In the 1970s, you could see women wearing Indian block-print bedspread dresses, tie-dye t-shirts, skinny jeans or black dresses. Women’s outfits of the 1970s inherited the fashion of the 1960s, which still reflected the mixture of rebellious hippies and unconventional fashion. Whether it was short skirt with long coat or long skirt paired with short vest, there’s no definite direction to the fashion during this period.
The mods were reviving the flapper look of the 1920s, with its round-necked cloche hats and shift dress. Mature women preferred classic clothes from the 40s and 50s. 1970s fashion was a hodgepodge, not a continuation of one period, but a fusion of periods. Women favored comfortable and casual clothes. Over the past decade, all the looks tried to transform the modern style into something less plastic and simpler, while the hippie turned into tailored chic.
In the early 1970s, miniskirts, jumper dress, drop waist dress and tunic dress were still the dominant fashion. In winter, women wore sleeveless jumper dresses with short or long sleeve shirts and high knee socks. Drop waist shift dresses and button front sheath dresses were made of polyester double-knit fabric, which had excellent wrinkle resistance. Many dresses had oversized collars, and some began creating hippie styles in yellow, green and orange flowers or paisley swirls.
Women’s dresses looked more like 1940s and 1950s fashion with A-line skirts or pleated skirts as well as button-down tops. Simple one-piece dresses with belts, cap sleeves and swingy skirts or two tunics, skirts and belts constructed of the most casual dresses in that era. In autumn and winter women preferred jewel tones, while in the summer they chose pastels and white. White was a very popular color at that time for everything from dresses to hats, handbags to shoes.
For most of the 1970s, women wore pants for both day and dressy evenings because they were simple and comfortable. The dressy pants were inspired by the 1940s, with wide and straight leg and big pleats at the top for comfort. Women’s pantsuits, though unknown, had exploded on the market. Men’s tailored blazers were paired with tank vests and pussy bow tie blouse, with wide trousers and pointy toe boots, along with men’s style button-down shirts, matching suit vests, big hats, flat shoes and glasses, the look was a new trend for smart and stylish women. The shortest women’s shorts were hot pants. They were very short and with bright colors, which were made of satin, cotton, nylon, denim, and velvet. Most of them were in high waisted look. They were usually worn with tall boots and bright tights, adding a long, wide-lapel blazer to make women work easily.
As a fashion accessory, many young women in the 1970s still favored to wear hats. The wide-brimmed floppy hat was probably the most iconic hat of the decade. It worked well with peasant clothes, especially for white mesh dresses in summer, or brown suede or handmade quilted designs of hippie clothes. Casual bucket hat was specifically designed for summertime. Baseball caps and sun visors were also popular with sports fans. Hand-knitted beret was a winter staple.