Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s

Written by lily west
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Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s
The white three-piece disco suit is an iconic 70s fashion symbol. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The 70s had many memorable fashion moments, especially for men. Who will ever forget the iconic image of John Travolta dancing in his white suit in the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever"? His white, snug-fitting suit worn with a black ,wide-lapelled button down shirt was standard disco attire.

Disco wasn't the only fashion influence for men in the 70s, however. Styles changed drastically throughout the decade, affecting the shape of trousers, size of lapels, and shoes.


Like Travolta's, men's suit trousers were tapered at the waist and flared below the knee. Three-piece suits were worn often without a tie, for a night out on the town. Leisure suits, often made from polyester, were also popular. They consisted of a shirt jacket--a button down jacket that resembled a shirt--with matching trousers. Pastel shades were typical, and suits were often worn with a button down shirt in a bold pattern.

Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s
The leisure suit was a major trend in the 70s that didn't last beyond the decade. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Casual Looks

Earth tones and muted shades of camel, tan, olive, brown and burgundy were a typical colour palette for men's wear in the 70s. Crinkly, striped cheese cloth shirts or T-shirts with iron-on decals were paired with high-waisted, flared jeans or corduroy trousers. Even wider bell-bottomed jeans, which were mainly worn by women in the 60s, were adopted by men in the 70s.

Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s
Camel-coloured corduroy was classic for men's trousers in the 70s. ( Images)


It was common for men to wear shoes with platform soles, up to 4 inches thick. Even wedge-shaped heels were widely accepted for men, although this trend was short-lived. More conservative males wore oxfords and loafers in coloured leather, such as white, navy or red. Low boots with exaggerated square toes were also in vogue, until they were replaced with new pointy-toe styles that emerged in the late 70s. In athletic footwear for men, sport-specific trainers in bright colours were popular, often made with nylon and suede. Nike began using its swoosh logo on sneakers in 1971.

Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s
Nike's swoosh logo made its debut on men's trainers in 1971. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Punk Rock Influences

Punk rock music began to influence fashion during the late 70s. The Sex Pistols and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood pioneered this look. Fashionable men began trading in flared trousers for straight, cigarette-legged jeans. Denim was bleached, and pierced with safety pins. Black leather, ripped T-shirts, and plaid trousers also defined the distressed, anarchic punk style.

Men's Clothing Styles of the 70s
By the late 70s, punk rock music was inspiring a distressed look for jeans. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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