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1970s fashion trends that we still love in 2023

These retro trends are still wardrobe-relevant today...


A young woman poses in a purple pleated miniskirt with a yellow top and an orange patterned scarf, circa 1970.
Orin Carlin
Content Writer
Updated: July 13, 2023
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It goes without saying that the 1970s has a rich fashion history – I mean, the emergence of disco would warrant nothing less. The fashion landscape was eclectic - from crochet-clad hippies and edgy punks to free-spirited bohemians and lavishly dressed Studio 54 clubbers.

Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci, indeed...

READ: How to get a 1970s inspired blow dry at home

MORE: ABBA's best fashion moments of all time

Model sat on a chair wearing a floaty crepe dress and a pillbox hat © Getty
The 1970s saw a shift away from the straight silhouettes of the previous decade

What type of fashion was popular in the 1970s?

Interior design colour trends saw a surge in preference for earthy tones - think avocado green, rusty orange, soft mustard and jute brown. This was reflected in the fashion of the age, and various corduroys and velvets and paisley fabrics were coloured accordingly. But that's certainly not the whole story, disco clubbers championed lustrous metallics, which looked incredible on the dance floor on account of their light-reflective qualities.

Print-wise, geometrics were popular, as were bold, stylised florals, nodding to the 'Flower Power' movement.

Shapes veered away from the straight up-and-down shift silhouette that dominated the previous decade, and towards a looser, more flowy silhouette.

ABBA posing on the bonnet of a car © Getty
ABBA were at the top of their style A-game during the decade

The exciting period birthed a new crop of style icons, and the likes of Cher, Jerry Hall, Diana Ross, Bianca Jagger and Grace Jones epitomised the height of glamour with their lavish costumes and clubbing 'fits.

Wanting to give your current wardrobe a 1970s-themed overhaul? Keep scrolling…

How we chose the pieces 

After combing through the decade's photo archive, we pulled out the trends that are still utterly relevant today. We then scoured the internet's top fashion sites, taking into account style, price point and quality, to help you infuse your wardrobe with a splash of retro glamour.

Hello! Fashion shares the 1970s fashion trends that we still love in 2023:

Flares

English actress and model Vivien Neves wearing a denim outfit of flared trousers and matching jacket© Getty
The flared silhouette is great for both bum-sculpting and leg elongation

Worn by both women and men, flares defined 1970s dressing. With their super wide shape, bell bottoms were particularly adored, and as it happens, the trouser style is currently experiencing something of a revival right now. Suffice to say, we're totally here for it. Perhaps it's the Daisy Jones & The Six effect, or merely that we as a collective have recognised the cut's eternal ability to flatter, but we love how a cinched-in waist is accented by a beautiful, flowy lower leg.

MORE: How to style flared jeans in 2023

Meyerson floral-print cotton-blend corduroy flared pants - LoveShackFancy
Meyerson Floral-print Cotton-blend Corduroy Flared Pants - LoveShackFancy

Corduroy has never looked so stylish. These floral flares by boho glam label LoveShackFancy are so fun and would look amazing with a halter top and raffia wedges. The definition provided by the stitched front creases give them a slightly more tailored feel, and the rose print adds overt femininity.

Fluffy coats 

English-Australian singer, Olivia Newton-John wearing a fur hat and jacket, outside the Savoy Hotel in London, circa 1970© Getty
Olivia Newton-John rocking a fluffy jacket and matching hat

With an emphasis on texture, outerwear included fur (often faux) and sheepskin. Afghan coats were particularly fashionable, having arrived in the UK in 1966. The style, aesthetically derived from the traditional overcoat worn by Afghan people, was sold in hippie boutiques. 

Afghan coats tend to be made from sheepskin, featuring fleece on the inside and a soft suede on the outside. Penny Lane is the most obvious source of 1970s outerwear inspo - and for excellent reason.

Simone Black Vinyl Coat - Kitri
Simone Black Vinyl Coat - Kitri

Kitri's Simone coat is at the very top of our outerwear wish list. With a glossy black effect, the style pays direct homage to the decade's experimentation with man-made finishes and yet, feels contemporary and cool. The piece champions texture via a cream faux fur-trimmed collar and cuffs and would look amazing with a Farrah Fawcett-esque blow dry.

