How Do I Dress Like I Lived in the 70's?

Updated April 17, 2017

The 1970s was a decade that took fashion to the extreme, with very distinguishable elements to the dress of the time. This makes the 1970s a natural for Halloween costumes each year, and even a choice for those looking to dress every day with a touch of nostalgia for this era. Disco music and the attire associated with it was big during this era. Whether you are a male or female, you can dress as if you lived in the 1970s with little difficulty.

Get shirts with big collars -- the bigger the better when it comes to collared shirts. They were worn sticking straight up, or laying down on the shoulders. Many times these shirts were very tight and had extremely low V-necks, with no undershirt worn underneath.

Look for clothing with plaid or paisley patterns. From sweaters to vests to trousers and even jackets, these patterns were a very prominent part of 1970s fashion.

Wear tight-fighting pantsuits. In the '70s, these suits would often be in light and vibrant colours, such as powder blue or white.

Wear tight-fitting bell-bottomed trousers. A spin-off from the 1960s, bell-bottomed trousers were popular with men and women through the '70s. The tighter the fit up top and the wider the openings at the foot, the better. Fabrics such as polyester, nylon and corduroy were especially popular in the '70s.

Accessorise yourself. The 1970s blurred a lot of lines between traditional male and female dress codes. Large aviator-style sunglasses were big, along with necklaces of various shapes and materials.

Wear kaftans, kimonos, muumuus or other similar clothing. These made a prominent appearance in not only lounging-at-home attire for women, but also out on the town. The loose flowing fabrics are reminiscent of many of the other styles in 1970s.

Get some halter-neck catsuits. Another look popularised in the '70s was the one-piece suit that left arms and shoulders exposed, along with most of the back. It was cinched at the waist with long and flowing legs. Catsuits were generally made with a lightweight material such as silk or polyester.

Wear mini skirts. The flowing skirts and dresses of the 1960s gave way to skirts that were worn several inches above the knees. As with most of the clothing in the '70s, these skirts came in a plethora of fabrics and styles.

Slip on some tight-fitting bell-bottoms. This style was popular with both men and women. Look for large leg openings that taper up to a tight fit on the rest of the trousers.

Accessorise your feet. Platform shoes were a big part of '70s fashion. Another popular foot accessory were Birkenstocks sandals.

Do up your hair to one of many distinct '70s looks. For women, wearing your hair long and parting it in the middle was a very popular look. Feathered and spiral curls were also a common look, popularised by actress Farrah Fawcett. For the African American community, this was the era when the afro hairstyle was made popular, for both men and women.

Things You'll Need

  • Aviator glasses
  • Bell-bottomed trousers
  • Mini skirts
  • Large-collar shirts
  • V-neck shirts
  • Catsuits
  • Platform shoes
  • Birkenstocks sandals
  • Kaftans
  • Muumuus
  • Kimonos
  • Pantsuits
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About the Author

Caleb Schulte has been a professional writer since 2007. His contributions include online content and press releases for commercial production companies in Los Angeles County, as well as numerous screenplays for television and film. Schulte earned a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from the University of Advanced Technology in Tempe, Ariz.