The 1970s are known today for popularizing some interesting fashion trends: from bold colours to eye-catching style, 70s fashion women’s trends are hard to describe in a few words.
Thus, we bring you this guide, listing some interesting 70s Fashion Women’s clothes and top fashion icons of the era. So, let’s dive into 70s fashion!
1. 70s Fashion Women: A Glance
The 1970s was a thrilling time for the fashion industry. The most engaging fact about the era was the diversity in trends and fashion that existed during the time, and the vast difference that could be observed in various categories: from casual clothes to evening parties, 70s fashion women were so influential that women started wearing and repeating them decades later!
The 70s style is also called the ‘disco style,’ mainly inspired by the clothing of the late 1960s. Sequin dresses and tops were a big hit but also very hip. The clothes were also inspired by the pop industry and hippie outfits worn earlier and consisted of a huge variety of different styles.
70s fashion women had the following common aspects:
- The synthetic and polyester material of clothes, thus naming the era the polyester decade.
- Fusion of various styles like Hippie, Disco and vintage clothing.
- Bright-coloured and more use of glitter in clothes.
- Satin was a common material.
- Commonly paired with chunky platform heels or boots.
- Tighter clothes on top and loose on the bottom.
- More demand for one-piece outfits.
Now, let’s look at what gave birth to the experimental and funky fashion choices in the 70s, and the reasons for the revolutionary fashion choices of the decade!
2. Societal Changes That inspired 70s Fashion Women
The 1970s are considered the years of Pivotal Changes across the world. It was the golden period of Economic upheaval, powered by the post-war economic boom. There was a worldwide economic expansion which was quickly observed, and the society, when saw more freedom in the economic context, became more open to opportunities and trends.
The 1970s was also a golden period for females. Society became more open to the idea and powers of femineity, and a sharp decline was observed in the patriarchal thinking of the westernized world.
People became more accepting of the freedom of women in various aspects; women began to receive financial, sexual, artistic, and literary rights.
But all these changes were not immediate; rather, they were the result of the possibly century-long struggle of women, which constituted various feminist movements. Women gradually got more space in society, came out of their homes and started appearing in influential roles.
The 1970s also saw various highly-influential women, for instance, Jacqueline Kennedy, Cher, Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, John Mitchell, and Patti Smith, to name a few. Being in powerful positions and receiving the support of the public, these influential women also received liberty in the case of fashion.
Thus, they led the fashion industry with rather bold and fun fashion trends and clothes, which were quickly adopted by the public. Women’s fashion quickly became one of the largest growing industries in the world.
All the rage women bore for centuries came out like lava during a volcanic eruption, and women took western society by storm. All this struggle and rage resulted in a timeless yet highly experimental and bold fashion trend, 70s fashion women.
Such was the story of the birth of this unique and highly-fashionable society of the 70s, known for its funk and groove, which does not fail to impress fashion enthusiasts today. This trend is currently revisiting pop culture today, with many people creating looks inspired by the era.
Here is a peek at the most famous 70s fashion women; let’s take a trip down memory lane!
3. Top 70s Fashion Women
From celebrities and icons like Cher, Jane Birkin, and Jackie Kennedy to the common women who loved fashion, the following are the articles of clothing that were loved in the 70s by ladies and were seen on the runways, cover pages of magazines, and in the streets!
3.1. Wrap Dress
With bright colours, bold necklines and synthetic non-stretchy material, every other woman was almost bewitched with a wrap dress. From Polka Dot prints to more hippie styles, wrap dress was very common sighting on the streets as well as at parties.
Women started wearing these dresses with platform heels and sometimes even with boots. The wrap dress was styled according to the occasion. These were pretty much multi-purpose dresses, depending on the accessories they were styled with.
Women often preferred a high bun updo and also threw in a belt a few times. One outfit for various occasions, no wonder the timeless wrap dress was and has been a hit!
Wrap dresses were actually inspired by Oriental Fashion and were mainly invented by Diane Von Furstenberg, and came back around like a strong wave in the 70s in the United States. Wrap dresses also checked the utility for lounge wearing, as they were comfortable and breezy.
Even today, the wrap dress is a high-selling style. Though there are a few changes in the prints and styling departments, these are a big hit. So hurry and grab a wrap dress if you’re thirsty for a fashionable yet timeless style and love the 70s fashion Women.
3.2. Bell Bottom Jeans
Forming a bell-shaped leg below the knee, bell-bottom pants trousers received mass favouritism as 70s fashion women. The public especially loved them. The end of the bell bottom pants had a massive flare, just like the 70s fashion.
Bell bottom pants trend was unisex. Inspired by the early 19th-century naval trends, these were first worn due to their utility. These were worn by naval officers as a life-saving device, as tying a knot at the bottom inflated the trousers with air, and provided them with extra floatation.
