Fashion trends of the ‘70s make a comeback

Styles resembling typical couture from decades ago have now emerged as the prevalent new fad of the season


Courtesy of Just Jared

High waisted shorts, palazzo pants, vests and flowy fabrics are key to ‘70s fashion, as Kendall Jenner and her friends demonstrate.

Star Wars is not the only thing from the ’70s making a comeback — boho vibes, Bombardier jackets and sweeping printed palazzo pants are back in rotation as well. Although it might be exactly what your parents wore when they were teenagers, ‘70s fashion is resurfacing and expected to be bigger than ever. Every day is now a throwback to fashion’s groovy past, and all that is kicky is predicted to stay for at least another two seasons, according to an article published earlier this month by Harper’s Bazaar.

The essence of the ‘70s can be described in three words: love, peace and trippy. The days of the ‘70s had heavy influences from the ’60s counterculture movement —  said days were filled with positive vibes and psychedelic mashups. The clothing of the era really reflected this with their worldly bohemian aesthetics, colorful prints and wild fabrics. Can you dig it?

Flowy Fabrics

Relaxed silhouettes adorn the figures of many students at Palo Alto High School. These flowing fabrics pay homage to the ‘70s saying of “feeling like you’re walking around naked, yet having clothes on.” Four decades back, fashion was all about breaking through the modest ways of the past and making way for garments that showed a bit of skin. Today, examples of this trend can be seen in peasant tops, draping dresses and palazzo pants. These tops and dresses are made of gauzy, sometimes translucent fabric, such as chiffon. They are typically solid pastel colors or are printed with bohemian designs that often include flowers, chevrons, diamonds and interlocking shapes. These tops and dresses feature low necklines and sometimes added lace detailing, fringes, fabric layering or embroidery. Manufacturers such as Free People incorporate these features into their garments regularly. Pants of this style are made of light, breathable fabrics, such as silk crepe or rayon, and are usually patterned with psychedelic, colorful prints, adding to the mimicry of the carefree aesthetic of the ‘70s.

Groovy Accessories

Accessories underwent a revolution in the ‘70s. Gone were the white gloves and matching bag-and-hat set of the ’40s and ’50s. Along with the social and cultural revolution of the ’60s came the eventual breakdown of set rules for traditionally proper, matching accessories. Denizens of this subculture became more adventurous with crazier prints and large, statement jewelry. Certain looks with accessories such as far out round sunglasses, black wide-brimmed hats or chunky bangles are as stylish now as they were 40 years ago. In addition to lighter fabrics such as silk and rayon, suede was a popular choice back in the ‘70s, featured on skirts, jackets, shoes and vests. Around campus today, suede accents everything from fringed handbags to backpacks to Vans. All of these accessories and more can be found at popular stores such as Urban Outfitters, Free People and Brandy Melville. 

Chuck Taylors

A pair of white high-top Converse, high-waisted shorts and a ribbed, striped t-shirt sounds like a modern-day outfit for a high schooler, but this bangin’ getup is straight from the heart of the ‘70s. Converse Chuck Taylors were all the rage for adolescents in the era of peace and love —  everyone had to have bleach white high-tops. They were the defining shoe of the ‘70s and have been becoming more prevalent in the past few years, becoming one of the most popular shoe choices for teenage girls. Chuck Taylors are certainly not made solely for women, and in fact, in the ‘70s they were more popular among men. With distinct roots tracing back to the ’70s, this shoe has become a modern-day staple.

Moto Jackets and Vests

Tell me about it, stud. Born out of the 1978’s hit movie “Grease” came leather jackets of varying colors, shapes, sizes and fabrics. Popular back then were classic black leather jackets, along with the Bombardier jacket, more commonly known as a bomber jacket, which closely resembles fighter jet pilot jackets. Bombers are often made of leather or sheepskin, occasionally with sherpa lining on the inside. These jackets can be found in a variety of colors, most commonly black, and sometimes featuring snap buttons, zippers and pockets. The sibling of the bomber jacket, the motorcycle jacket, aptly dubbed the moto jacket, was also extremely popular in the ‘70s and continues to be worn today. These leather moto jackets come in various colors, and feature studs, zippers and many pockets. Both jackets are currently prevalent and sold by almost every major retailer. In addition to these long sleeved jackets, another type of outerwear is becoming more relevant: vests. These sleeveless garments are back with noticeable tributes to the ‘70s, featuring fur, fringes, or bubble lining and just about every style of vest dates back to the ’70s.

High-Waisted Everything

Back in the day of jiving to disco tunes, high-waisted bell bottom jeans could be spotted all across the dance floor. Although these flared pants may be scarce today, many jeans, shorts and skirts are being made so that the waist is located around the belly button area, which was a major trend in the ‘70s. This style allows for shorter shirts to be worn without showing as much skin. Crop tops back in the 70’s were paired with matching skirt sets or high waisted shorts. Today, crop tops are more commonly paired with high-waisted shorts. Ribbed knit crop tops and tank tops can currently be found at Brandy Melville. When summer comes, out come the short shorts — or what people called hot pants in the ’70s. Hot pants were high-waisted shorts that were colorful, sometimes patterned and typically made of either denim or cotton. Any shorts today labeled “high-waisted” are probably a very close replica of hot pants. Finally, skirts today are made high-waisted as well. High-waisted skirts were huge in the ‘70s, as matching skirts and crop tops took center stage. The ‘70s also marked the all-time peak in popularity of the miniskirt, which is just as popular today as it was back then. Versatile and flattering, miniskirts remain an everyday staple among teens, as it did 45 years ago.