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Outrageous Fashions of the '70s for Women

Updated April 17, 2017

The 1970s is looked back on as a particularly outrageous era for fashion. Some popular women's fashions ran on from the end of the '60s, and grew in prevalence during the '70s, whereas others were brand new to the decade. An outrageous 1970s outfit is great for a fancy dress party, but some elements of the era's style are still worn today.

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The disco style was an especially outrageous fashion of the '70s. The look was illustrated in the movie "Saturday Night Fever." Hot trousers and spandex tops were commonly worn by women, in conjunction with giant platform shoes. Full cat suits with bell bottom legs were another popular women's fashion choice. Women often wore white, because the colour glows under ultraviolet lights, as well as leopard print and gold lamé.


The hippie look started in the late '60s, but ran over into the '70s. Where being a hippie had previously been a way of life, followed by only a minority of people, during the 1970s it became simply a fashion choice to some. Women wore natural fabrics, kaftans and other ethnic-style clothes, with paisley prints and tie dye fabrics. Hippie women usually wore simple sandals, or sometimes bare feet, and bags and other accessories were commonly decorated with fringe and bead work.


The punk style came about in the late 1970s, with 1977 being the year it reached the height of its popularity. Punk was an anti-fashion movement, so its followers were actually trying to look outrageous, different and sometimes intimidating. Female punks in the '70s wore a lot of clothes based on the designs of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. Popular styles included plaid, leather and bondage-style clothing, with plenty of safety pins and metal studs attached.

Glam Rock

Followers of the glam rock style were often referred to as "glitter kids." The fashion was loud and flamboyant, and was based on the style of popular glam rock musicians, such as David Bowie and Marc Bolan from T-Rex. Women wore bright colours and Space Age metallic colours, such as silver. They put on plenty of glittery make up, as did the male glam rock fans. Other features of the look included brightly coloured hair, platform shoes, feather boas and occasionally, face paint.

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