1970s Fashion History, 1970s Women's Clothing

Fashion and Music: Trends in the 1970s

1970s disco

Emerging from leisure and conformity of the 1950s, the 10-year decade of the 70s witnessed an astonishing transformation in music and fashion. By this time, theater/disco was loved and the film industries were beginning to flourish. Hence, apart from flaring trousers and fitting shirts, the celebrities who starred in movies began setting their own fashion trends. People of the 70s loved the emerging cinema, lauded the rising actors and would enjoy dressing up as the American Woman at tea-parties.

With a whopping success of entertainment industries, the 70s decade was an era of experimental styling and going slightly wild. The 70s style and disco became such an original brand that people still reminisce, mimic and celebrate it in the present day.

The 1970s was another remarkable decade for art – music and fashion rose to prominence unlike any other time in the past. Men moved to dapper outfits while women found the freedom to brag their curves, and together they danced to exhilarating drumbeats. The notable point of this era is in the fact that experimentation and diversity were given full chances to emerge. Consequently, the result of this liberation brought forward the immense variety and talent in the entertainment industry. From slightly more dignified attires in slimmer cuts and tailored waist to progressive rock and disco, the 1970s were the years of wild-living!

Fashion Trends of the 1970s – an Overview

1974 VougeWithin a span of 10 years, the fashion designers explored clothes and styles candidly. The early 70s fashion was more about revisiting the famous Hippie look of the 60s. Bawdy colors, funky patterns, fun-styling, bell bottoms, ponchos, and frayed jeans are worn with wooden jewelry and headbands would complete the risqué look playfully. Casual style for men and women included bright colors and varying textures as the Hippie look up-till the mid of the 70s. By 1975, legendary brand-owners like Gucci, Biba and Diane Von Furstenberg helped fashion become dignified, evocative and sober.

There was a surge of European flair in outfits of men and women by this time – tailored cuts, fitting waists and slimmer pants became trendy. Women at the workplace would pair their blouses with blazers along with pants or midi skirts and step into high heels to catwalk their way into success. Men, on the other hand, upgraded their business look in the mid-70s with oxford shoes and leather jackets. Another highlight of the mid-70s fashion was the launch of Diane’s silk, jersey wrap dress that spread like wildfire. The actor cum fashion designer was able to sell over 5 million wrap dresses worldwide because these dresses could fit into any woman’s body easily.

Saturday Night FeverIn 1977, John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever was released and the drama took the cinema by storm. Disco clubs were already in full swing in the late-70s, and Travolta’s attire in the film helped spur up new ideas for men-wear. Three piece suits with wide lapels, lacking the cuts of business style, entered into the trend in pastel colors of white, beige and blue. Arising from the same drama was Karen Lynn Gorney’s presence in sleeveless ruffles which influenced women’s dance wardrobes. Consequently, the fashion trends for women’s formal dresses became lesser in volume, more relaxed and revealing. Tube tops, high slit skirts, boots, heels and low necklines gained popularity by the end of the 1970s. On the other hand, cardigans, tracksuits, and untucked t-shirts dominated the late 70s style for men.

A brief study of fashion trends for children in the 70s highlight flared trousers or pants for boys and fun dresses or pullover vests for girls. The plaids and solid patterns from the 50s lingered onto the 1970s as the key fabric designs for fashion. By the end of the decade, shirts with zodiac signs, Star Wars, and other customizations influenced the markets. Girls got to wear dresses with embroidery, ruffles, lace and ties. Fashion top trends of the 70s for adults and children became to edge towards snazziness. The colors that prevailed for slick style were pink and burgundy, while khaki and umber for men-wear.

Music Trends of the 1970s – an Overview

the BeatlesThe 1970s is a decade that marked the end of an era – the era of the influential band, the Beatles, originally founded in 1960. As a result of this world-famous band’s split up, new genres popped up including soft rock, hard rock, funk, soul, pop and many more. However importantly, the music trends of the 1970s include the prominent invention of disco – heartfelt drumbeats that people still dance to today. In 1972, “soul music” touched a nerve in listeners and the new genre gained immense popularity. It will be unfair to not honor the heartwarming song “American Pie” by McLean in that year. Jazz music was another genre to resonate with audience and ex-Beatle, Bob Dylan, emerged as the best-known jazz singer of the mid-70s.

Coming back to disco music, the short-lived genre saw extraordinary demand in the 1970s. People began to love dance music so much that renowned artists jumped on the bandwagon of adding disco elements to their original songs. The other intelligent invention in music during the 70s was the “Progressive Rock” music – originally a hybrid of two genres. This happened in the late 1970s and provided musicians with a broader space for experimentation. Many bands, particularly the British ones, merged rock or jazz music with classical tunes or opera to create something entirely new and fun. The resultant songs were longer, soulful but not “danceable.”

Elton JohnThe other few music trends of the 1970s that rose and dissolved within the decade were ‘hip-hop,’ ‘reggae’ and ‘techno pop.’ Additionally, electronic music surfaced to the top trends of music in the 70s and went all the way into the 1980s. Some of the best-selling artists who made millions with their records in the 70s include Elton John, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Bee Gees to name a few. The talented Australian-British trios of musicians, called the Bess Gees, were the kings of the 1970s in terms of pushing music to greater heights. They sold over 200 million worldwide records in 1978 and closed the decade with a bang.

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