One thing I look forward to every year is the change in seasons. New weather means new clothing, and with it I eagerly wait to see what vintage fashion trends are entering the mainstream. For the past few years, ’70s boho fashion has dominated women’s spring and summer fashion with maxi dresses, peasant blouses, and oversized sunglasses. Until now, I had not seen the ’70s revived for fall-winter fashion.
** This article is sponsored by Modcloth (Thank you!). Links within may be affiliate links meaning at no cost to you I may receive a small commission if you purchase items from Modcloth.com
Modcloth was one of the first to put out their fall collection before Labor day weekend. Let’s just say the response, at least on social media, was less than enthusiastic for the wool type tweeds and plaids, coordinated suits, and knitwear that dominated the early ’70s fashion scene. I was hesitant at first, but after doing some research about 1970s fashion, I have come to appreciate the current retro fall fashion trends — especially Modcloth’s collection, which is far more historically accurate than other brands.
1970s Fall Fashion Trends – Casual
Late ’60s and ’70s casual knit tops, T-shirts and silky blouses are leading the casual fashion trends for 2019. They each pair nicely with high waisted jeans and corduroy flares for something office to weeknight-friendly. I even like to pair dressy blouses with casual pants to mix it up, something they did frequently in the ’70s. Also, mixing brightly colored tops with neutral earth-tone colors was key to fall and winter fashions.
In addition to high rise jeans, I am a sucker for overalls — any kind, any decade, any material. The ’70s had both had slim-fitting overalls as well as wide-leg denim overalls and jumpsuits. I like them paired with a knit sweater to stay warm and cozy in winter. Shop tops and bottoms.
70s Fashion Trends- Dresses
While I usually don’t wear dresses in cool weather, I am thinking I need to reconsider that position this year. Long ’70s maxi dresses or shorter dresses with tall boots (and tights) make staying warm this fall a real possibility. Earthy colors like brown and grey are always welcome in fall. I would lean towards purple, orange, and green to give a potentially drab wardrobe more color. Also, textures like tweed, sweater knits, and corduroys make ’70s outfits more interesting.
There is also a trend for rainbows, and not just for spring. Rainbow striped dresses, jumpsuits, knit shirts, and jumpsuits will be sticking around for fall too. Shop dresses.
70s Fashion Trends- Coats and Jackets
The best thing about ’70s coats and jackets is that they were, for the most part, revivals of earlier decades. Wearing a vintage style’ 70s coat won’t be going out of fashion anytime soon. Casual jackets like denim or corduroy “trucker” jackets are timeless, yet pair perfectly with high rise denim jeans. Longer wool coats, pea coats, and trench coats are also classics. In the ’70s, they were worn over short dresses, becoming dress-like when buttoned up. Shop coats and jackets.
70s Fashion Trends- Shoes
Shoes and boots are the one items I am more excited about than anything else this fall. I love a good pair of boots, but the last few years’ trend for tall boots didn’t mesh well with my wide calves. This year, boots are back down to just above the ankle with vintage granny-style laces and low to moderate heels. Thank you!
Modcloth has some nice boots, but it’s the casual shoes with a definite ’70s flair that interest me more. Wide chunky heels in neutral colors and full coverage can look “ugly” (a lot of ’70s shoes are) but they work really well with the ’70s style clothes. Flared pants in bold prints like plaid need a heavy shoe in a solid color to balance them out. Equally important are colored shoes in shimmering metallics to be noticed on the disco dance floor. Shop 70s shoes.
70s Fall Outfit Ideas
Putting separates all together is one area I personally lack in my own wardrobe choices. I tend to pick separates without thought as to how they will or won’t work together. Thankfully, the ’70s was an era of “anything goes” and any combination will generally look good. Modcloth has done a great job of pairing outfits together in some interesting ways. I might do them a little differently to give them more of a ’70s style that I like. For example:
- Modcloth: Jumper dress over an ivory bow blouse. Me: Jumper dress over a rib-knit shirt.
- Modcloth: Plaid jumper over a white button-down blouse. Me: Plaid overalls over a turtle neck shirt in a bright color.
- Modcloth: Plaid pants and a chunky roll neck sweater. Me: Plaid pants and a solid color blouse to match on color in the bottoms. Maybe add a knit vest too. Leather crossbody bag and chunky oxford shoes to coordinate.
As far as dresses go with fall, I still love the look of long maxi dresses or skirts over boots. Bring on the paisley, florals, chevron stripes, and rainbows!
70s Swimsuits ?
One last category I wanted to bring up was ’70s swimsuit. Why mention swimsuits in a fall outfit guide? Because it is next to impossible to find swimsuits in the middle of winter, which is when I travel to warmer/tropical destinations (Florida, I am coming to you soon… sans any tropical storms). Modcloth must have figured out women’s needs because they have restocked quite a few retro ’70s swimsuits and bikinis for the fall and winter season. The low neck/deep V swimsuit seems to be the trendiest. I think I’ll stick to modest but fun tropical print swimsuits instead.
- More 70s outfit ideas
- 1970s Outfit Inspiration | 70s Costume Ideas
- 1970s women’s fashion history
- 70s Disco Fashion: Disco Clothes, Outfits for Girls
- 10 Hippie Outfit Ideas for Women
Debbie Sessions has been teaching fashion history and helping people dress for vintage themed events since 2009. She has turned a hobby into VintageDancer.com with hundreds of well researched articles and hand picked links to vintage inspired clothing online. She aims to make dressing accurately (or not) an affordable option for all. Oh, and she dances too.