One of my favorite fashion decades is the ‘70s because for the first time in fashion history, the American female was purchasing clothing for various activities and occasions in her life, including home, office, formal and casual wear. The opportunities to buy “different” kinds of clothing had expanded — which ultimately led to the expansion of the American female’s closet, too.
While the average woman of the previous decades as a stay-at-home housewife, women of the ‘70s were gaining part time and full time employment more than ever before. Denim wasn’t just for woman on the Western range but rather, the working mom and woman on-the-go.
Because life was moving faster than ever, women were sewing their clothing less and less. Rather, they purchased their ‘70s dresses ready-made at department stores and from catalogs. With ready-made-apparel so much more popular, trends came and went with faster speeds.
The influences of the lively, disco-infused party scene trickled into mainstream fashion, too, making platform wedges, glitter and just about polyester anything must-have items both on and off the dance floor.
Plus, ‘70s celebrities were influencing the fashion trends more than any other era thanks to greater accessibility to the visual communication of magazines and television screens. Bianca Jagger put designer Halston on the map, Jane Birkin made denim chic and invented the Birkin bag, the movie Annie Hall made menswear chic for women and Lizza Minneli showed the world how to wear a jumpsuit and sequins with grace.
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The 1970s was a free-spirited time not only of fashion revolution but political, cultural, social and economic change for the American female, too. These changes — while considered normal by today’s standards — had major influential shifts on the styles and the lives of the modern ‘70s woman. After the ‘70s, fashion for woman has continued to be liberal, creative and free.
From the Working Girl practicality of crepe ascot blouses to the casually cool vibe of Jane Birkin in wide-legged denim, keep reading after the jump to learn the fashion history of 10 different ‘70s clothing trends that seem so modern, you’d never guess they were vintage!