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The early 1970s fashion scene was very similar to 1969, just a bit more flamboyant. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that a fashion revolution occurred in the 1970s. Polyester was the material of choice and bright colors were everywhere. Men and women alike were wearing very tight fitting pants and platform shoes. By 1973, most women were wearing high cut boots and low cut pants.

 

Early 1970s fashion was a fun era. It culminated some of the best elements of the 60s and perfected and/or exaggerated them. Some of the best clothing produced in the 1970s perfectly blended the mods with the hippies.

 

Just when it seemed pants couldn’t flare anymore (bell bottoms, anyone?), the flare was almost gone. By the late 1970s the pantsuit, leisure suit, and tracksuit was what the average person was sporting. Every woman had a cowl neck sweater in her closet and every man had a few striped v-neck velour shirts.

Tunics, culottes, and robes were also very popular. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which dresses were meant to be worn at home, and which ones were for a night on the town.

Chest hair, medallions, polyester, butterfly collars, bell bottoms, skin-tight t-shirts, sandals, leisure suits, flower patterned dress shirts, sideburns and, yes, tennis headbands.

 

There is one common theme throughout fashion in the 1970s: pants were tight fitting. And it is probably the first full decade in which women could be seen wearing pants in every walk of life.

It’s also hard to miss the fact that color almost completely disappeared by 1979. Earth tones, grays, whites, and blacks were back in full force, as people had apparently tired of the super bright tones of the early 1970s.

Miniskirt lovers picketed New York City shops that carried the new length. After years of building short skirted wardrobes, they weren’t about to change now. Others thought the longer skirt aged them. Whatever the reason, the midi skirt was a debacle that sent the fashion industry spiraling downward.

The midi was slightly different than long skirts from the 1950s. It was slit and slashed, laced-up or zipped-up, strapped or wrapped to one side and sometimes buttoned down the front. It flattered the young and thin most because it emphasized a small midriff, waist, and hips. How the leg met the hem was its most critical feature.

 

Ponchos, gauchos, and capes afforded a fashionable alternative to the midi. Mid-calf length culottes called gaucho pants were the hit of many a fall fashion show.

The Moroccan theme was big in 1970. Capes striped like bedspreads, along with folk-embroidered Hungarian peasant blouses gave fashion in 1970 a distinctly ethnic flavor.

 

Accessories were worn from head to toe. They were most vital part of the new look. Chokers, dog collars and handcrafted neck ornaments replaced standard jewelry. Some new jewelry embraced natural elements like wood, shells, stones, feathers, Indian beads and leather