There is more to 1970s clothing than bell-bottom pants and disco shirts. Take a look at these authentic 70s outfits for women and create your own 70s wardrobe. From casual tops and shorts or hippie shirts and jeans or dresses for the office and jumpsuits for the dancefloor. Explore the 70s fashion trends that are making a comeback today and where to buy them online.
70s Outfits 1: Casual Flares
The heyday for blue jeans was the 70s. Everyone was wearing them almost all the time. At home, with friends, to the office- blue jeans were comfortable and no one wanted to take them off. What makes 70s blue jeans unique was the high and tight waist with a wide leg that flared a little or a lot. Bell bottoms are the most famous but straight leg or flared leg pants were more common.
Jeans were paired with simple tops. Snug knit tops or polo shirts with large collars in stripes or solid bright colors. The loose peasant top or smock top with embroidery, crochet trim, inset lace and kneck ties became trendy in the late 1970s. Long tunic tops in vivid patterns like paisley, chevron stripes, and ethnic designs started the trend in the early 70s. These are also known as hippie tops.
70s Outfits 2: Colored Bells
Denim blue jeans were not the only casual outfit. Flares, loons and bell-bottom pants came in all sorts of bright colors and subtle patterns. They could be paired with loose tunic tops and peasant blouses or mixed with sportier knit shirts. Soft ringer t-shirts with groovy slogans and retro destinations are popular 70s shirts now. So are rainbow-striped long and short sleeve shirts, crop tops and large collar polo shirts. Knitwear was in style in the 70s and blended perfectly with the colorful pants.
What about shoes? Besides platform heels, 70s shoes embraced the clog, tall boot, lace-up granny boot, strappy heels (for dancing) and vintage throwbacks.
70s Outfit 3: Casual Summer Days
When days are warm and jeans are too hot a pair of high waisted shorts are your next best option. High waisted jean shorts are the classic shorts but low waisted hotpants with or without pockets were the fashion in the mid-70s. Pair them with a striped tank top or crochet crop top for a summer retro style.
For a summer outfit choose 1. High waisted shorts or short shorts with pockets 2. Optional belt- white, natural or rainbow stripes 3. Striped or crochet sleeveless top 4. Wedge sandals or Birkenstocks 5. Long bead, wood or ivory necklace
70s Outfit 4: Wrap Dresses
Diane Von Furstenberg is credited to create one of the most iconic dresses of the 70s, the wrap dress. Worn by stars and socialites it never caught one with the mainstream public but has since been revived again and again. It is back in style this year making is a great 70s retro-modern outfit to wear now.
70s wrap dresses were made of a light jersey that clung to the body with a thin tie belt that barely held in in place. Some were button-down shirt dresses with collars and most came in big floral prints or small ditsy prints. They would be long maxi dresses but most were knee length. Simple, casual, feminine and very pretty.
For your retro wrap dress outfit try 1. A pretty jersey wrap dress in a color and pattern that you love 2. T strap, Mary Jane or Peep toe “vintage” style heels 3. Large bangle bracelet or short thin gold pendant necklace 4. Gorgeous long feathered hair!
70s Outfit 5. Maxi Dress
The other iconic 70s dress was the long maxi dress which gave a nod back to the turn of the century Edwardian style with lace trim ruffled hems, puffy sleeves, and an empire waistband. They could be simple or fussy, prints or pastels. The current boho trend favors maxi dresses in ethnic prints or white embroidered summer dresses.
For your maxi dress outfit keep it simple. 1. A long maxi dress in a floral print in on-trend now 2. Strappy sandal heels for summer, tall lace-up boots for winter. Add a floppy hat for a boho hippie vibe.
Under long dresses, 70s heels were hardly visible but with short dresses, they were meant to be seen. 70s heels could have a chunky square heel with a modest rise or a taller evening heel height. Most shoes were inspired by vintage styles of the 30s to 40s. Two-tone mary jane heels from the 20s, thin T strap heels from the 30s, and peep toe heels from the 40s were revived into new 70s designs. Shop vintage style heels shoes or all 70s shoes here.
An alternative to long dresses are short early 70s dresses in the mini shift or tunic style. Many were still in the 60s mod style with contrast white trim and collars. Big white necktie bows were also in style. Other dresses were more of a hippie or boho look with tribal prints, smocking, embroidery or crochet. Denim was also big in the mid-70s.
Shop short 70s dresses.
70s Outfit 6. Disco Jumpsuits and Dresses
When the day was done women and men headed to the Disco for a night of dancing, socializing and showing off your best clothing. Disco clothing ranged from jeans and shirts (often white or sequin) to gold lame dresses to everyone’s favorite jumpsuits. Jumpsuits are attached tops and bottoms usually in the same fabric. 70s jumpsuits were wide-legged or bell-shaped with bold colors or big prints. Being flashy was the name of the game on the Disco floor. Most 70s Halloween costumes are inspired by Disco fashion
For your Disco jumpsuit pick 1. A colorful jumpsuit 2. Strappy thin heels or platform shoes 3. Plain jewelry that sparkles 4. Dramatic hair: long and frizzy or Afro-chic 5. Try one of these other Disco outfit ideas
Besides jumpsuits, women wore shiny dresses to the disco. Silver sequins on short dresses looked like mirror disco balls while metallic gold lame also dazzled under the lights. The 1920s fringe flapper dress experienced a revival at the disco too but it was the all-new wrap style dress in soft draping satin that had women dancing all night. Shop disco dresses and jumpsuits here.
70s Outfit 7: Hippie
The next outfit or several outfits are for the 70s hippie look. Mixing and matching separates especially those with unique textures and materials in earth tone colors defined the casual 70s hippie look. Using this photo below as inspiration you can create many outfits from just a few pieces of clothing.
- Outfit 1: A faux fur white vest over striped modish pants and button down shirt
- Outfit 2. Ribbed knit turtleneck tunic shirt and matching pants, gold belt, and striped knit vest
- Outfit 3. Plaid poncho, turtleneck shirt, knit beret hat and slightly flared pants
- Outfit 4. Fringe vest over button brown shirt, corduroy boot cut pants, big western belt and hippie headband
What will you wear to a 70s party? If you need help with your outfit, just ask!
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