Bell bottoms have also been worn by Carpenters for centuries. The bell-like bottom of the jeans and trousers prevented the sawdust and wood shavings from hurting their legs and getting into their shoes. Many carpenters around the world still wear bell bottoms to save themselves from potential scratches and injuries.
By the 1970s, bell bottoms almost became a necessity. Popularized by personalities like Sonny & Cher on their show called ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, bell-bottom jeans hit the streets and shook the whole fashion industry.
They were so popular that they even had a song dedicated to them: Bell Bottom Blues by Derek and the Dominos. These also gave birth to two trendy types of pants: Flared jeans and elephant bells.
These were, as mentioned, Unisex and also highly versatile. These could be paired with crop tops, shirts and even coats and t-shirts. Common footwear paired with these varied: from dress shoes to platform heels, they matched with everything!
3.3. Denim Jacket
The 70s can be called the golden era for Denim. From jeans to shirts and Jackets, Denim was seen everywhere. Denim Jacket styled with different articles of clothing still seems like a fresh fashion trend today.
One of the most important 70s fashion Women, Denim was in one of the top positions in the court of fashion. These were and still are a significant part of the mainstream fashion industry and are also very versatile.
Women commonly liked wearing denim jackets with Denim skirts or Jeans, with a tee or a shirt underneath. They also loved to accessorize them using hoops and scarves, and often wore boots as footwear with them. This outfit was rather commonly found in casual and daily-life settings.
Jean jacket is, today, considered a vital element of American Fashion and was introduced in the late 19th century in the US itself. These were and still are one of the top trends of the fashion industry owing to their effortless and stylish look!
3.4. Midi Dresses
Midi dresses also became very popular in 70s fashion women. They started wearing them in different settings as they were available in various and diverse styles.
Midi dresses were found and paired with other mainstream fashion trends at that time, such as bell sleeves, and jersey wrap dresses and were paired with platform shoes, boots, or heels. Many dresses contained a lot of sequins, while the others came with bold hippie colours and prints.
The midi dress was mainly made of polyester and synthetic materials. The neckline options of this dress style were also very diverse: from low-cut V to a sweetheart neckline, Maxi dresses could be worn on every occasion.
The midi dress is one of the most commonly worn one-piece styles of clothing worn today. There have been some changes in the structures and the prints, as women today prefer solid colours and much less sequin in their maxi dresses. Though nowadays they are more commonly observed at parties as evening gowns, the maxi dress style is here to stay!
3.5. Knee-High Boots
In American 70s fashion women, more boots were worn by everyone. The most famous out of those were knee-high boots, a very common sight that could be seen in discos and clubs.
These were most commonly paired with skirts and disco dresses, as they were preferred to be worn with short-length skirts. Though these were also worn with jeans and mid-length skirts, they were more popular with short skirts.
Even today, the most common image one makes up in their mind when 70s fashion women are mentioned, is that of a short one-piece dress with a flowy end and tight top, with bold colours like pink and orange, and bold patterns put together with hoop earrings and knee-high boots. This outfit was considered the most classic disco outfit during the 1970s.
Knee-high boots were more often seen with outfits inspired by hippie style, and they were the most common sight on the dance floor. Since most women liked wearing thick soles on their feet, of course, these became a big hit.
Knee-high boots have flourished the test of time like other popular 70s fashion women, who love to pair them with skinny jeans, skirts, and shorts and are generally worn with more cowboy or cowgirl-vibe outfits, with halter tops and peasant blouses on the top.
3.6. Satin Shirts
Since synthetic materials like polyester and Satin enjoyed favouritism in western society, Satin Shirts with large collars quickly caught the eye of the public. They kept up with the popular disco trend of the era and could be paired with various accessories and bottoms.
These were most commonly worn with bell bottoms or flared pants among both men and women. Women also paired them with skirts and, sometimes, short shorts. More slim-fitting shirts were preferred during the time, as the trend was of a tight-fitting top worn with loose pants or bottoms of any sort.
These shirts followed the hippie-style trend and came in bold colours and funky patterns. American women also liked to accessorize these shirts with large chunky earrings, boots, or chunky platform shoes or heels and scarves.
These were more often than not paired with knee-high boots and short skirts as well. Though satin shirt looks are a bit hard to find these days, the vibe with which they were worn still prevails.
With jeans, skirts, and thigh-high boots, today, the hippie vibe is more preferred with cotton shirts and peasant blouses, and halter tops. The article is a hard-to-find one today, but the trends it brought to the 70s fashion women. Many people still follow those trends today with slightly changed approaches.
3.7. Long Maxi Dress
Another timeless trend on the list is the trend of wearing a long maxi dress. Checking the box of the ongoing fashion trends of wearing tight-fitted tops and loose bottoms, maxi dresses were a big hit as well as they were comfortable, breezy, effortless, and slightly dressy.
