweaters, cardigans, versions of American classic elegance. Experts said that New York, not Paris, was now the fashion capital of the world. Jeans are a stylish garment for both men and women. Knitted hats have been replaced by round cloche hats. Wild coloured shoes have become popular in men’s fashion. These are shiny, thick platform shoes.


1973 in the 70s fashion trends


In this year, knitted sweaters and sweater dresses were a fashion trend on both sides of the ocean. Firstly flannels were popular and women’s fashion got a new twist in hair styles, with shorter hair with bangs. Secondly shorter hair encouraged the wearing of hats. Finally Oscar De La Renta was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.

1974 in the 1970s fashion trends


First of all in this year, the silhouette envisioned by fashion designers differed significantly from the expectations of The Big Look. T-shirts were emblazoned with slogans and became the most fashionable fashion item. Halston and Geoffrey Beene were elected to the Coty Hall of Fame.


1975 in the 1970s fashion trends

On March 4, II. Elizabeth knights Charlie Chaplin. And Giorgio Armani founds his own company this year. And Calvin Klein jackets and Yves Saint Laurent tube dresses were in high demand. This year, layering, double blouses, double sweaters showed a rich appearance. So Jeans and T-shirts were threatened by a workwear craze, but in the end they remained of America’s favorite clothing. The jumpsuit is a huge success among the popular pieces of women’s fashion.

1976 in the 1970s fashion trends

On March 22, Star Wars will begin shooting in Tunisia. And on April 1, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple in California. Finally Charlie’s Angels starts on American television, whose female protagonists significantly influence the hairstyle fashion trend of American women. Fashion is divided. The Parisian peasant style with cloaks, turbans, rich fabrics and delicious colors. The other is the American look, which dissolves everyday wear in the style of classic sportswear.


1977 in the 1970s fashion trends

On January 20, Jimmy Carter is sworn in as the 39th President of the United States of America. The first democratic elections after the Franco dictatorship will be held in Spain on June 15. And on September 28, the Porsche 928 will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. And in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Ralph Lauren makes Diana Keaton’s clothes. Many fashion trends emerge from this work, such as linen trousers, crisp white shirts and women’s ties. Gianni Versace and Giorgio Armani bring glamor and attention back to Italy.


1978 in the 1970s fashion trends

On June 25, the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement will fly for the first time at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. And Perry Ellis presents his own collection, which becomes successful and influences American fashion. We can thank him for loose-fitting sports clothes and oversized sweaters. Halfway through the year, there was a huge turn in fashion. Loose, flowing silhouettes were suddenly replaced by broad shoulders. The female figure suddenly took on the shape of an upside down triangle. The shoulder pads rose from nowhere. In Italy, Armani and Versace showed militaristic leather dresses with bold shoulders on the runways.


1979 in the 1970s fashion trends

On May 31, Israel wins the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Hallelujah performed by Milk and Honey. And on May 3, Margaret Thatcher is elected as the country’s first female Prime Minister in the general election of the United Kingdom. Finally by the end of the decade, people had grown tired and returned to business attire. An unprecedented number of women were present on the labor market this year. The most successful designers saw the opportunity in this. Finally men considered Armani to be the best designer to try bold new colors never seen before in men’s fashion.


Oscar De La Renta Spring 1979 Fashion Show.


Subcultures that were in the 70s



In the 1970s, it was all about expressing the desire for freedom. The fashion of the time reflected this thinking. The focus was on creating individuality and the individual. At the beginning of the decade, fashion was completely merged with the hippie cult.

Rebelling against all traditional norms, the style of the movement was characterised by bright colours and unusual patterns. Batik-embroidered garments were common. Long and thicker scarves were also a feature of this era. Shorts were also in fashion for men. Tight-fitting overalls were an essential part of the disco attire of the time.

Peacock revolution

In the early 1960s, men in London changed men’s fashion and their style of appearance. As the economy boomed, the young men took well-paid jobs or started their own businesses.


