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What Did Men Wear in the 70s?

In the 1970s, men had the opportunity to wear a wide range of fashions.

Styles changed drastically from the beginning of the decade until it ended ten years later.

Younger men were especially susceptible to changes in trends and most eagerly grasped new fads as they came into vogue.

The Early Years

In the early portion of the 1970s, much of what people wore was influenced by the styles of the 60s.

The hippies still had a stronghold on fashion, so bell bottom jeans and gauzy cotton shirts were still very much in style for the men of this era. Tie-dyed t-shirts were common as well. Accessories for this outfit included peace sign necklaces and headbands tied around the forehead.

Older men wore more conservative outfits but still with a touch of self-expression. For example, with a traditional shirt, the man-about-town may have worn an ascot (scarf) tied around his neck rather than a tie.

This could have been worn with a sweater as well. The ascots were generally of a bright color or pattern and tied loosely so that the wearer remained comfortable AND looked groovy at the same time!

For outerwear for the more conservative man, belted trench coats were quite popular. They were often paired with felt hats that had a small brim. They looked very dapper but certainly a bit undercover spy-like.

The Middle Years

In the middle portion of the 70s, plaid was all the rage in menswear. Plaid polyester pants were worn with solid color turtlenecks with very high necks, wide belts (often hand-tooled), and patent leather loafers that were decorated with buckles.

Plaid fitted blazers were quite popular as well, worn – of course – with solid color polyester pants. Patchwork or “madras” pants were also in vogue during this part of the 70s.

The Later Years

By the time the last 3 or 4 years of the 70s arrived, clothing had made a total 180 degree turn. The simple style of the hippies was replaced by the flamboyance of the disco era.

Men began wearing the brightest, loudest shirts they could find, usually made of some sort of shiny fabric. These shirts were fitted for a slimmer look, had large collars, and were almost always open at the neck.

These shirts were worn with tight-fitting pants or the newly popular disco-style 3-piece suit like the white one John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever. Later, men began to latch on to the fad known as the leisure suit.

These included casual bell bottom trousers teamed with a boxy shirt-like jacket, worn with one of the aforementioned print shirts. If your accessories included a white belt and shoes, you were especially cool!

Men also wore jumpsuits during the disco era. Jumpsuits – a one-piece garment that combined shirt and pants – were popular with rockers of the era so they caught on with the common man as well.

Most were made of shiny material, had a front zipper, and were truly not very flattering, unless the wearer was slim and trim. Nonetheless, they were seen everywhere – both inside and outside the disco.

Luckily, the fad didn’t last long and by the last few years of the decade, they had disappeared.