'70s fashion and hairstyles

Updated April 17, 2017

Following the hippie fashions of the '60s, the '70s had traces of the hippie influences as well as the full development of ethnic trends. Since travels had become much easier in the '70s, exotic accessories, fabrics and fashion ideas from foreign places were introduced as well. It was the age of psychedelic colours, bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts. Hair styles were worn longer for both women and men, with the signature feathered look or the messy length hairstyles. Some of these fashion trends are still popular today.

Women's Fashion

Women in the '70s felt liberated and free after the flower power of the '60s, and this was reflected in the wide selection of clothes. Skirts came in different lengths --- mini, midi (mid-calf) or maxi. The short flared skirt became popular and so did the empire-style mini dress. Full-length maxi dresses were popular evening wear. Exotic styles from foreign countries such as kaftans, kimonos and muumuus were introduced, and exotic fabrics lined with silver, gold and metallic embroidered trims became glamorous. Hot trousers and halter neck catsuits also formed the fashion scene of the '70s.

Men's Fashion

Men in the '70s wore flared trousers. They were reminiscent of the loon trousers of the '60s, where the flare started from the knee to the bottom of the trousers. These flared trousers were tight fitting and they sat on the hips rather than around the waist. These were often paired with loud shirts with big collars. For more formal wear, the kipper tie was often paired with a suit. Flared jeans also made up the fashion phenomenon of the decade. Platform shoes were popular, and younger, more fashionable men were not afraid to wear them.

Accessories and Shoes

The '70s saw the influx of exotic accessories: macramé bags from the Greek Isles, Gypsy tops in cheesecloth and light cotton, and crochet waistcoats and shawls from Spain. Large earrings were preferred, together with large peace sign crosses worn with heavy chains. Traditional belts took on crafty embellishments with beads or handmade macramé creations, and friendship bands became the rage as well. However, the most notable accessory of the '70s was the platform shoe. These shoes were clunky with soles ranging from 2 to 4 inches, and they were often adorned with wild prints or glitter or they were transparent. In the late '70s, footwear became more earth friendly with the introduction of Scandinavian sandals, which were rather plain compared to the flamboyant platforms.


The popular '70s television series, "Charlie's Angels," set off the much desirable Farah Fawcett flick up. It required the use of tongs or heated rollers to make the hair flick off the face to the sides, with cascading curls framing the face. Other hairstyles that weren't as high maintenance included flirty bobs, natural Afros and naturally long hair with full soft fringe. Headbands became the rage and a trendy fashion statement. Men sported tapered sideburns, and hair was usually worn just past the ears and jaw bone.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in San Diego, Calif., Angeline Oppenheimer has been writing health-related articles since 2007. Her articles have appeared in "San Diego Family" magazine and on various websites. She holds a degree in literature and writing studies from California State University, San Marcos.