The punk subculture includes diverse and widely known forms of ideology, fashion, visual arts, dance, literature and film. Typically characterised by anti-establishment views, the promotion of individual freedom is a hallmark of the punk subculture. Punk fashion includes brightly coloured hair and spiky mohawks. Cosmetics, tattoos, jewellery. In the hardcore section, women typically wear masculine clothes.


Cholo is a Latino subculture. It originated in Los Angeles. Their dress, behaviour and a particular world view are associated with it. The veto and Vato loco are other terms used to describe male members of the subculture. Popular identity of the 1960s and 1970s. Originally used to refer to people of a lower social and economic class. It appeared in the late 17th century as a term used by Spanish colonialists.

Heavy metal

Heavy metal fans created their own subculture. Apart from the musical style, they grew their hair long and often wear jackets and vests made of denim or leather. Decorated with stripes and studs.

Associated with alcohol, tobacco and drug use, as well as motorcycling and lots of tattoos. There are songs that celebrate drinking, smoking and drug use, gambling, tattooing and partying. There are also many songs that talk about the dangers of all of these.

Teddy Boy

The Teddy Boy subculture flourished from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. It was mostly a British youth subculture with members interested in rock and roll and R&B music.

Members of this subculture reintroduced dandy dress to Britain after the Second World War. Savile Row is a street in central London, best known for its traditional, tailored men’s wear, built between 1731 and 1735. Tailors began working in the area in the late 18th century.


The Mod subculture started in London. Mod spread all over the island and to other countries. It influenced fashion and fashion trends. It continues today on a smaller scale. Music and fashion are important elements, like all subcultures.

Its roots date back to the 1950s. Stylish young men in London who listened to modern jazz and were called modernists. Scooters are also an important element of this subculture.



The greatest fashion designers associated with the 70s


Roy Halston was an iconic fashion designer of the 1970s. His sexy yet elegant clothes became a staple of American dressing and disco fashion. Halston began his career as a hatter. His hat designs were fantastic. He incorporated all kinds of jewellery, flowers and fringe into his hat designs.

Roy Halston Frowick (1932-1990) was an American fashion designer who rose to international fame in the 1970s. With his minimalist, clean designs, he burst onto the scene in the mid-1970s as a completely new phenomenon that redefined American fashion.

He began his career as a milliner in the early 1960s. He created innovative accessories. In 1968, she created her first womenswear collection. The new collection was an immediate success. Her elegant clothes emphasised femininity. Her designs were worn by Liza Minelli and other celebrities.

He was famous for creating a relaxed, urban lifestyle for American women. He was often photographed at Studio 54 with friends such as Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger, Joe Eula and Andy Warhol.

In the 1950s, she was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. He started a hat-making business. He designed and made hats for women. In 1957 he opened his own shop. He became manager of the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in New York. He became famous when he designed the pillbox hat worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at the 1961 inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. In the 1960s, he opened a boutique on Madison Avenue.

In 1966, he began designing a collection of women’s clothing. He was the first fashion designer in the world to license herself as a brand. His influence extended beyond fashion and style, transforming the fashion industry. Through an agreement with JC Penny, women of all income levels had access to her designs.

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent was founded in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Perre Bergé. They became famous for their modern yet timeless products. Their famous products include luxury handbags and shoes. The padded shoulders of the 80s were introduced by Yves Saint Laurent, which became a fashion trend all over the world and is one of the important and distinctive trends of the 80s fashion.

His name is associated with several world trends. Initially, the Beat Generation literary movement popularised the beatnik look in the 60s and 70s. To democratise fashion, we owe ready-to-wear to him. He is remembered as one of the most important fashion designers of the twentieth century.

He helped women gain confidence in dressing. His aesthetic made his creations both elegant and comfortable. He was known for his non-European references. It has been written of him, “The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent is credited with both inspiring the rise of couture from the ashes of the 1960s and for finally making it ready-to-wear.


The greatest films associated with the 70s

In 1976, the film The President’s Men was released. The film follows a series of events known as the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He was succeeded in the presidency by President Gerald Ford.

