Let’s take a trip down groovy lane to a decade of chillaxin’, good vibes and far-out fashion. The 70s fashion era holds an arsenal of stellar trends we know and love today. An explosion of color—both saturated hues and earthy neutrals, varying textures, retro prints and easy silhouettes take center stage. These styles were influenced by a rich history of events and sartorial trailblazers, so where did it all begin? Let’s time warp to the past to learn more about 70s fashion for women.
70s Fashion: Moments to Remember
The legendary music festival known as Woodstock witnessed a generation of hippies seeking peace, love and self-expression. An array of eclectic styles displayed on stage at Woodstock, placed the spotlight on 70s fashion for women. Long hair, tie-dye tees and bell-bottoms were declarations of a social rebellion sprung from a thirst for exploration in all things. Many folks picture this counterculture aesthetic to be the poster child of 70s fashion, but it doesn’t stop there.
Glam, punk, sporty-chic, androgynous dressing and more span the style spectrum of this radical time. It included metallic getups of disco nights to utilitarian garb inspired by the anti-establishment mentality of the Vietnam War. Vogue declared, “There are no rules in the fashion game now.”
Who do we have to thank for these much-loved looks rooted in individuality? The list of 70s fashion muses is endless but a few shine particularly bright. Take a moment to picture these fashionistas in all of their glory. Joni Mitchell barefoot and strumming on her guitar in a free-spirited flowy dress emanating earth goddess vibes. Club scene socialite, Bianca Jagger, known for her trademark suit, reimagined menswear for women. Unapologetically fabulous at all times, Diana Ross stepped out in sequin, silk and statement sleeves that continue to inspire today.
A full-blown 70s fashion revival for women is in our midst. Are you ready to jump on the bandwagon, or rather, Volkswagen bus, and add funky finds to your collection? Keep reading to get the skinny on our favorite ways to incorporate 70s fashion in your everyday ensembles.
70s Hippie Fashion
Imagine peeking into a vibrant kaleidoscope of hot coral, sunflower yellow and cherry tomato. These hues adorned the quintessential hippie women of the 70s fashion decade. The original hippie, circa 1960s, sprouted from a desire to reject mainstream fashion. As the years continued, 70s hippie fashion evolved to be a key theme in many fashion designers’ collections. Fast forward 50 years and we find ourselves revisiting the past. Is a head-to-toe look in flamboyant hues and psychedelic prints too bold of a move for you? All you need to do is rework certain elements to create a modern, boho look.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Groove to Bohemian Rhapsody as you frolic through a field of daisies in a carefree prairie dress. Look for a midi-length with puff sleeves as a nod to one of 2021 summer fashion trends. Espadrille sandals and a basket bag will have you looking like the flower child of your 70s hippie fashion dreams. For the final touch, slip a freshly picked bloom into your fanned out Farrah Fawcett hair.
Wide-Leg Flares and Crop Tops
Land on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in a bra top balanced by an ultra-high rise pair of pants. Choose from wide-leg, kick flare or palazzo to recreate a similar look to 70s fashion bell-bottoms of the past. Here’s how to wear wide-leg pants like a pro: dare to show a little midriff. Pair breezy bottoms with a fitted cropped top featuring smocked, knotted or tie-front detailing. A paisley print paired with a summery solid make for a dynamic 70s hippie fashion duo. Flirt with print and pattern mixing by choosing a small and large print in complementary tones. Can you dig it?
Crochet and Handmade Elements
The casual styles of women’s 70s hippie fashion welcomed handmade clothing with an emphasis on knitting, patchwork and embroidery. Rally for world peace in a crochet skirt in earth tones—think shades of brown like sesame and praline. Pair it back to a blouse with feminine lace detailing. Don’t forget a pair of chunky-heeled boots to stand tall in the crowd. A silk scarf around your head or neck will transform you into the freedom-fighter you never knew you could be.
70s Disco Fashion Diva
Glitter, glitz and glamour were at the forefront of the 70s disco fashion scene—quite a contrast to laid-back hippie energy. The rise of Studio 54, a nightclub hotspot, created space for women to flaunt their 70s fashion in dazzling ways. Fur and feathers were no strangers to the dance floor while sequins were the name of the game. Here are our 3 modern takes on keeping these distant disco dreams Stayin’ Alive.
Diane von Furstenberg created a cult favorite with a feminine and versatile wrap dress. It’s been suggested that this 70s disco fashion staple was created to represent women’s sexual freedom with its easy on-and-off functionality. The liberation movement inspired women to embrace this timely design. Heading to a birthday bash that requires you to pull out all the stops? Look like a stone-cold fox in a silky jade wrap with a long string of pearls for a finishing touch.
A style that has withstood the test of time as a wardrobe must-have—the jumpsuit. Recently RSVP’d to an upcoming wedding? Be a dancing queen when the DJ spins Disco Inferno on the turntables. Opt for a millennial pink option with a wide-leg silhouette in figure-flattering jersey material. Not sure what shoes to wear with jumpsuits? Metallic chunky heels are the ultimate choice. Add a pair of hoop earrings to this 70s disco fashion look and make Cher, the goddess of pop, proud.
