9 groovy fashion trends from the 1970s

You'll cringe while reminiscing about what you wore back then.

The 1970s was a time for big change. From innovative sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to President Nixon visiting China, the country was ready for new ideas. Looking back, it seemed like nothing changed more than the radical fashion of the 1970s. From hot pants to platform shoes, closets were unrecognizable from just a decade earlier. And looking back, a lot of these trends seem wild. Here's a look back at the fashion trends that seemed so hip back then.

1. Mood rings

Girls who wanted to get in touch with their emotions in the 1970s only needed to do one thing — put a ring on it. Mood rings came out in 1975, and quickly became one of the defining fashion trends of the late '70s. The rings measured the finger's temperature and changed color accordingly, with each color signifying a different emotion. If your ring was black, you were seriously stressing over something. But if your ring turned pink, all was good in your world. 

Image Source: Pinterest

2. Leisure suits

When it comes to the disco-heavy 1970s, one fashion trend jumps to mind — leisure suits. The casual suit became synonymous with the music trend thanks to John Travolta busting a move in Saturday Night Fever. The fad has its roots in 1930s California, but it really took off when the creation of synthetic material allowed for inexpensive clothing prices. As the suits got more popular, the styles became more outrageous. Solid white and blue suits were sold alongside vibrant colors and patterns. But like all good things, the leisure suit came to an end in the early 1980s. 

3. Hot pants

Who wears short shorts? Well, in the 1970s a lot of women did. Created by British fashion designer Mary Quant in the 1960s, the pants reached their peak a decade later. Hot pants were so popular, the denim version got its own name — Daisy Dukes, named after the character who donned them on The Dukes of Hazzard. Like most '70s fashion trends, one minute the pants were hot, but when the decade was over they were not.

Image Source: Pinterest

4. Bell-bottoms

A big theme for 1970s fashion was "the bigger, the better." This applied to pants in the form of the bell-bottom. Fitting normally at the waist and thigh, bell-bottom pants opened up under the knee to form a bell shape. Bell-bottoms became so extreme, leg openings could reach up to 26 inches! Despite many attempts, bell bottoms have never come back in style. But modern-day boot cut jeans can trace their heritage to this '70s trend. 

Image source: Daily Mail.com

5. Platform shoes

Want a few extra inches in stature? The platform shoes elevated people to new heights during the 1970s. Although various forms of platform shoes have been around since ancient times, the modern version became a fad in the '70s. And like most fashion fads during this time, it originated in the U.K. Paired with bell-bottoms, you couldn't go wrong. 

Image Source: Pinterest

6. Long hair

People finally let their hair down in the 1970s. For women, Farrah Fawcett's layered feather cut was a style to aspire to. And what girl didn't want long golden locks like Marcia Brady? For men, the restrictive short cuts of the 1950s gave way to an overgrown look. 

7. "Have a nice day" shirts

Despite a stagnant economy, protests, and international crises, '70s fashion displayed a positive vibe. Need proof? Look no further than the smiley face on so many t-shirts and products. The "have a nice day" smiley helped lighten the mood of the tough decade.

8. Men and women crossover trends

The feminist movement of the 1970s reflected in the fashion world by popularizing styles that both men and women could share. Skirts and dresses, which were staples of women's closets up until the 1970s, were replaced by hot pants and bell-bottom pants. In fact, bell-bottom pants were popular among both sexes, as were long hair and even platform shoes.

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


idkwut2use 26 months ago
I am fully down with and/or still wear almost all of that. B-]
PamGraham 26 months ago
My dad had a light blue leisure suit and he looked quite handsome in it. Not saying that it's a trend that should come back though.

KevinHartford 26 months ago
My mood ring was always black because my hands were always cold. And my leisure suit was rust colored. Ah, the good old days.
Apps 61 months ago
Thanks for sharing such a great blog... I am impressed with you taking time to post a nice info.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?