This makes Richard Nixon the first President in the history of the United States to resign. What are the events that led to this?

In 1972, five people were caught red-handed in the Watergate office building in Washington as they were installing listening devices in the office of the Democratic Party chairman. The Washington Post reported the incident in a small news item.

All the President’s Men and The Post

In 1976, Alan J. Pakula directed a film about the recent events, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.

In 2017, The Post, directed by Steven Spielgerg, was released as a prequel to All the President’s Men. It starred Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Meryl Streep stars as Katharine Graham, owner of the Washington Post. The film is based on the true story of the publication of the Pentagon Papers.


Both films are a great background study if you want to learn about the American history of the first half of the 1970s and the costumes in the films also bring the fashions of the time to life.
Hair, made in 1979, is a film about the hippie counterculture, which was vehemently opposed to the Vietnam War. The film was based on the 1968 Broadway musical and directed by Milos Forman. The film depicts the Peace Movement, which is strongly linked to the hippie movement.

The world wars and the Great Depression created a beat generation that refused to conform to mainstream standards. This led to the emergence of the hippies and the counterculture.
The hippie look created its own fashion and became the dominant trend of the first half of the 1970s, returning to the mainstream on several occasions. In order to understand the 1970s in depth, it is essential to have a good understanding of the film Hair and its music.



The musical romantic comedy Grease, starring Olivia Newwon-John and John Travolta, was released in 1978. The film was based on the 1971 musical of the same name. The film was a success, both critically and commercially. It became the highest-grossing musical film ever made.

Sandy and Dany’s summer romance and attraction to each other was selected by the US Library of Congress in 2020 as a film of cultural, historical or aesthetic significance for inclusion in the National Film Registry.

Released in the late 70’s, the film is a true love story, in which we can discover the atmosphere of those years and observe the characters’ clothing as part of a stylish young dressing. And the music, as a music of youth, summer, and love, is a really good experience.

Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

Fashion in the 1970s was influenced by popular music bands and the clothes seen in Hollywood films. Prints from India and other parts of the world were in fashion. But the major fashion trend of the decade was still influenced by the hippie movement. Glam rock style started by David Bowie is another major fashion influencing subculture.

With overproduction flooding the market with cheap and synthetic pieces, Vogue magazine declared at the beginning of the decade “There are no rules in the fashion game now”. Greater efficiency, higher standards and uniformity have brought improvements in production.


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

70s fashion | Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

70s fashion women’s


Hippie Fashion

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | hippie fashion

Firstly with the hippie look of the 1960s, the 70s began. Tie dye shirts were a popular piece of the early 70s women look. Mexican peasant blouses and folk embroidery blouses and capes were also popular.

Secondly worn jeans and midi skirts were part of the hippie dress down. Ankle-length maxi dresses were also fashionable at this time. Clothing used extremely bright colours. These were dressed richly decorated with Indian patterns and floral designs.

Finally the usual jewellery was replaced by accessories made of wood, shells, stones, feathers and Indian beads. Unisex hippy accessories were the headband. Sandals were worn as footwear. A return to nature meant that they often went barefoot. Birkenstocks and overshoes were popular footwear.

Movie Star

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | glamour

The iconic style of the 70’s was the hippy look, there were many women who didn’t embrace this. They were lovers of 1940s-inspired glamour. They followed the glamour of the movie stars in their dressing.

And some embraced simpler fashion trends. They combined second-hand, vintage clothes from the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s with new clothes. Fascinating fashion accessories included pearl earrings and necklaces and cloche hats. Rhinestone clips started to become popular again from 1973 onwards.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | t-shirt

So the year 1974 was a very big turning point in women’s dressing. From this year on, the T-shirt was no longer considered lingerie. Elaborate patterns and slogans adorned the T-shirts. In the early 1970s, loose-fitting shirts were replaced by fitted tops.

