The Clothes of the 60s, 70s and 80s

Written by lindsay pietroluongo
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The Clothes of the 60s, 70s and 80s
1970s style focused on disco clothing. (Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Often, styles of a particular decade replicated the style worn at the end of the preceding decade. Certain styles were heavily influenced by the era's powerful players. For example, Jacqueline Kennedy greatly influenced fashion in the sixties, and trends such as squared jackets, pillbox hats and sleeves that were three-quarter length took hold.

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1950s Inspiration

1960s fashion, at first, looked similar to 1950s fashion, focusing on conservative clothing. Ladylike skirts, evening gloves, girdles and petticoats were popular. Both pleated skirts and curve-hugging pencil skirts were popular as well.

1960s Style

During the early 60s, women wore either skirts or dresses for just about everything; trousers were worn only for ultra-casual settings. Day dresses were popular until about 1964. As the decade went on, skirts became shorter and collars on dresses widened. Large, bold flowers and bright colours eventually became popular in fashion during the 60s. Seersucker and silk were often the fabrics that were worn. During the late 60s, miniskirts became popular, followed by extra confidence instilled in women. While short skirts sparked controversy amongst older generations, they were favoured by the youth in society. The stilettos that once were popular during the 50s were traded in for low kitten heels and chiselled toes.

70s Fashion

1970s fashion made a comeback during the 21st century, and children of the millennium didn't need to peruse vintage shops to get 70s looks. The boho, gypsy-esque look was popular during the 70s, complete with lightweight, bouncy skirts, peasant tops with embroidery and boots that slouch down. Loose scarves and long, hanging jewellery accessorised most 70s outfits. Style was influenced by the bohemian looks of other countries. Popular styles included flared trousers, multicoloured prints and long skirts. Wool coats, called afghan coats, were popular for both men and women, and came in several different colours, both neutrals and bold shades.

80s Clothing

With the advent of MTV in the 1980s, style and fashion was greatly influenced. The music industry set the tone for what society would wear and how they would style their hair and make-up. Expression of individuality and creativity was important to people. While men tried their hand at applying their own make-up and growing their hair long, women chopped their hair short. Stirrup trousers, jumpsuits and paint splatter patterns were extremely popular. Roomy parachute trousers and clothing in metallic colours were often worn as well.

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