Women of the 70s had a lot of options as far as 70s fashion was concerned.
The 60s had ushered in a new era of freedom. Women were no longer limited to wearing “house dresses” around the home or pretty little skirts and blouses to the office.
Suddenly, wearing pants was okay and many women embraced this new found freedom to dress much more comfortably.
Still, dresses had their place and many 70s women enjoyed wearing them, especially when it was time to dress up for a special occasion.70s Mini Dresses
At the beginning of the decade, the mini dresses that were made popular by models like the famous Twiggy were still found in the closet of every fashionable young woman….and some middle-agers as well.
These mini dresses were generally A-line in style and were cut in a straight line. Often, they were done in geometric patterns or some other bright colored print. They may have been sleeveless or long sleeve.
Mini dresses actually prevailed during a good portion of the 70s. They were just as popular during the disco era as they were during the hippie years. The style changed a little bit at that point.
Most mini dresses at the end of the decade flared at the bottom and often had a long sleeve that also flared at the wrist. Bright patterns were still popular and silky or jersey fabric was most often used.
Midi and 70s Maxi Dresses
Towards the middle of the decade, the fashion industry decided to introduce a few new lengths. Many say it was because the industry was at a standstill since women had been wearing mini skirts for such a long time.
So, enter the midi and maxi skirt or dress. These dresses provided women with two more length options. The maxi went all the way down to the floor while the midi landed about mid-calf, between the knee and the ankle.
Many women detested the midi skirt, mostly because they had a closet full of minis that would have been rendered obsolete had the midi trend arrived and stayed on the scene for a while.
However, some women – especially those whose legs may not have been all that spectacular – thought the midi was a good idea and, technically, midi skirts are still around - though we don’t call them that any longer - and are a favorite of middle age and older women who prefer not to show off their legs.
The maxi, on the other hand, wasn’t as openly detested. Maxis seemed appropriate for dressier occasions and were embraced for that reason. Women could even buy maxi coats to wear over those 70s dresses.
The peasant dress was sort of a nod to countrified fashion. One of the most well-known makers of the peasant dress was designer Laura Ashley. Available in a wide variety of lengths, the peasant dress was usually fashioned of cotton in a very subtle, small floral print.
The skirt portion generally was tiered and had some ruffles on the bottom or at the spot where the tiers came together. The bodice was usually ruffled in some way as well, and was often laced in the front.
Sleeves were almost always puffy and cinched with elastic. Peasant dresses were a trend that lasted for 2 or 3 years and it wasn’t unusual to see them worn for formal wear as well as casual wear. As a matter of fact, many 70s girls wore a peasant dress to the prom.