By the middle of the decade, the hippie look had disappeared and women were wearing sweaters, T-shirts, cardigans and kimonos. In 1976 the Parisian fashion trend of the peasant look arrived. The capes, turbans and puffy skirts and billing sleeved shirts were to be understood.

In the middle of the decade, a minimalist approach to wearing the fashion accessories prevailed. Finally simply no accessories were worn. Unobtrusive necklaces and small leather shoulder bags were part of the look. An exception was the mood ring, a very big trend in the mid-70s.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | jumpsuit

So American women’s wear became clean-cut. Accordingly, this trend became increasingly popular from the middle of the decade. The jumpsuit was the most popular garment. Therefore sportswear was dominated by tracksuits, tunic shirts and crop tops, which reached their heyday in the 1980s. As a result tennis headbands were among the most popular accessories.

Business women

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | business women

So feminised business suits, fitted blouses and jackets were the dominant styles when women were forced to work in droves in the mid-70s. The rise in divorce rates and the fall in the marriage rate demanded the modern woman’s look and it showed in her dressing.

Women’s formal dress became more personalised and edgy. Women wore two blouses or more sweaters. Layering came into fashion and pastel colours became popular in the middle of the decade.

High heels and boots became popular. Ankle boots, platform boots and cowboy boots became popular. Finally Yves Saint Laurent’s A/W Haute Couture Opium Collection was heavily inspired by Chinese culture and history.

Disco dress

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | disco dress

So a new fashion trend emerged in the second half of the 70s. Granting the disco music genre created its own fashion trend. Therefore, young people gathered in nightclubs and dressed up in new disco clothes. Then the disco dress shone and showed off the body.

In consequence, women dressed in wrap dresses, which were knee-length dresses. Accordingly, it became extremely popular as it could be worn in the office and on the dance floor in the evening. Thus, it was halter neck shirts, shirts spandex trousers and maxi skirts were also emblematic of the women’s disco scene.

Then Knee-high boots were common and shoes with thick heels and overlaying plastic were popular.

Big Look

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | big look

Then Kenzo Takada and Karl Lagerfeld, Geoffrey Beene and Yves Saint Laurent created a new fashion trend that became a leading trend of the mid-70s. So the Big Look relied on loose, oversized shapes. Hence comfortable fabrics made from natural fibres, a neutral colour palette with small floral embellishments.

Thus Big Look’s thin fabrics revealed the body in certain sizes. For this reason it was comfortable and light, something that suited women’s lives. Therefore, The Big Look reflected the strong feminist influence in society at the time. For this reason it dominated high fashion and influenced people’s tastes. And the shift towards natural materials and comfort seemed to be widespread in society.

Relaxed look

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | relaxed look

Unbuttoned shirts, rolled up sleeves and strapless tops became lace and sheer. They were made of shiny satin in the second half of the 1970s. By the end of the decade, leisurewear and tracksuits with tight shirts became a trend in women’s fashion.

Scarves, gold jewellery and ankle boots were among the popular accessories. Colours faded by the end of the decade. The high demand for boots also faded. As a feature of the era, liberal women in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran began to wear short skirts and hippie dresses with a wax pattern. This dressing trend was changed by military dictatorships.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | swimsuits

The one-piece swimsuit started the maillot trend. It was popularised by American actress, Farrah Faucet. The decade saw the revival of a sexy, tight swimsuit. It was styled with a plunging neckline. Young women and girls wore it instead of a bikini. This trend continued into the next decade.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | pantsuit

So, among the business wear pieces in women’s fashion, the pantsuit became a trendy wear among female executives. So Yves Saint Laurent’s silk lapel piece “Le smoking” popularised this wear. As a result the purpose of the silk was to allow the fumes from cigarettes to slide off the dress, thus keeping the garment clean.

On the condition, according to Business Insider, wearing trousers is more political than fashion. So, according to them, Yves Saint Laurent was saying that wearing trouser dresses is disrespectful and daring.

For this reason, women entering the workforce were looking for new symbols that expressed that they were as serious as men. Hence, in fashion, this manifested itself by copying suits. Granting the film Annie Hall depicted a woman who wore men’s clothes every day. This film influenced fashion during its success.

