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How to make your own 70's costumes

Updated March 21, 2017

Flowing dresses, bell bottoms, leisure suits, platforms and tie-dye are all trademark fashions of the 1970s. A time of great change and turbulence in the nation, 1970s fashion began to reflect more liberal times with an "anything goes" attitude. Whether you're looking for a 1970s costume for a play or a Halloween costume, do a little bit of research to get the most accurate costume possible.

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  1. Go to your local library and check out books published in the 1970s or browse magazines from the 1970s. Take note of some of the styles you'd like to emulate. Use a copy machine to make a photo copy of the pages you like.

  2. Look through some old family or friends' pictures from the 1970s. Take notes on the different styles of outfits and things you'd be interested in wearing.

  3. Ask any family member who was an adult during the 1970s if they have anything you can possibly wear that might be authentic. Gather their items.

  4. Go to a local thrift store and look through what they have. You might have to look through several in order to get that perfect look. If you're going for a hippie look, consider Converse sneakers, long hair and tie-dye or flowing sundresses and sandals. If you're looking for a more sophisticated 70s look, browse the racks for a gunny sack dress, which were flowing dresses with high waists that many women of the 1970s wore to formal events. You could also try locating a leisure suit, a matching coat and pants suit in plaids or colours other than brown or black. Most leisure suits were made of polyester.

  5. Assemble your outfit and think about hairstyles and accessories. Hippies often wore scarves tied around their heads and long necklaces and bracelets. For non-hippie jewellery, think about belt buckles and gold chains for the disco era. Women of the 1970s feathered their hair (like Farrah Fawcett), with the front of their hair curled back. Men's hair was longer during this time period as well. While hippies often grew their hair extremely long, most men's hair also touched the top of their collars and was often feathered and parted in the centre.

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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.

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