They were commonly observed in events like tea parties and errand runs and were easy to carry. Oscar de la Renta, a reputed fashion designer, was responsible for these iconic and comfortable pieces of clothing in the 1960s. The 60s and the 70s fashion market was full of these, and women rather loved to style them with some trusty platform shoes.
These dresses were big on the hippie style and checked the vibe with floral and boho prints varying in colours and sizes. These were more often than not found in more pastel, earthy and washed-down colours, a sharp contrast to the popping colours that were famous in the 70s fashion women, nonetheless, wore them daily.
These dresses breezily stood the test of time and have still prevailed in the fashion industry. Today women prefer to wear them with strappy heels, sandals, or flip-flops and pair them with a nice dangly set of earrings.
They still fall in the category of boho-hippie fashion, but the variation of prints and colours found today makes it hard to constrict them within a single category.
3.8. Bandeau Tops
It is impossible to complete this list without including Bandeau tops in it. Playful and colourful tops paired with blue jeans or short shorts were a common sight in the 70s streets. These were often worn by women at parties, on beaches, or just wherever they felt like it!
Following the whole boho-hippie theme of the era, these tops were undoubtedly a very loved article of clothing in 70s fashion and were found in playful and often solid colours.
Like most of the 70s fashion women, everyone liked them so much that they managed to stay around after all these years and gave birth to what we call Tube Tops today. Pretty much like the 70s trends, these can be paired with jeans, skirts, boots, sandals, or heels. They are highly versatile pieces of clothing.
They can be worn as casual wear or as party wear. If you want to make a statement, throw one of these on with whatever you like and rock the place!
3.9. Platform Heels
You must’ve guessed the popularity of Platform shoes by now as they could be worn with everything. Whether a skirt, a dress, shorts, pants, or jeans, these went well with everything and created a statement out of anything!
They were available in a wide variety of colours and even boho-hippie prints. Do you want a strappy pair to go with your midi skirt? Easy to find! Do you want one that looks like a formal shoe to match your pants? No sweat! Run to the nearest shoe store, and you will find them. From boots to shoes and sandals, platform heel was found in every style!
These were also available in all kinds of materials: from leather to match your pants to straw to pair with your maxi dress; these were loved through and through!
The main reason these rocked the streets was probably because of the undeniable liking for thick heels in women’s fashion at the time and also because of the inspiration from hippie fashion trends.
Though these were first observed around the 1930s, they only became a part of mainstream fashion during 70s fashion women, on the runway, and the streets: everyone adored them! Platform shoes are finding their way back into the fashion industry these days and are worn by various fashion icons, including Ariana Grande, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner!
3.10. Midi Skirts
Found in a range of colours, prints, materials, and styles, midi skirts became very popular in the 70s. These were mainly worn till mid-calves and were found in materials like denim, leather, and without a doubt, polyester, keeping in mind the popularity of the same fabric during the era.
From hippie prints with earthy colours to popping bright colours like pinks and yellows, these were and still are a major hit! These were paired with platform shoes, sandals, and sometimes, go-go boots as well! A unique and loved style was that of a denim midi skirt with a front zipper, paired with boots and a tee: effortless yet beautiful!
This style has been a part of women’s fashion ever since the 70s fashion women. Still in trend!
4. Top 70s Fashion Women Loved: The Vibes
All the fashion trends of the 1970s were, without a doubt, iconic. That is why most of them are still followed or are revisiting today’s fashion industry, giving us all nostalgic feelings.
From Debbie Harry to Bianca Jagger and Diane Von Furstenberg, everyone loved to stay in style and are still considered fashion divas even after all these years.
While individual articles of clothing like platform shoes, bell sleeves, wrap dresses, Flared pants, and blue jeans are easy to be considered, many of us often forget how they were styled and the vibe they created. So, let’s look at 70s fashion women loved and the vibes they had to offer.
4.1. Disco Fashion
You asked; we served! When we think about the 70s, the first thing that most likely comes to our mind is a disco with a big disco ball in between and people dancing to Ladies’ Night. Of course, the 70s were the peak years of disco culture and, undeniably, disco style.
Now, we’re pretty sure as soon as you think about the young people on the 70s dance floor, the following fashion trends come to your mind: Flared pants, bell sleeves, midi skirts, sequin disco dresses, and possibly, hot pants and some sweater vests; and unmistakably, a lot of platform shoes and boots.
The 70s fashion is called Disco Fashion for a reason. These articles were not only found typically on the dance floor but also in the streets with slightly different accessories and styles.
The majority of these articles and the vibe itself seems to revisit the fashion industry, as Flared pants, boot-cuts, and platform shoes are being observed as hits among the trends today.
