The 1970s were a time of social change as the country transitioned from the hippie flower children of the 1960s to the neon couture of the 1980s. Men in the 70s enjoyed a laid back style with a variety of options from the extravagant disco fashions to more casual T-shirts and jeans. Men's fashion in the 1970s had a unique face with many facets to suit the changing times.
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The radical social changes of the 1960s spilt over, influencing the early 1970s. Interest was high in areas such as civil rights, environmentalism, space exploration, and the women's movement. Estate cars and RVs roamed the roads with vacationing families and young adults exploring the country. Popular toys included lava lamps, pet rocks, and mood rings. Trends in fashion and culture leant toward the bright, extravagant, and carefree as the disco era began.
The early 1970s saw a continuation of popular 60s fashions that had become mainstream. Bell bottom trousers were all the rage and colourful patches decorated all types of clothing. Frayed jeans and tie dyed shirts remained fashionable. As the 70s progressed, many unisex trends took hold. The fitted blazer with wide lapels was popular for both sexes and could be found in a variety of colours and materials. Men also incorporated wide ties into this trend.
Mid to Late 70s
By the mid to late 70s, full three-piece suits came into style The jackets, with the same wide lapels that were popular on blazers, were paired with high rise vests and flared trousers. These were worn in bright colours and accompanied by bold flowered ties. Younger boys and teenagers lounged around in T-shirts and baseball jerseys. The plain white tee gave way to brighter hues including pink, purple, and green--all of which were considered suitable for men.
Disco fashion was bright and showy, designed to pop under the dance lights. These outfits were usually worn only in the evenings at disco clubs, but the colours and fabrics made their way into everyday attire as well. Polyester and Lycra were popular fabrics. Men's disco outfits usually consisted of bell bottoms, unbuttoned shirts, jackets, and gold chains. Platform shoes were popular.
In the late 70s, the Sex Pistols brought punk into the fashion spotlight. This style rejected previous cultural norms in favour of a dirtier look with a greater shock factor. Bleached, torn clothing accompanied by dark make-up was the hallmark of this style. Brightly dyed hair, usually spiked, accompanied the look. The punk look, which began to take hold in 1977, would carry through into the early 80s.
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