Friday, January 16, 2009

Classic 1970s Clothing

A tie dyed shirt. Photo taken my MpegMan.Image via Wikipedia

70's Clothes - The Early 1970's by Michelle McKee

Seventies clothing holds its own special place in American culture. Ranging from the late 60's hippie look to the eye-popping styles of the disco era, 70's clothes were not designed to be ignored. The decade of the 1970s began as a carryover of late '60s fashion. The hippie influence was still very present.

Tie-dyed shirts and worn jeans were the look of the day. Hip huggers and bell bottom jeans were popular and were likely to be customized and decorated by the person wearing them. Donning patches and using a variety of bleaching and tie dying techniques were popular. Jean jackets of the day were often stylized by their owners with a variety of patches carrying whatever message the wearer felt like sharing.

Young women of the day could be quite unpredictable in their choice of fashion. The same girl wearing torn and faded jeans might next be seen in "hot pants" accompanied by long knee socks or wearing a floral patterned granny dress, all on top of very high and clunky looking heels. Women were asserting themselves in fashion and it was difficult to miss. The mini-skirt was still alive and well but "midi" dresses that came to the mid-calf region and ankle length "maxi" dresses were also popular, especially in more formal situations. You never knew what to expect.

In some ways, 1970's clothing for men was quite a change from what was commonly worn in the late 1960's. Tight shirts with bright prints or sometimes outrageous patterns could be seen. Huge collars topped off the look. Although the hippie look was still alive, and many people proudly wore the uniform of t-shirt and jeans, things were changing and some would say it was not necessarily for the better. Many men today would prefer not to see photos of themselves in those days which are sometimes considered some of the more tasteless times in fashion history.

In recalling 1970's fashion, one must also acknowledge the extremely strong ethnic influence that exploded upon the scene after first being introduced in the 1960's. Brightly colored scarves and large jewelry are just a couple of examples of this. Looking at photographs of the time, even otherwise conservatively dressed women could be found with large pieces of jewelry, sometimes featuring some type of "tribal" element. Tiny jewelry was not the norm.

If you are a fan of retro clothing, you might also enjoy 70's clothes or reading about vintage clothing fashion. Both sites are devoted to looking back at the clothing of earlier days.

I an avid bargain hunter. I honed my shopping skills in the "real world" through years of diligent practice. I also enjoy looking at my American culture and studying the changes that have taken place, decade by decade.

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