Children's Clothes of the 1970s

Updated November 21, 2016

The 1970s were a decade of casual ease when it came to clothing. Soft, comfortable materials like satin and velvet were everywhere, and stretchy polyester was king. The '70s began with the influence of the hippie style of the late '60s still very much in vogue and by the decade's end, disco styles moved in. For children, like adults, it was a time for bright, colourful clothing with bold patterns.


In the 1970s denim went from being used primarily in jeans to being used to make shirts, jackets, hats and even purses. Flared or bell-bottomed jeans were often worn by both younger and older children. Faded denim came into vogue for jeans, as did patchwork denim. Shirts and jeans were made of patches of darker and lighter denim squares sewn together. Boys wore casual denim jackets or blazers complete with lapels and girls wore denim skirts and jumpers.

Matched Separates

Boys, like their older male counterparts, wore polyester leisure suits for dressy occasions. These were often a solid colour, any colour imaginable, and the jacket and trousers matched. Or the jacket would be two-toned, with the lapels and sleeves a different colour than the rest of the jacket. Girls wore matching separates as well, in the form of a pantsuit or a matching jacket and skirt. Beneath the jacket, kids often wore a buttoned shirt with a wide collar or a turtleneck.


Bright, colourful patterns were everywhere in the '70s, on shirts, trousers, skirts and dresses. Both boys and girls wore plaid or striped trousers and shirts, the trousers usually made of polyester. Girls wore brightly patterned dresses covered with polka dots or flowers. Skirt lengths varied widely, with both the miniskirt and the maxiskirt looks still in vogue from the 1960s through the '70s. Other patterns were seen on kids' clothes as well; western-themed shirts were worn by boys and rainbows were on a lot of girls' clothing.


The disco trend that swept the nation in the 1970s made its mark on fashion and caught on with young people. Girls and boys alike wore colourful satin jackets, and one-piece jumpsuits caught on with teens of both sexes as well. Silk and satin buttoned shirts with large collars and flared hip-hugger trousers caught on with teen boys. Girls wore flared miniskirts with high knee socks as part of disco fashion.

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