70s Style: A History
Fashion trends are often affected and informed by the socio-political climate of the times.
For example, the post-war climate of the Roaring Twenties was a period of great change and freedom, which lent itself to fashion that was a little more revealing and utilitarian
Then there was the leisurely Beat generation that rose up in the post-World War II period, whose laid-back look was a protest against traditional values.
The 70s was no different; the iconic flamboyant 70s style was inspired by the counterculture movement in reaction to the Vietnam War. Bell-bottom pants, tie-dye shirts, and tight-tops, were all forms of individual expression that characterised the decade.
The Peacock Revolution
Along with all that counterculture came a unique questioning of gender roles; specifically masculine identity. Who said that men couldn’t pull off garish, colourful looks with soft fabrics? Before the 70s, it seems like all men’s fashion boiled down to looking like a new hire at a dreary corporation.
The strength of the 70s’ individual expression led to men wearing silk scarves, flared sleeves and chiffon tops. The traditional square-shaped silhouettes gave way to more feminine contours.
And of course, the colours became bright and vivid.
The 70s were a very transformative decade in terms of fashion choices, and the influences are still felt in today's fashion landscape. Here are a few of the most iconic 70s outfits for men.
As we mentioned, bell-bottom pants and tie-dye shirts were part of the hippie movement, but there were also flowery looks and ethnic or folk-inspired prints. Most hippie clothing was also pretty loose and made of natural materials.
For men, torn or baggy jeans, long hair, and any clothing that looks both used and way too big for you can be a great foundation a cool hippie style outfit. Circular sunglasses and headbands are a big part of the theme too.
Also known as ‘Studio 54 fashion’ in honour of the legendary club Studio 54, the disco party outfit is perhaps the most iconic 70s style.
You can assemble a disco outfit by putting together a colourful three-piece suit, pants with flared legs, big aviator-style shades, and toss in some suede boots for good measure.
The vintage glam rock look is one of the best ways to draw attention at a party without anyone questioning your sanity. Just look at David Bowie—but then again, David Bowie looks good no matter what he’s wearing.
Imagine a classy suit and pants, and then make it wild. Splash some colour, throw in materials like satin and velvet, and add frills and leather jackets. Wear leather boots or platform shoes to complete the look.
The afro might be the signature 70s look, but not everyone can appropriately pull it off. Long, straight hair is a viable alternative for anyone else. However, if you’re not willing to go that far for your 70s look, sideburns, side parts, and crew cuts are all great pairs.
Blast From The Past
70s men's clothes aren’t really just retro anymore—they’re as ‘back’ as any other eclectic style. Mix and match the styles with modern looks to get a unique style that is truly you.