Three Fashion Items That Defined The 1970s

Written by on November 1, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


The 70s is regarded by some as ‘the decade that taste forgot’: whilst the early 1960s brought us the sharp, clean lines made popular by the Mod and Beat movements, as the decade came to a close, flower-power and hippie chic would set the tone for how the 70s would start off;

If you had to summarise the entire decade with just three fashion items, the following articles of clothing are arguably the most iconic…

Platform Shoes

With the Avant-Garde Art-Rock and Glam-Rock movements exploding at the start of the 1970s, musical artists such as David Bowie, Roxy Music, Wizzard and T. Rex became household names across the globe: one look at the likes of Bowie in his ‘Ziggy Stardust’ gear and it would become clear that, in terms of fashion, something very ‘different’ was to be on the cards for this decade;

One fashion item which added to the outlandish appearance of glam-rockers of the day was the platform shoe: whilst high-heeled footwear had been popular for quite some time in ladies fashion, the platforms of the 70s were unisex and totally outrageous in their style;

Often featuring soles over 5 inches thick, platforms would raise anyone’s stature, which, when combined with some of the odd leotards and glimmering disco-wear of the day, would give their wearer a truly alien appearance.

Flared Trousers

Whilst earlier decades featured a wide variety of trouser styles, the fashion-world had not seen anything like the unisex creations of the 1970s: flares or bell-bottoms were typically constructed from denim or cotton and often came in vibrant, outlandish colours;

These distinctive trousers resembled nautical attire to some degree, but unlike the clothing worn by old-school sailors, the 1970s flares were designed to be tight-fitting from waist to knee, flaring out at the ankles.

Although flares remained popular into the early 80s, the emergence of punk-rock and hair-metal acts would trigger a polar-shift to skin-tight jeans in the fashion world.

Wide Collar Shirts

Who could forget how John Travolta showed us his dance-moves in the movie: ‘Saturday Night Fever’? Disco was a popular distraction for many back in the 1970s, which heavily influenced the fashion styles of the day; for all of the leotards and unusual t-shirts worn on the dance-floor, the true legends of the day would not be seen in anything less than a colourful three-piece suit, with wide, pointed collars flopping out over the lapels and shirt unbuttoned to reveal a wall of fashionable chest-hair and an optional medallion;

These days such a get-up would be brought out for Halloween parties, but back in the 1970s this would be seen as the height of fashion.

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This is a guest post.  Timothy Hurd is a disco-dancing fashion designer who crafts ironic funny t shirts and retro-inspired footwear from his Camden studio.


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