Waistcoats

April Ashley wearing a fur hat and embellished waistcoat© Getty
Waistcoats and gilets were all the rage back then

Another hippyish style staple, waistcoats are great if you're looking to master the art of layering. Trying a heavy-duty shearling version with embroidered detailing or a glitzier design with light-reflective embellishment. Layer over a sleek polo jumper and team with tinted round shades and a mane of wavy locks for maximum impact.

Feti Shearling Cardigan - Zadig & Voltaire
Feti Shearling Cardigan - Zadig & Voltaire

Crafted from lambskin, this gilet by Zadig & Voltaire captures the essence of the decade. Featuring shearling trims and black contrasting embroidery, it would make for an excellent outerwear investment. Style with straight-leg leather trousers and a studded belt for a hint of noughties It-girl nostalgia or over a printed peasant dress for added interest.

Halter tops 

Farrah Fawcett Majors and Lee Majors arriving at a gala event in honour of Prince Charles© Getty
Plunging halters are perfect for showing some skin

Halter tops were worn by retro cool girls, often as part of laidback ensembles. High-necked versions often featured backless designs, and crochet also played a key part for a hippyish feel. But there's something especially dramatic about a major plunge à la Farrah Fawcett that works perfectly for evening wear. 

Luna Printed Halter Top - Reiss
Luna Printed Halter Top - Reiss

Featuring a luxe-looking botanical print, Reiss' Luna top is reminiscent of a silk scarf. The piece is secured at the back and can be tightened in accordance with your preference. It features an open back, and would no doubt look killer alongside dark denim flares and vertiginous platforms.

Jumpsuits 

A fashion model wearing an all-in-one jumpsuit designed by Fernand Ledoux© Getty
A jumpsuit designed by Fernand Ledoux

The quintessential disco clubber took the jumpsuit under their wing in the 1970s, and designers such as Halston and Yves Saint Laurent gave the all-in-one a seriously glam upgrade. Metallic styles featuring deft drapery and super flowy palazzo pants emerged on the dance floor, but in more casual settings, denim versions reigned supreme.

Fit For Success Jumpsuit - Good American
Fit For Success Jumpsuit - Good American

This piece by Good American is achingly cool. Crafted from a cotton-elastane blend, the jumpsuit is infused with stretch for a super flattering fit and would look amazing with wooden platforms. The light wash denim has an air of casual, and yet the overall effect feels polished and put-together.

RELATED: 80s fashion for women: 6 incredible style moments we still love today

Chunky clogs

A 1970s model wearing clogs © Getty
The footwear style is famously divisive

The clog – one of fashion's most controversial footwear styles. Love them or hate them, clogs were a staple for those part of the counterculture. Popular designs included wooden heels with metal studs and they were often paired with the aforementioned classic flared jeans – groovy! 

Dellabosco Clogs - Russell & Bromley
Dellabosco Clogs - Russell & Bromley

Created from buttery soft calf leather, Russell & Bromley's Dellabosco clogs are steeped in vintage flair, and yet, the chunky chain detailing provides a contemporary edge. Team yours with black kick flares and a classic white racerback for a sense of off-duty cool.

Platforms

Model wears striped trousers and white platform boots © Getty
No heel collection is complete without a pair of platforms

 It was the age of disco, which meant one thing: platform heels. Shiny, glamorous versions ruled the dance floors, created by the likes of legendary British footwear designer Terry de Havilland. But even in everyday life, more rustic wooden styles were still hugely popular on account of the bohemian trend.

Lillita Curved Block Heels - Terry de Havilland
Lillita Curved Block Heels - Terry de Havilland

Terry de Havilland excels in dazzling platforms, and we can't help but lust after the label's Lillita pair. Crafted from metallic leather, the style blends silver and gold textured tones with a chunky block heel, and a delicate below-the-ankle strap. Team yours with a white flared jumpsuit and sparkly jewels for a dose of disco diva decadence.

Peasant dresses

Woman wearing a patchwork peasant dress© Photo: Getty Images
Loose-fitting, boho shapes were huge in the 1970s

Super floaty dresses reigned supreme in the 1970s, with the peasant style taking centre stage. Full, billowing sleeves and wide skirts, often alongside with square necklines, harked back to the 'peasant' silhouettes historically worn by the lower classes.