Is extravagant your middle name? Pair fancy separates in varying textures for a twist on a classic blouse and skirt combo. A glittery camisole and shiny slip skirt will have you moving and grooving at your next 70s fashion themed dinner party. Add even more depth and dimension with ankle strap heels to really seal the deal. Are flashy party clothes not your style? Skip the sequins and focus on smooth silky fabrics for understated allure.
70s Utilitarian Fashion
What once started as a silent protest to overseas combat, military-like garments took off in popularity in post-war years. Just like every fad, these women’s 70s fashion styles have ebbed and flowed across decades. Classic silhouettes make this soldier-inspired collection of clothes easy to wear. It’s no surprise we’re seeing a resurgence of utility threads back on our fashion radar—roger that?
With khaki and sand color palettes already in full swing, practical looks became common streetwear in the 70s fashion world. Burnt browns, muted greens and reliable neutrals are re-emerging in today’s desert daze trend.
Dreaming of a safari vacation? Walk on the wild side in this pragmatic trend with a utility miniskirt in a toasted marshmallow shade. Form an outfit with a striped mustard turtleneck—a hallmark layering piece of the 70s. Slip on a pair of patent faux leather over-the-knee boots for an edgy spin on this tonal outfit. Braid your hair and you’ll be out the door faster than you can sing the theme song to “The Brady Bunch.”
Pockets, Pockets and More Pockets
From double-breasted pockets to cargo pants, multiple compartments were all the rage during the flower-power days. Who doesn’t love a useful pocket? With enough room to stash our phone, keys and other necessities—we’re definitely not complaining. Olive joggers matched with a billowy peasant blouse are well suited for a Sunday trip to the farmer’s market. Reach for a straw tote to stash your organic veggies and natural herbs that soothe the peace-loving soul.
Effortless 70s Styles to Seek Out
Have we piqued your interest in these effortless and functional fashions? Keep an eye out for anoraks, overalls, casual shirt dresses and cargo jackets. Juxtapose these pieces with trendy 70s fashion jewelry like chunky gold earrings, a coin necklace or delicate chain bracelets. Catch a screening of “Grease” at your local drive-in theatre sporting a mechanic-inspired jumpsuit that’s both comfy and cool.
70s Fashion: Original Athleisure
The first sports bra, invented in 1977, sprinted into women’s 70s fashion in record time. Jogging became a popular workout and women found they lacked the support they needed. In the land of leotards and leggings, exercise made major strides and expanded into aerobics and group classes. Women took these sporty-chic outfits to the streets before the coining of the term athleisure. Here’s how to incorporate old-school elements into your current rotation.
Reinvent the velour tracksuit with a matching jogger and sweatshirt set. Pay homage to the 70s by choosing a vintage tie-dye print. Wondering how to wear biker shorts? Toss this wearable duo over your biker shorts and a bralette post ballet class. No dance or jazzercise classes available in your area? No sweat—crank up your favorite throwback tunes and boogie away in the comfort of your own home.
Super short shorts, also known as hot pants or dolphin shorts, were a craze throughout 70s fashion. We’re seeing them make a comeback in bright bold hues that are livening up our workout wear. Find a pair in your favorite saturated shade with a classic ringer tee or halter top. Dig out your roller skates and you’ll be Tik Tok famous in no time. A little too wobbly on your feet? No worries, a pair of fresh white kicks and knee-high socks will do the trick.
Unisex 70s Fashion
Did you know androgynous dressing made waves in 70s fashion thanks to a few courageous pioneers? David Bowie pushed the boundaries of gendered styles and blurred the lines between masculine and feminine. On the heels of a feminist movement, Diane Keaton brought boyish looks from the big screen to the streets. She did so with gusto and gave confidence to other women to follow suit.
We see their efforts coming to fruition as gender-neutral clothes are in demand and influencing current-day designers. Let’s jump into a couple of our favorite looks inspired by this trend.
A power suit can make you feel like a million bucks. Women were wearing pants for decades but the aforementioned Bianca Jagger took it to the max. She even skipped the traditional dress and wore a suit to her wedding. Take inspiration from her style file of bold ensembles starting with a sharp blazer. Opt for a belted silhouette that allows you to wear it on its own with no need for a blouse underneath. This flirty and empowering look paired with loose trousers and block heels has foxy mama written all over it.
Denim on Denim
Both men and women were rocking Canadian tuxedos in the 70s. Remember Justin and Britney in head-to-toe denim walking the red carpet in 2001? Well, denim on denim is back on the scene and we’re encouraging you to give this women’s 70 fashion staple a try.
Want to know the best part about this outfit idea? You probably have everything you need at home. Here’s how to wear denim on denim with ease. Pull your tried and true denim jacket from your closet along with your favorite jeans. Opt for bootcut or wide-leg silhouettes for a full 70s effect and layer with a striped tee in nostalgic shades—think sepia tones. Throw up a peace sign to your friends as they come over for your next game night. Be sure to add Sorry!, Monopoly and Battleship to your repertoire of retro board games.
Are you a hippie at heart or seeking new styles to liberate your wardrobe from the status quo? We’re happy to match you with a stylist to help fulfill your groovy dreams.