Designer Jeans

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | designer jeans

Launched in 1978, this piece became instantly popular. Fashion designers Calvin Klein, Floia Vanderbilt and Fiorucci promoted the dark blue jeans. In the United States in 1978, they were often worn with Candie shoes. In order to emphasise the shoes, the hems of the jeans trousers were rolled up to the ankles.

Baggies or Baggy Jeans were a popular style jeans. They had a high waist and the tight fit was replaced by a baggy cut to make the jeans less uncomfortable to wear in the summer. They were paired with sweaters.

Shoulder Pads

70s fashion | 70s fashion for women | shoulder pads

In the autumn of 1978 the silhouette for women became an inverted triangle. The appearance of the shoulder pads was later said to be part of an experimental attempt by women to assert their power image. But the big-shoulder look did not originate on the street. It appeared exclusively on the desks of designers.

Initially, it was difficult to make it accessible to the general public. However, Perry Ellis, Norma Karmali, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani made it more attractive and comfortable to wear. The three-foot wide haute couture shoulder pads shown on the catwalks were made into reasonably proportioned shoulder pads. This has been well received.

Shoulder pads remained in use for the next decade. They were among the biggest trends of the 1980s. They were ubiquitous. Political leaders, television actors and the cast of the TV series Dynasty wore them. In 1978 and 1979 they were still considered strange, but accepted as the new look.


Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

70s fashion men

Peacock revolution

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | Peacock revolution

The Swinging Sixties was a youth-led cultural revolution in the UK in the late 1960s. The emphasis was on modernity and fun hedonism. The cultural revolution was reflected in art, music and fashion.

Key elements were the Beatles, Mary Quant’s miniskirts, fashion model Twiggy and immigrant neighbourhoods such as London’s King’s Road. His political activism focused on the anti-nuclear movement and sexual liberation. England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup inspired optimism and the symbol of the movement became the British flag, the Union Jack. Popular fashion trends included miniskirts, long straight hair and wide-open eyes. These characteristics defined the way women looked in the western world.

In men’s fashion, the colourful nature of men’s clothing is why this era was called the Peacock Revolution. The typical casual wear was the Nehruvian coat according to the men’s fashion of the 70s.

Bright colours

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | bright colours

In men’s fashion, the hippie look and bell-bottoms meant jeans and dress shirts. And bright colours were used in dyeing. The most popular men’s accessories included homemade necklaces and bracelets. These were made from natural materials.

Glam rock

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | glam rock

In the middle of the decade, glam rock became popular among young British people. Embroidered western shirts, velvet sports coats and Nehru jackets became a distinctive part of the dress code.

In America, casual dressing consisted of jeans, sweaters and T-shirts. These were decorated with intricate patterns. By 1975 flannels had also become popular.

The Nehru

In the 1970s, the Nehru jacket was a signature piece of men’s fashion. It was a jacket with a mandarin collar reaching down to the hips. The front was modelled on the Indian Akkan. It was popular in the 1970s due to the growing awareness of the emerging classes and other cultures.

Informal attire

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | informal attire

In the middle of the decade, men’s fashion in America was informal and casual. Jeans and sweaters or T-shirts were worn by most men. T-shirts were decorated with intricate patterns. Vintage clothing, leather jackets and jeans became popular with younger men.

In 1975, American suits looked very much like slimmer European suits. They were called Erupian suits. They had padded shoulders. It became fashionable for velvet tuxedo jackets to be worn by men with more casual trousers at formal events.

High Fashion

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | high fashion

The Big Look extended to menswear, with Giorgio Armani at the forefront. In 1976 he followed the women’s dress code and removed the lining and padding from men’s jackets, suits and trousers. He made them more natural and tailored. The soft look with rolled-up sleeves and turned-up collars became a trend in the 1980s.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | sportswear

By the end of the decade, sportswear had become the dominant trend in everyday wear for both men and women. Tracksuits overalls and terry shirts appeared. By the late 1970s, sportswear was being worn as part of everyday wear in both men’s and women’s fashion. It manifested itself in tracksuits and shirts in terry or terry fabrics. Accessories included shell necklaces and bracelets and tennis headbands.

