70s Fashion Began Where the 60s Left Off

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70s fashion began where the 60s left off. Mini skirts were popular and theflower power influence was everywhere. 60s' trends first adopted by the beautiful people filtered into mainstream wear. Trousers were flared and shirts had big collars. For men, the kipper tie was soon standard wear with a suit. These girls (above) are at a party in the summer of 1970. They show that the mini skirt was far from dead. 70s' fashion took on a multitude of different styles and influences. As well as the hippy style of the late sixties, there was nostalgia for the past. First for the 20s and 30s, then the 40s and 50s and finally the Edwardian era. There was also concern for the environment and strong ethnic influences. Men's fashion adopted a look that would have been considered too feminine a few years earlier. Shirts were tight fitting with big collars and were brightly patterned. There was also a trend towards unisex clothes. The formal suit was still expected to be worn to a dinner party in the 70s; for younger men it was usually only worn in the office or for formal occasions. Jeans, increasingly flared, were popular with men and women for everyday wear. By the end of the decade, change was on the way. Punk rejected everything that had gone before. Mini, midi or maxi

The popularity of the mini skirt was challenged in the early 70s and a group of (male) truckers even organised a campaign to bring it back in 1970. However, the mini remained popular in the early years of the 70s, but women now could chose between, mini, midi, (mid-calf length) or maxi (full length) skirts. Hot pants, ultra short shorts, sometimes with a bib and braces, were a variation on the theme. The girl on the above, right, is wearing a pair of navy hot pants with long white socks. Her blouse is in a floral pattern and has a big collar with rounded corners.

Longer dresses, inspired by the hippy era of the late sixties, were also in fashion, with paisley or floral patterns being popular. I lived in Portsmouth in 1970/71/72 and was aged 16-18 at that time so had the best of it. Hot pants, mini skirt/dress, long dress and maxi coat, wide brimmed hats, seed bead jewellery and a headband round my head!! I was a true hippy to begin with and went to the Isle of Wight pop festival in 1970.Chris Flares and platform soles

Two trends defined the 70s in a fashion sense: flared trousers and platform soles. Flares were derived from the hippy fashion for loon pants of the late 60s. They were worn by men and women. The flare was from the knee and reached exaggerated proportions in the middle years of the 70s. The trousers were often hipsters, sitting on the hips rather than the waist, and tight fitting. The combination of flares and denim made flared jeans the fashion phenomenon of the decade. Platform soles were mainly worn by women and more fashionable men. There were health warnings about damage that could be caused to the back in later life, but the fashion did not last long enough for that to have an effect. There was an element of thirties retro in the style of some of the shoes, which echoed the thirties' love of two-tone or co-respondent black and cream or brown and cream colours. Bright colours also gave the shoes more of a space age look. Platform soles on eBay

Nostalgia had a big influence on fashion in the 70s. Barbara Hulanicki's Biba label popularised a look derived from the 20s and 30s. There was a brief fashion for loudly checked tweed Oxford Bags for men and women from around 1972. These were usually worn with platform soled shoes in 30s style two-tone patterns. Biba took over venerable, old London department store, Derry and Toms, in 1973 and turned it into an Art Deco palace. The Biba store became a hip meeting place and a complete lifestyle emporium. The Biba look was a long cotton skirt, worn with a long sleeved shirt or smock, and topped with a floppy brimmed hat. Biba was ahead of its time in providing a complete lifestyle store. However,...
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