A Overview of Fashion in the 1970's in United States

Throughout the 20th Century, fashion has been a major influence in the United States. It has helped people express their beliefs in a controlled manner and shaped the way for womens rights. Each decade has had a profound effect in todays world, but one decade that really stands out is the ME decade, also known as the 1970s. Fashion in the 1970s was a way for people, especially women, to express their feelings about the times and the changes that were happening around them.

Before understanding the fashions of the 1970,s it is important to look back and understand how fashion started in the first place. In the beginning of humanity, people were only interested in their survival. In order to survive man needed food and shelter. When it became cold, some migrated to warmer places. Others found techniques for keeping warm, such as clotheing and fire.

Those who could not adapt died from statvation or exposure. Clothing was part of human culture.

Get quality help now
Doctor Jennifer
Doctor Jennifer
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Clothing

star star star star 5 (893)

“ Thank you so much for accepting my assignment the night before it was due. I look forward to working with you moving forward ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Fashion began as a way to keep warm, and protect the body from outside things such as weather, sharp rocks and plants. Initially humans wrapped themselves in animal skins, later they laced the skins together with strips of leather. Just as history tells people about the life of humanity, fashion tells us about history. During early civilization of ancient Egypt we have learned through the discovery of the tombs found in the pyramids how the people of that time dressed. Women wore jewelry, perfume and make-up. Most people wore linen clothes.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

Women wore shawls and sheer ankle-length dresses. During this, time levels of class became important. Members of the upper class, middle class and the lower class all dressed differently. Even today, the class of people can be determined by what they wear.

Throughout humanity, man has been wearing clothes. At first, it was for warmth and survival reasons, but later it became something more important, something known as fashion. 1970 was kicked off with the introduction of the midi length skirt. In the 1960s the mini skirt had been very popular and the idea of a skirt below the knee was not accepted as it had been thought it would be. There were even stop the midi campaigns and protest marches in New York. The response to midi-length garments was so poor that by early October the Wall Street Journal was reporting deep trouble in the fashion industry.

The most successful looks of the 1970s were tight fitting shirts, belted waists, and softly flared skirts. By the end of 1970 the length of a skirt was no longer a big deal. Length said St. Laurent, is no longer important. What is wonderful is the freedom to choose ones length. In the fashion world 1971 might go down as the year of contrast. Skirts were now cut to knee length and the length of the skirt was a thing of the past. Layered dressing was popular among teenagers. Making your own fashion appeared well rooted and likely to remain. In 1970 and 1971 fashion was split between pants and skirts. Women had fought for the right to wear pants in public places and won. Although this was a large step in womens rights, some women still did not feel comfortable wearing pants. The 1970s are often cited as the decade of decadence, but despite the extremes of Glam and punk this was the time when women really looked at their place in modern society for the first time. At this same time radical women appeared. Radical feminists wore their conference and demonstration dress. Feminists also went unshaved, wore no bras, and did not take care of their hair.

The early 1970s were a time when women really grew in society and decided that it as okay for women to have a place in the world too. In 1972, fashion did an about-face change ushering the new era of classicism. Costume clothing was no longer being worn and people were now looking for comfort and ease. Radical clothing was not being seen as much; instead, women were leaning towards a traditional look.

Women wanted to look more feminine, but they were scared to give up their right to wear pants. Many women settled for a softer top to wear with their pants. Teenagers wore skintight pants, lose fitting shirts and clogs. Jeans were very popular and were frayed, patched, and faded so teenagers could achieve the poor look. 1973 was known as the year of blue denim. Since jeans were affordable to the poor and the in look for the rich, blue jeans became a class-leveling item of clothing. Teenagers were drifting away from the poor look so nice shirts were put with jeans to dress the outfit up. As Mary Quaint put it, It is alright to look rich again after every thing has looked poor and worn out as possible. Young girls were now wearing low cut, frilly, and even off one-shoulder shirts. The fashion industry tried to reintroduce skirts, but pants remained number one. Later in 1973, girls began wearing skirts that ended just above the ankle and with the skirts, they would wear T-shirts or blouses and floppy hats. This look quickly became known as the flower girl look. 1973 became known as the year when showing your money in your clothes was important.

