The moment you hear someone squeal, “The 70s!” the first thing that pops into your head is the fashion of this decade. Whether you were present in the 70s or not, you are probably already acquainted with the 70s mens fashion this decade because of:
- The fame this decade received,
- Movies portraying those times,
- Stars emulating retro looks and
- For its contribution to the history of fashion.
70s mens fashion was a confluence of many factors such as:
- Evolving out of conservative fashion trends in the decades before,
- The disco and punk music culture,
- The hippie movement and
- The rebellion of the American youth.
The hippie era was gradually drawing to an end during the late 1960s; however, its influence was still evident in the mens fashion trends of the early 1970s. Thus, fashion had evolved drastically from 1950s and 60s to bring us some glorious trends in the decade of the 70s.
The 70s did give us some memorable pieces and they are here on display for you. So let’s step into a world where everything seems a tad far above the earth, gloriously colorful and blindingly loud. Presenting to you the top 10 70s mens fashion. These 70s fashion trends for men may have not stood the test of time but they certainly were a feverish rage of their times.
1. Bell Bottoms
There seemed to be something about bell-bottoms that it made every man go weak in the knees. The only problem there was is that we couldn’t really see a man go weak in his knees in 1970s because bell bottoms start flaring from the knee downwards. The characteristic traits of bell bottom trousers are the high waist, tight fit through the thigh and the flare from the knee level, resembling a bell, thus the name.
Men wore bell bottoms with buttoned down shirts and business suits, the same color as the trousers and paired them up with loafers that had a slightly enhanced heel.
Bell bottomed patterns were not incorporated only in formal trousers, but this trend was also prominent among men’s denims in 1970s, where men paired up T-shirts with these bell bottom jeans.
2. Wide Collar Shirts
Wide collar shirts were popular among men in the 70s. The collars of men’s shirts that we see today are narrower than collars in the 70s. They had a wider rim and the edges elongated and tapered downwards to form an accurate “V” shaped pattern.
3. Hippie Shirts
Hippie shirts more or less resemble African tribal shirts today. Hippie Shirts were popularized by the hippie movement and the flower people of 1960s. Though the movement died out towards the end of 1960s, people were still reluctant to completely let go off its vibrant fashion trends in 1970s. Thus, the 70s witnessed the Hippie Trends being carried forward by the people.
Hippie shirts were short sleeved, did not have collars, but rather round necklines with a “V” shaped pattern in the center. Hippie Shirts for men were all about loud colors and vibrant prints. Floral prints with peace symbols on them were the most common. Men didn’t place any restrictions on colors too and went ahead with every bright color under the sun like yellow, green, pink, orange, blue, purple and so many more.
4. Floral Shirts
When the people of the 70s had to ditch the hippie trends of the 60s, they invented new trends that ran along the lines of the hippie movement’s fashion trends. One such trend was that of the floral shirts. Closely borrowing from the bold prints of the hippie shirts, floral shirts were buttoned down, wide collared and long sleeved shirts. Floral Shirts were popular as formal attire for men in 1970s. Yes, these shirts were also worn to work.
Floral shirts that were worn for a casual look were paired with denims and left un-tucked. Casual floral shirts had wide sleeves and cuffs from the elbow down, resembling bell bottom pants. Men usually left the first few buttons undone, exposing their chest and sometimes had a peace symbol hanging from their necks.
5. The Polka Dotted Shirt
The polka dotted shirt is another fashion trend which crossed over from 1960s into the 70s (see the famous British pop star Davy Jones, the frontman of the boys band The Monkees donning the black polka dot short).
Polka dotted shirts were popular in blue, brown and black, but there was something in the water back then that made all the men go for the red polka dotted shirts.
The red polka dotted shirt possessed a kind of charm that made men fall for it. It probably had something to do with red, the color of passion for every man in the street, at workplaces, at places of social entertainment was wearing these. If you sit down to watch a couple of movies or television shows from the 70s, the red polka dotted shirt is not going to miss your sight.
Polka dots have vanished from the men’s fashion scene; however, they are still doing well among women.
6. Striped Trousers
Men today prefer their trousers to be plain colored without an inch of print on it. That wasn’t the case in the 70s. Trousers with horizontal and vertical stripes on them were quite popular in the 70s. The trousers were either striped both horizontally and vertically or simply vertically. Either way, this trend was quite famous among men back then.
Striped trousers were usually light pastel colors with darker shades of stripes on them. They were either bell bottomed or had straight cut.
7. Checkered / Plaid Trouser
Checkered trousers were some more variations among trouser styles in the 70s. Plain seemed to be too boring, which is why prints and designs were ‘the in thing’ in those times. Checkered aka plaid trousers suited both formal and casual looks among men.
We are glad that trousers with prints on them have vanished from today’s fashion scene for men, because frankly, they did appear a bit “clownish.”
8. Plaid Jackets
Heeled shoes, pastel shaded trousers, a white shirt, sunglasses, slightly overgrown hair, a thick moustache and a plaid coat and yes… a gun in the hand. The killer look of the 70s that men envied and ladies drooled over.
The plaid jacket trend was quite the look in the old days. Men who stepped out dressed like this were highly admired as the famous and fashionable men to-die-for. You might be taken aback with shock knowing that this look was a burning hot sensation in the 70s.
9. Polo Necks
All work and no play make the men of the 70s dull. Polo Neck T-shirts were the playtime outfit of men in the 70s. With a variety of clothes for men to choose from to wear at formal dos, the polo neck remained as the most popular casual item that men wore to social events and especially to watch a sport or play golf. Polo necks were a popular fall/winter outfit for men due to the warmth the fabric provided.
10. The Saturday Night Fever Look
We’re sure many of you were waiting for this very moment in the article. The John Travolta look from the Saturday Night Fever is finally here. How could we miss something so significant of the 70s? This is one look that will probably be remembered by you all even if you lost your memory.
The 3 piece disco suit that John Travolta sported in the Saturday Night Fever has truly been immortalized. The pearl white suit jacket, waist coat and bell bottom trousers, black shirt and shoes comprised Travolta’s highly memorable look in the movie that the people of the 70s carried forward with them for as long as the trend lived.
Men’s fashion in 1970s, if described in a few words, was loud, funky, unique and bold. In the 70s the motto was to keep fashion “larger than life”. While some would consider the decade of the 70s as the major fashion disaster there ever was, we’d go against them and support the 70s as a decade of experimentation and new ideas.