Vintage 70’s Fashion for the Modern Man

by Yvette in Comment — Updated April 28, 2024

As a fashion enthusiast, I have always been captivated by the timeless appeal of vintage fashion. And when it comes to the 70s, there’s something extraordinary about the fashion trends that emerged during that iconic era.

The 1970s was a decade of self-expression and boldness, and this was perfectly reflected in men’s fashion choices at the time.

The 1970s had it all: silk shirts, flared pants, velvet sports coats, and platform shoes. In this article, I will explore why 70s fashion still matters today and provide tips on incorporating it into your modern wardrobe.

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Credits: @ chanchigm / Pinterest

Key Takeaway

  • The 1970s men’s fashion was characterized by boldness, self-expression, and individuality, with trends like wide lapels, bell bottoms, and platform shoes.
  • Iconic fashion figures of the 70s, such as David Bowie and John Travolta, continue to inspire modern fashion enthusiasts with their unique styles.
  • To incorporate 70s fashion into a modern wardrobe, choose standout pieces, mix vintage with contemporary, play with colors and patterns, and accessorize thoughtfully.
  • Confidence is key when embracing vintage 70s fashion, and investing in quality basics and timeless pieces will help create a versatile and stylish wardrobe.

Why 70s Fashion Still Matters Today

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Fashion is cyclical, and trends from the past often find their way back into the present. The 70s was a decade that revolutionized men’s fashion, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary styles.

The key to understanding why 70s fashion still matters today is its timelessness. The fashion trends of the 70s were bold and daring, yet they managed to maintain a sense of elegance and sophistication.

From wide lapels and bell bottoms to bold neckties and less conventional fabrics, the 70s brought a sense of individuality to men’s fashion that is still celebrated today.

Key Elements of 70s Men Fashion

Key elements of 70s men’s fashion included wide lapels, bell bottoms, bold neckties, and roll-neck jumpers. The fashion of the 70s was heavily influenced by popular culture, with movies like “Saturday Night Fever” and music icons like David Bowie setting the trends of the time.

Long hair, roll necks, patterned knitwear, and ruffled shirts were popular choices on and off the dance floor.

Bell-bottom Pants

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Credits: @marioarrudajr / Pinterest

Bell-bottom pants were a staple of 70s fashion. These flared trousers, characterized by their wide legs, added movement and flair to any outfit. They were often made from denim or colorful fabrics and were popular for casual and dressed-up occasions.

Wide Collars and Lapels

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Credits: @vintageeveryday / Pinterest

Wide collars and lapels were another defining feature of 70s fashion. These oversized details added a touch of drama to a T shirt and jacket and were often adorned with bold prints or contrasting colors. Wide collars and lapels were a way for 1970s men’s top to make a statement and showcase their individuality.

Polyester Fabrics

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Credits: @clickusa / Pinterest

Polyester fabrics were all the rage in the 70s. This synthetic material was known for its vibrant colors, durability, and wrinkle-resistant properties.

Polyester was used in a wide range of garments, from shirts and trousers to suits and jackets, and became synonymous with the fashion of the era.

Platform Shoes

Platform shoes were a fashion trend that defined the 70s. These shoes had thick soles that added height and a sense of glamour to any outfit.

Platform shoes were often adorned with bold colors, patterns, or embellishments, making them a statement piece in their own right.

Iconic Fashion Icons of the 70s

The 70s was a decade filled with influential fashion icons who left a lasting impact on the industry. These individuals shaped the era’s fashion trends and inspired future generations of fashion enthusiasts.

Let’s examine some of these iconic figures and discuss their impact on men’s fashion.

1. David Bowie

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Credits: @refinery29 / Pinterest

David Bowie was not only a musical legend but also a fashion icon. He embraced a unique and androgynous style that challenged traditional gender norms. With his flamboyant outfits, bold makeup, and daring hairstyles, Bowie pushed the boundaries of fashion and encouraged self-expression.

From glittering jumpsuits to tailored suits with bold patterns, Bowie’s fearless approach to style continues to inspire generations of fashion enthusiasts.

2. John Travolta

John Travolta’s portrayal of Tony Manero in the movie “Saturday Night Fever” made him a style icon of the 70s. His disco-inspired wardrobe, consisting of tight-fitting suits, open-collar shirts, and wide lapels, became synonymous with the era.

Travolta’s character brought the disco fashion scene to the mainstream, inspiring men to embrace bold and flamboyant styles.

3. Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger, the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, was a fashion icon known for his rock ‘n’ roll style. With his signature swagger, Jagger popularized the rockstar look of the 70s, featuring tight-fitting jeans, patterned shirts, and statement accessories.

His rebellious and edgy style continues to inspire modern rock and fashion enthusiasts.

4. Elton John

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Credits: @vintageeveryday / Pinterest

Elton John’s flamboyant and theatrical style made him a true fashion icon of the 70s.

From his over-the-top stage costumes to extravagant eyewear, Elton John embraced the era’s spirit with bold and extravagant fashion choices. His unique sense of style continues to influence the fashion world today.

