Everyone knows that the 1970’s is fashion’s most loved decade and it’s easy to see why. Without its loud rejection of anarchy and love of free-spirited liberalism, 1970’s fashion reflected the changing political landscape and its emphasis on ‘peace and love’. Naturally social, economical and political circumstances often dictate the trends of decades past and the 70’s saw a blossoming love for flares, loose fabrics and mass produced suede and leather and even vegan friendly alternatives. Many were becoming conscious about what they wore and its effects on animal welfare and well being so sought to mass produce vegan materials like ‘faux leather’ and ‘faux suede’ as well as making previously expensive fabrics like ‘suedette’ become more affordable for the general population. What had begun as a movement in the 60’s emerged as a full fledged revolution in the 70’s and for many 70’s became synonymous with a new image of ‘fashion consciousness’. And what was this image? It was an image that was caught in the cusp of two worlds; the early 70’s had a distinct ethnic flavour that had become so popular in the 1960’s drawing inspiration from Hungarian folklore and Native American Patterns. The mid 70’s was decidedly casual with kimono’s, poncho’s and active wear seen as the height of fashion. By the late 70’s the tight or a-line silhouette of the early 70’s/ late 60’s had been replaced with a baggy, bell bottomed trousers, with a satin or tight tube top to make up for the lack of ‘illusionary curves’. Boots remained popular throughout the entirety of the 70’s although by the late 70’s colours became richer and more simple with browns, blacks and burgundies being a mainstream choice, often tailored in ‘knee high’ or mid-calf styles.
It wasn’t just footwear that was changing up but hats too became more mainstream. Prior to the 70’s hats were very much an item of the ‘noveau riche’, with outrageous designs and styles that we would associate with the ‘Modern Derby’ today. But in the 1970’s women were not seen as style icons unless they wore a felt floppy hat that matched the mood of what they were wearing. Some were colourful and some were plain but the floppy hat has never fell out of favour since and its easy to see why. Versatile and having the ability to make any look stand out is a killer combination so it is no wonder that style icons still flock to buy this 70’s staple in its droves. A general outfit combination would consist of a floppy hat, bell bottoms and an oversized coat although many still clung to the fitted silhouette of the 60’s and favuored striped or chevron jumpers tucked into hot pants, a miniskirt or floaty maxi skirts, before adding classic platform heels to balance out the looks proportions. Which should come as no surprise that the platform shoe was an iconic representation of 70’s fashion [even if it actually originated in Ancient Greece] and the higher the platform ‘the closer to heaven’. Today platform shoes have significantly reduced their height to more practical proportions but the soles still remain as clunky as ever.
As expected the 70’s were a big fan of prints and although many were colourful and characterised as tacky, the popular 1930’s ‘floral’ and nautical print still proved to be a trend setter in the 1970’s. Tea dresses in blues, greens and whites were replaced by ‘moody floral prints’ in jersey rather than chiffon or cotton materials due to a shortage in fabrics, whilst colours became darker, characterised as what we would call autumn colours. Pumpkin, rust, ochre and burgundy were stand out colours of the decade whereas the 60’s love of black still remained a popular choice to lend sophistication and elegance to outfits. Naturally the 70’s might not have been the decade of excess like the 80’s would prove to be but they still had a love for the finer things in life. While many still wore real fur claiming it was more cost efficient and glamorous, a greater awareness of animal rights and a love for pets meant that many chose faux fur coats to protest against the real fur movement, but also to make a ‘glamorous fashion’ statement without the consequences. Again the rich autumnal palate was a popular jacket choice although the most popular hues seemed to be ‘mink’, ‘chestnut’ and tan, colour came much later.
Although the colours used were often monochromatic or minimalist ( brights were very much an 80’s trend), when it came to jewellery statement pieces, often layered was a typical 70’s look. Beads and cheap synthetic materials created a stark contrast to the popularity of costume jewellery in the 50’s and as far as jewellery goes it would appear that the 70’s was the least concerned about the value of jewellery in comparison to other decades. As mentioned earlier ‘ethnic fashion’ was popular in the 70’s which transcended into accessories, with feathers, bones, exotic woods and earthenware beads being a material of choice. The look above might be 70’s based but when it comes to accessories modern style icons lean towards 90’s minimalism, which although may be two decades ahead fits in with the ‘blurring boundaries, genres and ages’ ethos of the 70’s, caught between two worlds. The minimalist sterling silver pendant and the rose gold watch belongs to the 90’s although the look is so decidedly 70’s that you can’t help but imagine that the entire look is 70’s based.
Are You As Obsessed With The 70’s As We Are?
Shop The Look: Faux Fur Jacket- Berksha £45 instead of £75 ( Sold Out) Turtleneck – Rebelle Was £77 now £76
Silver Pink Topaz Necklace – Hazel & Kent