Satin slip dresses were initially introduced to prevent the show-through of intimate undergarments at parties and social events, eventually becoming fashionable fashion accessories. Made from chiffon or polyester satin layers and sometimes finished with lace trimmings, they quickly became an integral part of society.
Longer midi skirts were an elegant alternative to the mini dresses and hot pants that dominated earlier in the decade. In contrast, crochet tops and dresses revealed this era’s appreciation of intricate textile techniques.
Skin Tight Pants and Shirts
In the 1970s, women celebrated self-expression through clothing. Iconic stars like Debbie Harry and Farrah Fawcett embraced their inner bohemian with boldly colored dresses, boots, and accessories from this decade of youth countercultures like punk and disco that took hold among younger people. This individualism greatly influenced fashion of this period resulting in figure-hugging outfits that remain iconic even today.
Skin-tight pants and shirts were an iconic look from 70s fashion that still looks fantastic today. Pants came in all colors and sizes, from high-waisted flares to wide bell bottoms; women also sported tight-fitting knit tops with large collars and inset lace; long tunics embellished with embroidery, crochet trim, or ethnic patterns were popular options as well.
Oversized or pointy collars were seen on leisure suits, button-up blazers, and printed blouses such as Jacyln Smith’s striped number worn at Charlie’s Angel Jacyln Smith. Sleeveless knit halter crop tops with thin straps tied around the neck were another popular option when made of vibrantly hued fabric.
In the 1970s, men and women alike quickly took up tennis, running, aerobic dance, and other sports like aerobic dance classes and aerobics. Specialty athletic clothing explicitly designed for both genders – tracksuits, running shorts with 3-stripe or chevron stripes on legs/arms/chest, and tights/leotards designed for dance classes – became must-have items among participants.
The 1970s was the decade that gave us the iconic wrap dress, first popularized by Diane von Furstenberg. Since its creation, this form-hugging silhouette has become an indispensable staple of female wardrobes worldwide, with many designers creating their versions. These 70s fashion outfits can be worn to work, school, or evening parties; pair wedge sandals with big belts for an evening event and add floppy hats, oversized sunglasses, and big bags to complete your look!
As part of your 70s fashion look, a colorful jumpsuit is essential for weekend adventures – beachside or nightclub-going. Choose a bright floral print or bold polka dot design, and this figure-hugging ensemble is sure to please. Combine with smoky eyes, big earrings, and tall block heels for an elegant ensemble that easily transitions onto disco dance floors!
In the 1970s, jeans — both tight-legged and wide-leg styles — were fashionable among men and women. Most often seen being worn with matching tank tops or sweaters that featured wide collars like those found on pajamas or leisure suits, added character. Tucked in or untucked, their wide collars could even be left out! A belt was an often-favored fashion accessory that could be worn around either loop of the collar or one’s waist for added flair.
Oversized and asymmetrical buttons were popular during this era. Worn by Pam Grier (known by her stage name Foxy Brown) and other celebrities alike, this shirt style combined conservative styles with campy disco glamour – something seen more subtly used on button-up jackets and blouses.
One distinguishing characteristic of 1970s clothing was its use of homemade embellishments and decorations, such as those found on Zandra Rhodes’ silk evening gown, as seen in Figure 5. Designers employed quilting, knitting, and crochet techniques to add their unique stamp to garments created during this decade.
At the end of the 1960s, the Hippie style had fallen out of favor and been replaced with more structured and casual fashion trends. T-shirts featuring colorful designs or slogans, pleated pants in corduroy or wool fabrics such as corduroy, and pleated pants for everyday wear were popular among most Americans.
The midi skirt was another fashion trend of its time, known for its feminine silhouette that beautifully framed legs. Typical fabrics include velvet, corduroy, and printed materials; knee-high boots often completed the look.
Other denim styles popular during this era included bell-bottom jeans and loon pants, both featuring flared knee-down flared legs inspired by naval uniforms and worn by individuals such as Farrah Fawcett or husband and wife singer duo Sonny and Cher. Modern versions, sometimes known as flared jeans, can come in numerous colors and styles, including skinny, bootcut, or cuffed styles.
Skirts and Dresses
As women entered the workforce more significantly during this decade, skirts and dresses became looser at the top and tighter at the bottom. A form-fitting silhouette remained preferred; however, its hemline could be reduced to mid-calf or ankle length for added style points. Skirts with side slits, bell sleeves, or lace trim were also fashionable.
Wide-leg pants were an essential element of casual ’70s fashion, pairing well with soft ringer tees featuring cheeky slogans or vintage destinations. Pussy bow neckties, small shawl collars, and large polo shirt collars completed the look of loose tunic blouses or peasant-style dresses perfectly.
Dresses were typically fitted at the waist and tucked in, recalling styles popular during the 60s, but also featured oversized pointy collars to add campy disco flair to more conservative looks. Maxi dresses with floral or homey patterns were especially sought after, while tea or ankle-length prairie dresses became increasingly common.
The wrap dress became an instant classic during the early ’70s, serving as an ideal piece for casual outings and disco dance floors. It emphasized female curves while coming in various earthy tones and pastels for every event and occasion.
Wide belts cinched at the waist of wrap dresses, skirts, or high-waisted trousers were an attractive trend in its day, often featuring eye-catching patterns or colors with decorative buckles to draw the eye. This trend still holds strong today alongside wide-brimmed hats.
Bold-colored pumps and sneakers were popular footwear choices among ’70s fashion women, as were platform shoes that added height and drama to an ensemble. Other footwear was worn, from sandals with flat soles to sneakers made of suede or corduroy patterns.
Remember these style tips when creating your costume if you need to portray a ’70s fashion woman for a movie, TV show, or other production. Also, remember some accessories associated with that period, such as bangle bracelets, oversized sunglasses, and hippie headbands, when choosing accessories from that period.
Tight Clingy Clothes
Fashion-forward women embraced tight, body-hugging clothing during the 70s to achieve figure flattery and express an adventurous spirit while shifting social attitudes. By including a tight dress in your wardrobe, you can achieve an iconic retro look that stands out.
No matter your style – casual or dressy – 70s style can make a comeback in many outfit combinations. High-waisted flared pants and jeans paired with tucked-in blouses or fitted turtlenecks create a modern silhouette, while wide belts were an iconic accessory from this era that highlighted your waistline; now they can easily be found with modern materials and buckle options for a unique look. Its vibrant colors and bold patterns add plenty of personality to each ensemble!
Prairie dresses epitomized the feminine sensibility of this period with their flowing silhouettes and delicate details like lace or ruffles, perfectly suiting its outdoorsy lifestyle and often featuring romantic or nostalgic prints. Crocheted fabric added a boho flair highlighting society’s appreciation of handmade items.
Bell-bottom trousers were an integral component of 70s fashion, featuring wide silhouettes that flared out from the knee to the calf and were often paired with platform shoes for height and drama. These iconic pants quickly became synonymous with that decade and continue shaping contemporary fashion trends.
Short shorts have long been associated with sexual liberation and the rebellious attitudes of their wearers. You can still embrace this tight trend today by pairing your shorts with a crop top, adding bold accessories like oversized sunglasses or an unusual headscarf, and pairing with an updo for maximum effect.
If you prefer something more conservative, midi skirts offer a more modest alternative to mini skirts. This versatile style can be combined with tight shirts and sweaters or dressed up for work by pairing it with tailored blazers for an elegant office ensemble. Midi skirts remain an increasingly fashionable trend that creates a timeless and sophisticated silhouette.