4.2. Hippie Style
Hippie/Boho vibes ruled almost every fashion show of the 70s and gave tough competition to disco fashion trends. Flared Jeans (more often called elephant bells), floppy hats, go-go boots, dresses with boho prints, Jean shorts, headbands, and bell sleeves ruled every runway.
The bold prints and bright-coloured tops paired with earthy-shade pants and vests were a common sight in the streets and on the runway. Hippie prints were a public favourite. Hippie style ruled everywhere it went, just like 70s fashion women!
4.3. Anything Polyester
The 70s were not called the polyester decade for no reason! From suits to shirts, pants, and dresses, polyester was the crowd’s favourite during the era. It was wrinkle-free and breezy and gave the vibes of the funky 70s!
It was mainly worn in the form of leisure suits, which were double knit and were quickly made crowd favourite. However, the fabric’s popularity saw a sharp fall at the decade’s end.
The whole downfall started with the sharp decline of leisure suits; with the suits, the material itself fell from favour because of the cheap designs and poor construction processes.
4.4. Funky and Groovy
If we mix Hippie fashion and disco trends, what do we get? Funky and Groovy fashion! These two words do not fail to capture the essence of 70s fashion women. Everyone loved this vibe to rock the streets and the dance floor.
While the popping bright colours brought out the funk of the people, bell bottoms, platform heels, boots, and maxi dresses made them groove.
These styles undoubtedly make the 70s an interesting period for the fashion market. It was an era full of fashionable experiments, most of which were hits and have survived the test of time.
5. Some Popular Icons of 70s Fashion Women
The comeback of the 70s fashion in the market has taken the internet by storm! To give you a guide and some inspiration, let’s look at the Icons of 70s fashion women!
5.1. Grace Jones
This icon was known for her uniqueness and individuality in aspects of music, arts, and of course, fashion. Known for her bold choices and boundary-breaking eye for art, Grace Jones started her modelling career when she was 18 and later succeeded as an actress and a singer. She later became a part of Studio 54, the renowned club which was established in 1977. If you’re looking for inspiration, she is one!
5.2. Jane Birkin
Known for her simple chic style and tousled fringe bangs, Jane Birkin is still famous for her laid-back yet chic style. One of her iconic outfits: White tee paired with flared jeans, brown belt and brown boots. She also followed the trend of the maxi dress and midi skirts and was and is still admired by everyone!
Interestingly, she was also the one for whom Birkin Bags were created, which have become a status symbol today. Jane Birkin is and was a fashionista through and through!
You can learn more about Birkin Bags on Hermes’s Official site!
Cher was and still is one of the most admirable and fashionable women in the industry. Her diva style and bold fashion choices made her stand out from the crowd. She wore a lot of disco-inspired looks, with sequins and all the bling.
She had a personal liking for bandeau tops, what we call tube tops today, and effortlessly lit up the room wherever she went! She was also honoured by Harper’s bazaar magazine some time back for her style and contributions to the industry. On the cover, Kim Kardashian was seen posing as Cher to give her a glam-packed salute!
5.4. Diane Von Furstenberg
Diane Von Furstenberg was an icon of the hippie yet chic trend. Her style consisted of a lot of prints and dresses paired with heels. She is a Belgian fashion designer and also the creator of the iconic wrap dress, which you can also find at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and dates back to 1975-76.
She was also famous for her leisure suits, which she designed in the 70s, while they were still popular. Diane Von Furstenberg was one of the icons of the 70s fashion women.
You can find out more about her collection on their official website.
5.5. Debbie Harry
Lead singer in a punk band called Blondie Debbie Harry is one of the pioneers of the 70s fashion women. She brought disco-punk style to fame, comprising of one-shoulder tops, tank tops, pumps, and jeans.
One of her most iconic looks comprised a white one-shoulder top paired with a red necktie and jeans. Her looks included neckties, and one-shoulder tops were among her favourites.
Her hairstyle and fashion choices screamed punk-rock vibes and made her one of the icons of the 70s who are still considered pioneers today!
The 70s was a decade full of colour, style, and creativity. It is counted among the top decades of fashion, with its groovy, disco, and hippie styles. The era presented the world with some interesting and amazing trends, which are quickly shaking the internet even today.
The 70s was one of the most fashionable times when staying in style was a daily chore. Flared Jeans, sweater vests and disco pants; 70s fashion women are here to stay. The era’s common vibes, including Hippie fashion, Disco trends, and funky looks, were seen in bell bottoms, polyester and terry cloth leisure suits, and colourful prints.
Which of the 70s outfits is your favourite? Did we miss any interesting 70s fashion women? Let us know in the comment section!
If you’re looking for more interesting content related to the evolution of fashion over the years, whether you are looking for tailored blazers, leather jackets, lace-up sandals, or other popular styles like Diana Ross.