Disco style

70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | disco style

From 1977 onwards, menswear was heavily influenced by the disco style. Three-piece suits in different colours started to be worn. Powder blue, beige and white were the dominant colours. Men’s disco dressing followed the style worn by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

From 1978 onwards, designers accepted the incorporation of large shoulder pads in men’s suits, in the same way that they debuted on the catwalk in womenswear. Avant-garde designers such as Thierry Mugler created casual, retro-futuristic large shoulder pieces. Giorgio Armani, the most influential designer of the era, was quick to broaden the shoulders.


70s fashion | 70s fashion for men | high-soulder

By the end of the decade, men’s dressing was once again following women’s fashion and by 1979 the new high-shoulder look took over. Women’s shoulder pads appeared on the shirts, while men’s fashion featured shoulder pads on jackets. Thierry Mugler used high shoulders in his futuristic creations. The most influential men’s designer of the time, Georgio Armani, widened his pieces. In 1979, they were not yet common, except among avant-garde dressers.

Ultimate Guide to 70s fashion

70s fashion hair

As a carry-over from the late 1960s, women and teenage girls wore their hair long, with a centre or side parting. In the middle of the decade, wavy and layered bangs came into fashion.

This look was made extremely popular in large part of the cast of the television series Charlie’s Angels. The hairstyle did not take much time to create a woman. The Afro hairstyle and feathered hair were the typical fashion trend in hairstyles.

In 1977, a new fashion trend appeared, started by punk singer Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie. Shoulder-length platinum blonde hair worn in a long fringe.

70s fashion hairstyles

The men’s hair trend in the 1970s was the Ducktail and Pompadour hairstyle, carried over from the 1960s.

The Pompadour men’s hairstyle trend at the time was called the Elvis Presley hairstyle. It was popular among young Italian-American and Mexican-American men in big cities like New York. Large amounts of gel or Brylcreem were used to keep the hairstyle in shape.

Mod hairstyles and buzz cuts became popular in the middle of the decade. Finally the crew cut came into fashion at the end of the decade. Done for a sporty look, facial hair went out of fashion.

70s fashion makeup

So the controversial role of the modern woman was reflected in make-up and cosmetics in the 1970s. Make-up was chosen situationally rather than in response to monolithic trends. Two visions prevailed. The daytime, natural look, presented in the pages of Cosmopolitan fashion magazine. And evening glamour, promoted by European designers and fashion photographers. In addition to the mainstream, glam was also influential on make-up and cosmetics trends throughout the decade.



The 1970s saw major social changes. It was the decade when the role of women in society changed significantly. A very large number of women entered the labour market and took on leadership roles.

The film Saturday Night Fever also shows how women building a career changed everyday life. This change in role has also affected dress and fashion. So in the 1970s, women wanted to prove that they were as capable as men of leadership.

The first female prime minister was elected in the UK at the end of the decade. In addition to the women’s equality movement, other social groups also continued the movements that had started in the 1960s. Counter-cultures played an important role during the 1970s. Countercultures also had an impact on fashion.


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Protests against the Vietnam War triggered major social movements. The hippie movement was the most important, and was dominant in the first half of the 1970s. The hippie movement developed its own look and had a major influence on the following decades. On several occasions, hippie fashion returned and became a fashion trend.

The most important innovation of the second half of the 1970s was the disco style. Disco music and disco soundtracks were revived and spread and this gave rise to its own style of dressing. Disco dresses were introduced into women’s fashion and men’s fashion, giving the wearer a unique look.

As mentioned above, a major event took place at the end of the decade. The emergence of shoulder pads. This continued throughout the following 80s and became a characteristic and emblematic piece of the whole decade. The trend for women’s broad shoulders was followed by the trend for men’s broad shoulders.



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