1970s Fashion for Women & Girls

1970s Women's Fashion

Like the decades before it, fashion in the 1970s changed drastically from the beginning to the end. But the seventies certainly can’t be compared to the sixties in that sense.

However, styles from 1971 are certainly more similar to styles in 1969 than 1979, for sure. If you want to think about in terms of decades, you could say the early 70s were very “late 60s” and the late seventies were very “early eighties.”

In the beginning of the decade, women’s styles were very flamboyant. Extreme, bright colors were in high demand and long, flowing skirt and pants were everywhere. In the winter. In the summer, women wore very short shorts and skin tight t-shirts. Oh, and you can’t forget about the roller skates.

With every year, pants were flaring wider and wider. It was common for a pair of women’s wide-flare slacks to have 32″ around the bottom of the leg hem. Soon the flare exploded into bell bottoms and it couldn’t go anywhere but smaller from there.

Another trend was emerging and soon took over the fashion world: suits. Women were wearing pants in the sixties, but not all of them. By the time the 70s rolled around, women were wearing pants in every walk of life. Female executives were wearing business suits with pants, women at home were wearing jeans.

Women’s fashion in the mid-to-late 1970s was dominated by suits. Leisure suits, pant suits, jump suits and track suits (also known as warm-up suits) were worn from coast to coast. That’s not to say that dresses, blouses, skirts and other popular garments weren’t worn, it’s just that they weren’t as important to defining the style of the times.

Hats were not popular for everyday women anymore. Jewelry was nice, but not the main course. Hair was long and natural. Often times women could do their hair in minutes instead of hours.

Above all, women could finally wear whatever they wanted. Sure, gender roles still played a part in wardrobe choices, but compared to previous generations, women’s fashion in the 1970s was nothing short of revolutionary.

1970s Women’s Fashion Ads from Catalogs, 1970-1974

1970s Women’s Fashion Ads from Catalogs, 1975-1979

Last modified: Oct 28, 2013 | Written by Paul Phipps