In the 1970’s, the keyword for fashion in the Western world was individuality and personal expression, and there were a lot of different types of styles that came to prominence in this influential decade.
Most looks were androgynous, featuring a silhouette that was tight at the top and looser or wider at the bottom. Eye-catching, daring, and bold color choices and big patterns featured hugely, whether in the smart office wear fashion or in the more relaxed informal styles.
In this article, we will be looking at the main styles that were prevalent for men in the ‘70s, which is perfect for you if you are looking to update your wardrobe in that vintage way that on its way back into fashion.
In the early 1970s, many young men were working (and earning) – and they were exploring new ways to express themselves beyond the conventional looks that were found in the office.
The Peacock Revolution was epitomized by dandies, dudes, and peacocks who wore brightly colored suits that included satin, crushed velvet and ruffles. Ethnic-inspired tunics and candy striped blazers were worn over black satin shirts with lace ruffles on the collar and cuffs. Elephant bell-bottoms and winklepickers with Cuban heels completed the look.
Informal and Relaxed
In the mid-1970s, there was more of an informal and laidback look. The jeans, sweaters, and t-shirts were simple enough, but there was an addition of more elaborate designs.
Short denim shorts and the classic blue jeans shorts are part of this, worn with flannels.
Of course, the leisure suit with gold medallions and Oxford shoes fit into this; but you would also find Western shirts, Birkenstock sandals, Khaki chinos, and leather coats.
The Qiana shirt fit into this style – silky nylon with a glossy finish, these button-down shirts featured photographic or artistic prints and were worn with casual styles and with the newly slimmer European-style suit.
Almost an antithesis to the informal style of the mid-70s, glam rock was all about androgynous style, taking the basics of the Peacock Revolution (color and texture in blazers and suits) and adding some of the relaxed American style (Western shirts and leather jackets).
Think styles influenced by Slade, Kiss, David Bowie and Sweet.
The disco look is probably one of the main styles that we think of, especially for men in the ‘70s. Colorful three-piece suits were the choice for many, with high-rise vests and wide-leg or flared trousers.
Colors included beige and powder blue, or white like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Some were even more unique – shiny silver snakeskin?
Here we got the aviator style glasses with the clear lenses, and the really wide kipper ties with bold and bright designs, along with long, pointed collars.
The era of peace and love might have started in the late 1960s, but by the time the ’70s rolled round, politically aware youth in America, the UK, and even New Zealand were favoring a style that was a real counterculture move.
The style was androgynous, with both men and women choosing long hair, tie dye, and bell bottoms worn with sandals.
Another choice (to go with the anti-war sentiment) was to repurpose old military uniforms bought from thrift stores by adding flower patches and brightly colored peace symbols.
Get Your ‘70s Look.
While you might not want to look like you have just stepped out of a Bee Gees revival, adding some subtle nods to ‘70s flair is a great way to give your wardrobe an overhaul and get you bang on trend. Focus on key pieces, like bell bottom trousers and brightly colored, fitted shirts. The bolder among you might be willing to go for the Nehru jacket or even becoming a Dandy with a black satin shirt – choose repurposed or vintage for an authentic look.
Clear aviator-style glasses, wide lapels (and wider ties) and a Bob Dylan cap will finish your style off perfectly.