Dress & hairstyles in the '70s

Written by nancy hayden
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Dress & hairstyles in the '70s
The flowing style of the '70s maxi dress is making a comeback. (Franck Prevel/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Some people look back on the fashions of the '70s with fond memories, while others cringe and try to forget. The conservative looks of the '50s had been followed by the far-out, psychedelic styles of the '60s. In the '70s casual, relaxed clothes were in vogue. With dresses and hairstyles, women had many choices as both short and long looks were trendy.

Miniskirts and Minidresses

Miniskirts and minidresses had come into style in the '60s and remained a huge trend throughout the '70s. Flared miniskirts were not quite as straight and tiny as the '60s originals. They more resembled tennis skirts and were made of cotton, polyester or wool. Polyester or nylon minidresses were also quite popular. They were sleeveless, or had long sleeves and buttoned up the front with a belt made of the same material.

Maxi Skirts and Dresses

Women wanted options and comfort in the '70s, and maxi skirts joined miniskirts in popularity. Women went from one extreme to the other, wearing a super-short mini one day and a skirt to their ankles the next. They also wore "mid" skirts, which fell between the knee and the ankle. Maxi dresses had similar cuts to minidresses, except for their skirt length, which came practically to the floor. These dresses were often called granny dresses because they were old-fashioned and covered nearly everything. Women also wore Indian inspired kaftans, which were long, loose, colourful robes.

Long Hairstyles

For many women, long and natural hair was still the rule, with hairstyles following the peace-loving hippie era. When women began to cut their hair, they often had it cut to their shoulders. They parted it in the middle, had layers cut around their faces and curled the feathered layers. When feathered hair came into vogue, the natural was out and hairspray was back in. Women who wanted the ease of a shorter style with the look of longer hair opted for the shag, which had shorter layers on top and a longer layer on the bottom to the shoulders.

Short Hairstyles

Many women chose short, easy hairdos in the '70s. The wedge was one very popular look, made famous by ice skater Dorothy Hamill. They style was so associated with her that it was dubbed the "Hamill Camel" for its rounded bump look in back. The wedge was cut to frame the face with rounded fringe and short, layered sides and was stacked, or wedged, in back. Another trendy short look in the '70s was the afro. Women with curly hair let their natural curls grow out to rounded heights and women with straight hair got tight perms to get the look.

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