When it comes to fashion, the 70s was a great decade. People were adventurous with their sense of style, leading to interesting aesthetics, bold colors, and outfits that made political statements as well as following the trends set by music and pop culture.
It is a wonderful decade to refer to for anyone looking to learn from the trends and styles of the past, and hopefully inspire a unique direction in one’s own unique style.
However, most of the style inspiration for the 70s fashion today focuses on women’s wear. The most popular men’s fashion styles of the 1970s are often overlooked in modern editorials, so you might find yourself wondering - what did guys even wear in the 70s anyway?
We’ll try to demystify this concept. Let’s take a look at the most popular looks for men from the 70s.
70s Fashion for Men
Photo credits: hijabi fashion
The 70s were all about self-expression and individuality. For this reason, the best looks turned out to be the ones that took a step out of the fashion norms of the time. This led to some trends that were pretty out-of-the-box. A few popular styles for men of the decade were glam rock, hippie, discowear, and knitwear, and cords.
Also, men’s fashion changed throughout the decade:
The early 70s - Peacocks, colors, and eastern flare. Better paying jobs meant men could experiment more with fashion and accessories in bold and striking colors (hence the ‘peacock’ name). Dandy striped blazers and Cuban heels were popular, along with ruffle shirts and turtlenecks. Homemade accessories in striking colors were also a popular choice
Mid 70s - Informal & glam. By the mid-1970s men’s style was edging toward casual and laid back for everyday wear. Sweaters, knitwear, and corduroy were popular choices - while glam rock fashion was also popular in the mainstream. This meant velvet sports coats, platform shoes, and drainpipe trousers were also a popular choice,
The late 70s - Disco and sportswear. Disco had an effect on men’s fashion in the late 1970s, with flares and 3 -piece suits becoming all the rage. Wide lapels and light colors like white and powder blue were a popular choice for disco attire. Sportswear also became popular for day wear, with men opting for casual tracksuits, terry cloth shirts, and puffer vests.
70s Glam Rock
Photo credits: esquire
While punk looks only became more popular towards the end of the decade, a lot of men had already started to adopt glam rock styles by the mid-70s.
Thanks to artists like Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, this style saw a surge in popularity in the 70s, especially in Britain. Many glam rock superstars wore satin or frilly shirts, tuxedo jackets with shawl collars, and platform shoes.
As these styles were adopted by their younger fans, they went mainstream by getting combined with silk scarves and ascots, black or tan leather jackets, and oversized collars.
You can achieve the 70s glam rock look today by adding some of these pieces to your outfit. For example, throwing on a pair of ostentatious sunglasses can instantly give your look a glam rock vibe. Complete the look with a handmade bracelet or - if you’re particularly daring - a pair of dress shoes with a platform or at least a bit of a heel.
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The Hippie style is almost synonymous with the 70s. Even though it had begun in the late 60s, it finally became widespread in the 70s, carrying the notable aspects of the style right through to the middle of the decade.
Men opted for denim jackets and tie-dye top, as well as headbands and home-made accessories such as beaded necklaces and bracelets. Perhaps the most quintessentially ‘Hippie’ style of all was the combination of long hair with bell-bottom jeans, a vest, and a brightly-colored shirt, with platform shoes.
While it might seem like this is an outfit made for a fancy dress costume party, you can actually take some cues from the 1970s hippie fashion to create a modern look. Opt for the same fabrics such as denim and cords, and don’t be afraid to mix in some carefully-placed flashes of color. The key is to keep it simple.
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Also known as Studio 54 Fashion, Disco style was the go-to partywear style of the 1970s. Al about glitz and nighttime chic -this style always featured a wide range of three-piece suits in various colors, combined with flared pants, wide lapels, and high-rise waistcoats. The look was accessorized with aviator glasses, wide and bold neckties, and shirts with long, pointed collars.
If you want to pull off the discowear style in 2020, you can go back in time by combining a few of these pieces with your regular look. For example, wearing skinny jeans with a bold shirt that has long, pointed collars and aviators can make your entire look be all about the throwback.
Knitwear and Cords
Photo credit: retro hound
The 70s saw men going for thick-and fine knitwear that came in multicolored geometric prints and patterns. Corduroys were also a must-have in every stylish man’s wardrobe. Corduroy suits were particularly popular.
To recreate these looks today, stick to the theme and match up knitted sweaters and jumpers with corduroy pants. While at it, you could also throw on a crisp shirt and some brogues for that retro look. A corduroy jacket, a pair of wool pants and a knitted tie would also achieve the same result.
So there we have it! A deep dive into men’s fashion from the 1970s. Hopefully, you’ve learned a few style tips to carry you through this new decade, or at the very least you’ll have some inspiration for how to modify your existing looks.
The 70s were a cool, stylish decade for men, and for women. While replicating some of these looks today may require a certain degree of precision and taste, it will definitely not fail to get heads turning.
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