top of page

The 70's Style Guide

The 70’s. Whether you relate that time period to glam and disco or the hippy movement, suffice it to say, the era brought about many iconic and quintessential trends, some of which we are seeing come back today. Celebrities such as Stevie Nicks, Cher, Goldie Hawn, and Farrah Fawcett are just a few of the style icons of the decade, and they reflect the wide variety of fashions that were popular in the decade. On one side of style there was glamor, which was characterized by the fact that it took much inspiration from earlier decades, most specifically the movie star style of the 1940s. On the other side was the much more different hippy style, which employed a much more earthy, natural look.

When recalling the 70’s, one of the first things that stick out in memory are bell bottom jeans. The pants have their roots in the early 1900s and were commonly worn by navy officers for their ability to be easily rolled up. However, the iconic garment rose to fame when Sonny and Cher donned them on television, kickstarting the trend. More commonly made out of denim, but sometimes crafted with brightly colored and patterned cottons, the pants flare out from the knee, creating an exciting, fun-loving silhouette. Often paired with different styles of boots and shoes, such as Chelsea boots, Clogs, and many other platformed shoes.

Because of the adoration of the wide-legged and bellbottom silhouette, platform shoes were all the rage. The platform would obviously give height to the wearer, which was always welcome, however, they also gave room for the bellbottom’s hem to move with the wearer, swinging back and forth as they walked and danced. They were commonly worn by glam rock musicians, most notably David Bowie. The shoes were capable of being more eye-catching but were also more comfortable to wear and perform in. Of course, these shoes were more popular on the dance floor, there were more neutral options for day to day life. Platformed oxfords, sneakers, and sandals, usually made with soles of cork, wood or synthetic materials allowed for simpler options for normal everyday wear.

Another notable piece of fashion within this time is the use of oversized collars on garments. Of course, shirt collars go back many, many centuries, with a multitude of different sizes and styles. Collared shirts, dresses, and jumpsuits were commonplace, on both men and woman. A common style of collar was the Barrymore collar, named after the actor John Barrymore, who was commonly seen wearing it. The common silhouette of the decade could be characterized by larger, broad shoulders that slim downwards. Oversized collars helped to complete that look and were able to be placed on almost any garment.

Frankly, there are too many styles and trends to simply pick one to reflect the entirety of the 1970s. Be it the fitted t-shirts and pants, or the loose and flowy maxi dresses, neither are wrong. What makes the decade so special is that there are so many possibilities when deciding how to encapsulate the decade in a single outfit.

Written by Gabbi Feaster

Photography By Yusef Shah

Models: Federica Finocchiaro, Izzy Reddy

bottom of page