Punk Clothes of the 70s

Written by nancy hayden
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Punk Clothes of the 70s
Punk clothing was about breaking the rules of fashion. (Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images)

Punk styles of the 1970s were all about being anti-fashion. The movement began in London with the youthful subculture. Artists and rebels of the day began dressing to buck the establishment. Designer Vivienne Westwood and her boyfriend Malcolm McLaren, who managed the band The Sex Pistols, helped to bring the movement and its fashions to the forefront in the '70s.

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Ripped or Cut

In London, then in New York and beyond, youngsters with plenty of attitude and often very little money began the punk style. They bought a vast array of clothing from vintage shops, including dress shirts, dresses, suit jackets and trousers, and they cut the sleeves off, cut the trousers into knee-length shorts, ripped them and frayed them wherever possible. Both men and women dressed in this style.

T-Shirts With a Message

In the early days of punk, many people made their own T-shirts, letting the world know how they felt. With the movement beginning in London, the shirts had primarily British themes. Punks wore shirts with the Union Jack flag as a tongue-in-cheek jab at establishment. It was not too long before shops like Vivienne Westwood's SEX began producing T-shirts with anti-establishment punk slogans and messages on them.

Skinny Pants

Punks wore everything from kilts to cut-off dress slacks, and their only rule about clothes seemed to be that there were no rules. When they wore full-length trousers, they often wore skinny trousers. Much like the modern-day trend of skinny jeans for men, punks wore skin-tight trousers in everything from denim to tartan plaid. The trousers were often torn up in many places and, if they were not narrow enough at the ankle, punks pegged them and tucked them in.

Leather and Metal

If there was one material seen more than any other in the '70s punk movement, it likely was black leather. Punks wore leather jackets and vests with everything and pinned band logos or other slogans on the back with huge safety pins. Punk men and women wore heavy black combat boots with any outfit as well as bracelets and dog collar necklaces made of black leather and silver metal spikes. They wore silver chains and safety pins as decoration and to hold together torn clothing fabric.

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