When people went out, they wanted to look glamorous. Anything that sparkled was in. Fashion in 1974 turned out to be a year of transition. Women were drifting away from pants and starting to wear skirts again. The unisex look was also beginning to fade. Looking like a woman was okay and many women were now showing that they could be sexy and still be professional. Feminine and romantic impression was emphasized in womens clothing but was contradicted by the clumsy clog and shoulder bags that teenage girls were still wearing. By the summer of 1974, skirts were favored over pants. Then by the fall, the dress had re-entered the scene.

The feminine look was back and in full force. In 1975, Fullness was the watch word in the early part of the year. Women wore capes over riding boots with extra high heels. In the spring, there was a rage of pea soup colored clothing; khaki was also a popular color. However, throughout this fad, T-shirts and jeans held their own. The piled on look was also popular in the fall of 1975 and women wore dirndl skirts with a windbreaker over baggy pants. This attire was terribly difficult to wear and a suspicion was adopted that designers really did hate women. During 1974 and 1975 feminism was at full force, but another thing that was important was the gay liberation movement. The gays developed their won style in which they introduced uni-sex clothing. The gays believed that by introducing uni-sex clothing they were breaking down the stereotype differences between male and female.

In 1976, the loden coat became the big fashion hit. It was a very practical and everyone had one. Another big style was the overalls and jumpsuits. There were jumpsuits for day and eveningwear. When spring came there was a new mania for blazers. Blazers were found every where and in every color. Women also wore silk blouses and tube-like skirts with high slits. Stripes became popular that summer and the floral print. But it was the cotton dress that won the fashion race that summer. By winter, the tube-like skirt was outdated and a much more feminine look appeared. Women were tired of the masculine look and wanted clothes that were tight fitting and showed off their bodies The year 1977 started with the basic style of a bloused over jacket or blouson. Skin-tight long-legged pants were big with the younger teens and so were leggings with high heels and netted stockings with boxer shorts. With the coming of spring everything turned soft and fluid.

Pants were traded in for a variety of skirts and jackets replaced the blousons. Sandals were now in and clogs were no longer worn. The pajama look which was a T-shirts and slim pants were popular and men and women both wore the new trend. In the summer and the fall, the must have was a shawl. During this time people started wearing dresses with ruffles and this added a Victorian look to the outfit. 1976 and 1977 fashion did not really have any drastic changes. Women were wearing jumpsuits and evening gowns. They still had their right to wear pants and they were able to show their feminine side too. Since small skinny bodies were in women wanted to show off their sexy bodies by not wearing as much clothing. They did this with tight clingy clothes that showed skin wherever it was possible but still appropriate. In the mid 70s women were not looking for any thing special they just wanted to look and feel sexy.

The motto for 1978 was exercise and keep fit. 1978 was all about dieting, exercising, and being healthy and with this trend came a strong need for sportswear. Designers were quick to capitalize on the physical fitness craze which opened a vast market for warm-up shoes, suits, sports shoes and jogging shorts not intended exclusively for athletic activities. In the winter of 1978, people began to wear leather and in the spring, they wore short jackets with wide shoulders. Every thing that was being worn was meant to express the image of being physically fit. Another trend in 1978 was the 40s look. The fashion look was for broader shoulders (shoulder pads), slimmer hips and a lot of black. Clothing in 1978 had a retro feel to it. In 1979 fashion said good-bye to the old styles of the 70s and welcomed an all-new style. Women were ready for a new look and in walked a far more sophisticated style.

Slits in skirts were popular and higher than ever and tailored suits were seen every where. People wore bright colors and wanted to be noticed. Women were wearing more make-up and fancy hairstyles for a more dressed-up look. 1979s fashion was mainly influenced by the 50s. The late 70s were full of big changes and flashbacks in time. In 1978 came the motto fit is in. In 1979, slits in skirts went as high as the changing oil prices. 1978 and 1979 were all about changes. People were no longer wearing the boring looks of the late 60s and early 70s but now had a whole new look. People were tired of war and ready for a whole new era known as the 80s. The 1970s were a time in fashion where everything changed. In fact, in the early 70s Vogue announced: There are no more rules in the fashion game now. Vogue was entirely correct when they made this statement. Fashion in the 1970s was filled with expressions of peoples beliefs and feeling of those times. Their trends were crazy and outrageous, but without that style how else would the 70s be known as something so great as the Me Decade.

Updated: Nov 16, 2022
Cite this page

A Overview of Fashion in the 1970's in United States. (2022, Nov 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-overview-of-fashion-in-the-1970-s-in-united-states-essay

A Overview of Fashion in the 1970's in United States essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment