The 1970s were a time of personal expression, funky clothes, chunky shoes and disco. Fashion was about making a personal statement through bold prints and bright colours. It was the time of bell-bottoms, peasant shirts and dresses, and platform shoes. For kids growing up in the '70s, the fashion was as diverse as the generation itself.
Girls had the option of wearing a long, flowing maxi dress in lively red, green and blue one day, and bell-bottoms with a peasant shirt, featuring puffy, full sleeves and lace trim, the next. Mini-skirts in checker patterns, knee socks in solid colours worn with skirts and jumpers in loud paisley prints were stylish for girls during this time as well. Polyester and acrylic became the fabrics of choice for shirts and dresses. Foreign cultures had an influence on style as well: Nehru jackets from India; crocheted sweaters from Spain; and ponchos from Mexico all played a role in shaping the fashion of the '70s.
Made popular in the '70s, leisure suits for boys were frequently made of polyester blends. These suits were often paired with shiny shirts with photo prints. Casual wear included satin sweatsuits and jeans that had the well-worn look. T-shirts with band logos and statements were also becoming part of fashion. After John Travolta starred in "Saturday Night Fever," the white suit with a black, or other dark-coloured shirt, became popular for boys of all ages. Boys stopped wearing short trousers and started wearing "longs." Blue jeans became more accepted as everyday wear. In place of the short trousers, boys started wearing cut-off shorts for more casual wear.
Girls were wearing platform shoes and strappy sandals with dresses, skirts and bell-bottomed trousers. Birkenstocks become especially popular footwear in the United States. Girls and boys wore not only the Birkenstocks, but another new, trendy shoe, the Earth Shoe. The Earth Shoe, however, went as fast as it came. After their introduction in 1970, they became so widely popular that people stood in lines to buy a pair. By 1977, the company couldn't keep up with demand, and the Earth Shoe disappeared. Nike sport shoes also became popular for boys and girls.
Punk/rock fashion began to appear in the '70s. Leather jackets, loose shirts and oversized suit jackets were beginning to make their way into the fashion world. Another trend was wearing multiple safety pins on torn clothing, often purchased in thrift shops. Older kids began wearing and popularising these styles.
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