What Are the Different Types of '70s Vintage Clothes?

R. Stamm

The different types of '70s vintage clothes include a wide variety of styles reflecting the wide range of attitudes during the period. Women wore either extremely tight-fitting clothes, such as hot pants or loose peasant-style clothing. Men dressed down in bowling shirts or dressed up in leisure suits. Both men and women wore platform shoes in an effort to express the new heights to which they were reaching as people.

Styles popular during the disco era could be seen in the movie "Saturday Night Fever".
Styles popular during the disco era could be seen in the movie "Saturday Night Fever".

For women and men, '70s vintage clothes include a wide-legged trouser with a hem line stopping just below the knee known as gaucho pants. No wardrobe from the '70s was complete without a pair of bell-bottomed pants which were tight-fitting through the waist and hips and gradually flared to extreme portions at the hem. Women wore an unusually short, tight-fitting form of shorts and called them hot pants. They also wore hip huggers, which were tight-fitting and sat below the natural waistline at the hip.

Hot pants were popular in the '70s.
Hot pants were popular in the '70s.

Suit styles began to change during this time, and one of the most common styles of the era was the leisure suit. This suit, inspired by John Travolta in the film about disco called “Saturday Night Fever,” was made from brightly-colored polyester and had matching pants and a jacket. Women began to wear a more masculine style of pant suit with matching jackets, vests, and ties. Both women and men wore variations of the jumpsuits. Another vintage suit, which remains popular, is the jogging suit ushered in by the American obsession with fitness.

Another classic style from the era is the wrap dress, a dress made from one piece of fabric and wrapped around the body with a sewn-in tie, made popular by the designer Diane von Furstenberg. Other '70s vintage clothes styles include the peasant blouse, a flowing top with a drawstring in the neck line and a banded waist. Women also wore halter tops, a triangular top that tied around the neck and the waist, for either casual or formal attire.

Both men and women wore a ring with a stone that changed color with the body’s temperature, called a mood ring. Men accessorized their suits by wearing multiple gold chains around the neck while women adorned their neck with multiple strands of shells or beads. The headband became an icon of '70s vintage clothes and was worn by both men and women as part of the fitness craze.

Brightly colored or white suits may be considered a type of clothing from the 1970s.
Brightly colored or white suits may be considered a type of clothing from the 1970s.

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Discussion Comments


The 1970s: Often called the disco era, three piece suits, flared trousers, platform shoes and more were all the rage. Baseball jerseys and t-shirts became common casual wear. Flared tight jeans, leather jackets, boots and more were worn as rebellious symbols by many teenagers.


I had no idea that the jogging suit originated in the '70s! For some reason I thought this was a more contemporary invention.

I wonder if the people who invented the jogging suit realized it would become such a fashion item. These days, people don't just wear jogging suits to jog. I see people wearing them to run errands in on a daily basis!


@ceilingcat - I used to really like that show myself! I have to say though, I liked it more for the humor and less for the clothes.

Anyway, I went to a party a few years ago that was a '70s themed party. I was lucky, because my mom was in her 20s during that time. She had actually saved a few of her clothes so I was able to borrow them! I went to the party wearing bell bottoms, platform shoes, and a peasant blouse. I'm not sure I'd want to wear that stuff all the time, but it was fun for one night!


I used to love watching That '70s Show when it first came out. I got such a kick out of the '70s clothes all the characters in the show wore!

I have to say though, I'm glad a lot of that stuff isn't in fashion anymore. The only '70s style piece of clothing I really like is the wrap dress, which you can still find. However, that's where my admiration of '70s attire ends!

I think bell bottoms are fairly unflattering. And don't even get me started on hot pants! Not too many people can pull of that kind of style.

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