What are the images that pop into your head as soon as someone mentions fashion from the seventies? Most of us would unanimously point out fashion trends like the bell bottoms, big hair, platform shoes, and the ridiculously tight Lycra clothing that was worn by everyone. These were just some of the big trends of fashion from the 1970s. The seventies was an interesting decade. With the hippie movement coming to an end towards the early part of the decade, fashion was still hugely inspired by the motifs and fabrics preferred by the flower children but if you trace the 1970s fashion timeline you will notice that there was a huge shift from the flowing clothes preferred earlier to the Lycra clothing that the disco revolution brought about. There are people who maintain that the 1970s was the worst time for fashion with many going to the extent of calling the decade a style disaster. While '70s' fashion may not have been for everyone, it was definitely not a catastrophe. The fashion in this decade was about experimentation with fabrics and patterns.
1970s' Trends for Clothing and Hairstyles
If there was one clothing item that defined the 70s, it was bell bottom pants. Thanks to celebrities like Farah Fawcett and John Travolta, wearing pants that flared out towards the ankles became the apparel to possess. But bell bottoms were not the only style of trousers popular in the seventies. This was also the era of high-waisted flared jeans, loon pants, and parallel jeans. If you wore jeans, the ends of the pants had to be frayed and worn out. Towards the end of the decade, there was a shift in the surge of popularity enjoyed by bell bottoms and the place of pride in the wardrobe was handed over to the cigarette pants which became the new it thing of 70s' fashion.
Another popular fashion trend of the seventies for women was wearing skirts. While in the earlier decades, the length of skirts was determined by what the lords of the fashion town prescribed, the 1970s was an age when it was all about being individualistic and therefore people wore skirts of a length that they preferred. From mini skirts to mid calf length skirts and ankle long skirts, it was all about what a person was comfortable in. The reason many people tend to thrash 1970s fashion is because of the fascination for spandex and Lycra overwhelming in the period.
1970s fashion designers also gave the fashion world an introductory lesson in bling, with shiny Lycra pants, animal prints, metallic colored clothes, all becoming hugely popular. One of the clothing items of the 1970s that is back in fashion today are jumpsuits which were very popular as Disco wear in that decade.
Men's fashion in the 1970s also underwent a huge change. While bell bottoms were popular with men as well the look was either sporty or influenced by punk fashion. Jerseys with slogans on them were preferred by most guys as were t-shirts in bright colors. Worn leather jackets were hugely popular and were usually teamed with frayed jeans. The fashion of the era also saw the resurgence of corduroy pants. Most men wore pants in shades of brown and green. There was only one style statement that you could make where shoes were concerned. Platforms! You could never go wrong with a pair of these shoes. Platform shoes for women and men were high soled and usually had a thickness of almost 2 - 4 inches. The only other variety of shoes that competed with platforms for popularity were clogs.
Hairstyle trends for both men and women dictated wearing one's hair long. The attitude of irreverence and expressiveness that reflected in their clothing also reflected in their taste in hairstyles. Long sideburns and tousled hair was popular among men. The mullet with one's hair long at the back and short at the top and the sides was one of the more popular hairstyles from the 1970s for both men and women. Afros were again popular with both genders, as was the pageboy haircut. The pompadour was one of the most classic hairstyles for men with John Travolta making it iconic. Parting your hair in the middle and lifting the hair in the front to create a wedge, resulted in a hairstyle that was first made popular by the King Elvis Presley.
For members of the fairer sex, one of the most popular hairstyles was to leave their hair loose with a middle parting. Styles like shags and fringed cuts became popular towards the latter half of the decade. Another popular hairstyle was plaits with fringes that were combined with hair left loose. Women who preferred short hairstyles opted for bobs and the wedge cut.
Hairstyles and fashion and clothing in the seventies were remarkably different from earlier decades. The fashion from then may today not be considered very fashionable but it was a decade that saw people experimenting with not only styles and patterns but also fabrics and the way they accessorized. It was an era that saw fashion becoming more adventurous and also more personally inspired.