Incorporating 70s Fashion into Modern Wardrobe

While embracing the fashion trends of the 70s, it’s important to balance retro and modern. One way to do this is by picking standout pieces that capture the era’s essence.

Start with bold items like a roll neck jumper,wide-collared shirts, or bell-bottom pants, and build your outfit around them.

Mix old with new by combining 70s styles with modern clothes to give a fresh look. Play with colors and patterns to add interest to your outfit, and layer smartly by mixing different textures and lengths for depth.

Add retro accessories like sunglasses or hats to complete the look, and tailor vintage clothes for a better fit. Ultimately, make the style your own by expressing yourself and choosing timeless pieces that last.

Tips for Modern Interpretation

1. Pick Standout Pieces

To truly embrace the vintage 70s fashion, start by choosing a pair of standout pieces that capture the essence of the era. Look for bold items like wide-collared shirts or bell-bottom pants that will make a statement.

2. Mix Old with New

One of the keys to a modern interpretation of 70s fashion is to mix old with new. Combine 70s styles with modern clothes for a fresh, unique look that reflects your style.

3. Play with Colors and Patterns

The 70s was all about vibrant colors and fun patterns. Embrace this by using bold and vibrant colors and interesting patterns to add interest and personality to your outfit.

4. Layer Smartly

Layering is an important aspect of 70s fashion. Experiment with different textures and lengths to create depth and dimension in your outfit. This will add visual interest and make your look more dynamic.

5. Accessorize Stylishly

Retro accessories are a great modern way to complete your 70s-inspired look. Add accessories like sunglasses or hats to add a vintage flair and complete your outfit.

6. Balance Retro and Modern

When incorporating 70s fashion into your modern wardrobe, it’s important to strike a balance between retro and modern. Blend vintage pieces with current trends to create a unique and contemporary look.

7. Fit Matters

Fit is crucial when it comes to vintage clothing. Tailor vintage clothes for a better fit to ensure that they flatter your body shape and enhance your overall look.

8. Express Yourself

Make the 70s fashion your own by expressing your personal style. Experiment with different combinations and accessories to create a look that is uniquely yours.

9. Invest in Classics

When building your vintage wardrobe, choose timeless pieces that will stand the test of time. Invest in classics like well-fitted jeans, tailored shirts, and classic jackets that can be mixed and matched with other pieces.

10. Wear with Confidence

The most important tip when embracing vintage 70s fashion is to wear it confidently. For tips to build more confidence, read here.. Rock your look with self-assurance and let your style shine.

How to Find Authentic 70s Fashion Pieces

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If you’re looking to incorporate authentic 70s fashion pieces into your wardrobe, here are some tips to help you find genuine items:

  • Know the Era: Understand 70s fashion trends and brands to recognize genuine pieces. Research different styles, fabrics, and designers of the era to familiarize yourself with the fashion landscape of the 70s.
  • Inspect Carefully: Check the fabric quality, stitching, and overall condition. Look for signs of wear and tear and any damage or alterations that may affect the piece’s authenticity.
  • Verify Labels and Tags: Look for original labels showing the brand, fabric, and care instructions. Authentic vintage clothing often has tags that indicate the era and provide information about the garment.
  • Try Before Buying: Ensure the size fits well since sizing has changed. Vintage clothing may have different measurements compared to modern sizing, so trying on the garment before purchasing is essential.
  • Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, trust your intuition and only purchase items you love. Authentic vintage pieces should evoke a sense of nostalgia and connection to the era.

Styling Tips for Contemporary Men

Even if you’re not fully committed to the 70s retro look, there are still ways to incorporate era elements into your contemporary wardrobe.

Here are some styling tips for modern men:

  1. Know Your Fit: Choose clothes that fit well and flatter your body shape. Pay attention to the fit of your shirts, wide leg trousers, and suede jacket to ensure a polished and put-together look.
  2. Invest in Quality Basics: Build your wardrobe with high-quality essentials like well-fitted jeans, tailored shirts, suit jacket, and classic jackets. These timeless pieces will form the foundation of your style and can be easily mixed and matched with other items.
  3. Mix and Match Neutrals: Stick to neutral colors for versatility and mix them to create stylish combinations. Shades like black, white, gray, navy, and beige can be easily paired with bolder statement pieces for a balanced and sophisticated look.
  4. Accessorize Thoughtfully: Use accessories like watches, belts, and shoes to add personality to your outfit. Choose accessories that complement your style and reflect your individuality.
  5. Confidence Matters: Wear your clothes confidently; it’s the best accessory you can have. No matter what you’re wearing, confidence will always make you look and feel your best.

Wrap UP!

Vintage 70s fashion for men is a timeless and iconic style that continues to inspire and influence today’s fashion world. The era’s boldness, self-expression, and individuality resonate with men of all generations.

By embracing the retro look and incorporating elements of 70s fashion into a modern wardrobe, men can create a unique and stylish look that pays homage to the past while staying relevant in the present.

Ready to step back in time and embrace vintage 70s fashion? Start by exploring local thrift stores, vintage shops, or online platforms to find authentic 70s pieces.

Remember to mix and match with modern clothes, play with colors and patterns, and most importantly, confidently wear your style.

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