Chaylyn Dress - Reformation
Chaylyn Dress - Reformation

Reformation's Chaylyn dress has an inherent prettiness, and yet, it doesn't verge into twee. With a fitted bodice and tiered skirt, the shape is super flattering and the ditsy print is thoughtful and delicate. The contrasting black trim keeps things contemporary, and it would look great styled with a padded headband and kitten heels for an outdoor soirée.

Floaty shapes 

A model wearing a full-length white dress with matching hat© Getty
Silhouettes were loose and billowing

Worlds apart from the shift shape of the previous decade, the 70s silhouette was all about flow. Wide skirts and bell sleeves crafted from floaty chiffons and sheer meshes added an ethereal touch.

Feather-trimmed Crepe Kaftan - Net-A-Porter
Feather-trimmed Crepe Kaftan - Net-A-Porter

Luxurious eveningwear label Taller Marmo has come through with the goods. Its ostrich feather-trimmed kaftan is unapologetically high octane and pays homage to the relaxed, free-flowing silhouette adored by the decade. Crafted from crepe, it has a beautiful drape and would look incredible with an Elizabeth Taylor updo.

Silk scarves

Princess Anne wearing a printed scarf on a trip to Kiev in 1973© Getty
Princess Anne wearing a printed scarf on a trip to Kiev in 1973

A chic silk scarf will forever be in style, and in the 1970s it was a key part of the accessory arsenal. Heralded for its versatility, it can be used to secure a ponytail, worn around the neck (a young Princess Anne pulled it off with panache) or tied around a shoulder bag. Another retro favourite was wearing it as a head accessory à la Jackie O.

Ianthe Scarf - Liberty London
Ianthe Scarf - Liberty London

Originally created as a wallpaper design by French Art Nouveau designer R. Beauclair, Liberty's Ianthe print was reworked by David Haward in the 1960s. The piece has a certain classic charm, and it is guaranteed to instantly jazz up any outfit.

Aviator glasses 

Gloria Steinem wearing aviator glasses© Getty
Gloria Steinem often favoured the shape

This style of glasses was hugely popular in the 1970s, as seen on the likes of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Originally created to fulfil a practical purpose - the shape was designed to cover the entire field of vision to allow pilots maximum visibility - aviators are indisputably cool.

Francisco Aviators - Linda Farrow
Francisco Aviators - Linda Farrow

With their brassy gold hue, Linda Farrow's Francisco aviators are unashamedly statement. The cool overlapping layers are crafted from titanium, and the grey tinted lenses are 100% UV protected. Team yours with a figure-skimming slip and a super sleek pony for maximum impact.

Oversized collars 

Actress Pam Grier rocking a floral shirt with a wide collar © Getty
Actress Pam Grier rocking a floral shirt with a wide collar

Large, pointed collars were all the rage for both women and men, and they injected shirts with a splash of drama. Often layered under wide lapel jackets, the vibe was go big, or go home.

Jayleen Printed Tencel-blend Blouse - L'Agence
Jayleen Printed Tencel-blend Blouse - L'Agence

Cut from a lightweight Tencel-blend, L'Agence's Jayleen shirt features billowy sleeves and a subtle, snake-print finish. The mustard yellow hue aligns with the decade's earthy colour trends, but the piece's greatest asset is its sharp, oversized collar.

Wrap dresses

Diane von Furstenberg wearing a wrap dress © Getty
Wrap dresses were super popular back then

With Diane von Furstenberg as its greatest advocate, the wrap dress flourished in the 1970s. The Belgian designer created her iconic jersey piece at the beginning of the decade and it was wildly popular. Her label reportedly sold five million wrap dresses in 1976, and she became a household name.

Estelle Dress - Ronny Kobo
Estelle Dress - Ronny Kobo

Ronny Kobo's Estelle dress is created from satin jacquard and its burnt orange hue nods to the popular hues of the day. The piece has an unfussy silhouette, and yet it doesn't feel at all boring. A deep plunge adds a dimension of daring, as does a thigh-high split. 

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HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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