'70s Clothing & Styles

Written by aya pauli
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'70s Clothing & Styles
Platform shoes were popular in the 1970s. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Think powder blue tuxedos and bell bottom trousers when you think of clothing styles from the 1970s. From polyester pantsuits to shiny hot trousers, the styles were nothing if not memorable. While the '70s may boast a few gems, most clothing and styles from the decade are seen in fashion magazine lists under "history's worst styles."


Men's clothing had two distinct cuts, bell bottom trousers and wide lapels, during the 1970s. Coats, sleeves, waists and the thigh area of trousers were all slim fit with a wide flare at the calf of trousers and on the lapel area of the collar. Examples include powder blue polyester tuxedos with white ruffled shirts and brown corduroy suits with elbow patches.

Jeans were a staple item in young men's wardrobes during the 1970s. T-shirts, striped shirts and button-down shirts with wide collars were all worn with jeans or slacks. Leisure and jogging suits became commonplace for older men's wardrobes, especially if they were made with velour.


One of the notable styles in the '70s was the emergence of women's pantsuits. Polyester bell bottom trousers with high waists and matching jackets or vests became as common on female forms as they did on male. A-line skirts were the rage in the early '70s, and the hem ran anywhere from super mini to knee-length. Maxi skirts that fell to the floor worked for day or evening wear, as did bell-shaped trousers and halter-neck tops.

The mid 1970s witnessed the emergence of women's hot pants, tube tops and mile-high platform shoes. However, hip-hugger jeans and T-shirts also became common in women's wear. Ethnic styles such as patterned kaftan robes and macrame belts were also worn. By the late '70s, women began to cover up again with more masculine styles, such as the hallmark "Annie Hall" look, wearing men's trousers, vests, ties and hats.


Male or female, platform shoes were stylish for everybody during the 1970s. Shoes started with small platforms early in the decade, but rose to mile-high platforms by the mid-decade. Heavy clogs were also worn by women and some men.

One shoe fad that lived and died in the '70s was the Earth shoe. These shoes had heels, or non-heels, that were lower than the toe. The "heel-less" shoes were supposed to help keep your body in a natural posture while walking.


Thick sideburns, large afros and long hair were sported by men during the '70s. Afro and feathered hairstyles were all the rage for women, as were long straight locks accented with a headband or small barrette. Feathered hair also became popular for men with the rise of disco toward the end of the decade.

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