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Clothes of the 1970s

The clothes of the 1970s have been described in a lot of different ways.

Those who don’t really appreciate the 70s find them loud and distasteful while others who lived joyously through that fun decade look back at the fashion of the 70s with many fond memories.

The clothing of the 70s varied greatly from the beginning of the decade until its end.

Clothing at the beginning of the 70s was not all that different from what was worn in the hippie era of the late 1960s. During the first few years of the 1970s, casual, loose-fitting clothing was popular.

70s Jeans became the norm for just about anyone under 40 and these were usually paired with peasant tops or flowy caftan-style shirts. Indian prints were popular as were paisleys and other “loud” fabrics. Tie dyed tee-shirts were still common as well.

For women, hot pants came into vogue about 1971 and remained a trend for several years. These shorter-than-short women’s shorts left little to the imagination.

The early part of the decade was also the era of hip-hugger jeans, worn by women along with midriff (crop) tops, often in a halter style.

Of course, the early and mid 70s were also the era for bell-bottom jeans and trousers. These were generally tight around the hips and thighs and then flared out after reaching the knee.

They raged from a little wide at the bottom to extremely wide (the latter were called elephant bells). Bell bottoms were often adorned with studs, embroidery, or patches, and wearers who thought their bells weren’t wide enough would split the seams and add a wedge of patterned fabric to each side to make them wider.

As the decade progressed, new clothes of the 1970s came on the scene. Platform shoes arrived and were available in a huge variety of styles, ranging from fairly conservative to very funky.

Front platforms ranged from about 1 to 4 inches with the back heels being as high as 5-6 inches. The dressy ones were made of patent leather for lots of shine. There were also many casual styles including platform sandals.

When 70s disco was king, fashion took a whole new turn. Men wore three-piece suits with long-collared shirts in a variety of vibrant fabrics. Pants were as tight as could be!

Both men and women who frequented the disco might have also been found wearing a 70s jumpsuit, a one-piece garment that usually sported a belt around the waist. Fabrics were shiny and the legs were generally flared.

For the women, sleeves were usually flared as well or the jumpsuit was designed in sleeveless halter style. In addition, women also wore mini dresses to the disco, usually in a wild print or shiny fabric with flared sleeves.

In the latest part of the decade, men took to wearing leisure suits. This was a two-piece suit with regular pants and a casual, boxy jacket that buttoned all the way up the front.

They often came in such nifty colors as powder blue, light pink, and mint green but you could find black, brown, or even plaid as well. Solid color leisure suits demanded you pair them with a brightly-colored flowered shirts. White shoes were the norm with this nifty outfit.

In the late 70s, women were wearing tube tops (sometimes called bandeaus), and bell bottom jeans were being traded in for stone-washed denim straight leg jeans.

Sundresses in floral prints were popular with the ladies as well, often paired with Dr. Scholls’ shoes, a wooden sandal with a strip of leather across the front.