The Seventies

platform shoes appeared on the fashion scene in 1971
platform shoes appeared on the fashion scene in 1971

The Time Forgotten By Good Taste

For me, the 1970s are the golden age of bad fashion: The time forgotten by good taste. Looking back at photos and music videos from the seventies, two words come to my mind: Outrageously awful. Did men really wear those tacky platform shoes on an everyday basis or even just to go Disco dancing?

I suppose women's fashion was not too bad. Except for the high maintenance airbrushed hairstyles, if fashion did not make justice to the female silhouette, at least it didn't ridicule it the way it did with men: The flared trousers, the shirts, but most insulting of all, the infamous platform shoes. In the early 1970s platform shoes started with a quite slim sole which moved from ¼ inch up to about 4 inches at the peak of popularity. By the mid-seventies, the most ordinary people were wearing two inch deep platforms without a second thought.

Feathered Hair

Photo of Farrah Fawcett from the television program Charlie's Angels.  Press release is dated 25 October 1977
Photo of Farrah Fawcett from the television program Charlie's Angels. Press release is dated 25 October 1977 | Source

I Grew Up With The 70s Music

I grew up with the 70s music. I still remember my father dressed like John Travolta always with a comb in his pocket to tidy up his hair style, and moustache. My mom with her colourful dresses and Farrah Fawcett brushed hairstyle, always had the music on, singing and dancing to the latest hits. Of course, the fashion craze also extended to me and I can see plenty of photos of myself wearing patchwork dresses and even sequined clothes and airbrushed wigs even before I was 5! Now, that is what some people would call child abuse!

Charlies Angels cast (1976) feathery hairstyles were a "must" fashion trend

From left: Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Kate Jackson.
From left: Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Kate Jackson. | Source

Disco Fashion

In the 1970s disco dance clubs created a place for a new kind of clothing called disco wear which was based on stretch clothes and light reflecting fabrics that shone under disco lighting. Gold lame, leopard skin and stretch jumpsuits along with white clothes that glowed in Ultra Violet lights were all the rage for the Discos. Satin jackets that reflected the light and a gold medallion showing on a tanned or hairy chest and the open neck shirt with the collar turned up were de rigueur for men. Hot pants and Spandex tops. Shiny clinging Lycra stretch disco pants in hot strident shiny colours with stretch sequin bandeau tops were often adaptations of professional modern dance wear that found itself making an impact in discos as disco dancing became serious.

Disco Fashion 1977

Flared jeans and trousers were popular with both sexes as can be seen at this German disco in 1977
Flared jeans and trousers were popular with both sexes as can be seen at this German disco in 1977 | Source

Saturday Night Fever

Sideburns and beards were popular for men during the 70s

Saturday Night Fever

Films like Saturday Night Fever (1977) popularised the image of John Travolta dancing to the Bee Gees in his crisp white disco suit, glittering gold chains, and hairy chest.

In real life, the action took please in venues like the hedonistic Studio 54: The place to be seen.

Most fashions do a come back. We have already seen the revival of many trends but I sincerely hope that this time at least we give a miss to reviving the worst of the seventies fashion!

Studio 54

Singer Billy Preston, 1974

Billy Preston in the Oval Office 13 December 1974
Billy Preston in the Oval Office 13 December 1974 | Source

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Comments 31 comments

curt 4 years ago

Seventies clothes are the coolest! I have a whole closet full of bells and plats. Can you dig it? Would have loved to live back then.


Johnkadu123 profile image

Johnkadu123 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh God. Those shoes are real killers!!!lol. Great article.


stilnaja1@yandex.ru 5 years ago

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anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

We sometimes still get to see the shades of 70's & 80's in our recent hollywood movies. I personally loved the music of that era.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

Elizabeth31 : Yes, the 80s didn't improve much LOL

RGraf : Lets hope that not too much of it comes back ;-)


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I was afraid when I first read your title that you loved the seventies fashions. I could not stand them. Even living in that period, killed me. I hated the wide legs of my pants that my mother had for school clothes. I thought the way my older sisters dressed was horrible. The sad part is that so much is coming back. Oh, my.


Elizabeth31 profile image

Elizabeth31 7 years ago

It's hard to pin just one style to the 70's. In the South, we had hippie and disco, but we had preppy, too. Of course, down here, preppy never really goes away. It just waxes and wanes.

Not everything about 70's fashion was bad -- just the bridesmaid's dresses! If you were born too late to have been a bridesmaid anywhere from 1973 to 1982, be thankful. Can you say, "Polyester"? Oh, and guys' prom tuxes were pretty bad, too.

I have to agree with whoever said that the 80's didn't improve things much.

Aren't we glad fashion has moved on. :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Lewgard: thanks for passing by and leaving a comment.

Rik: I loved your hub on "Weird Sci Fi Glamour" where bad taste meets science fiction :)

pjdscott: keep looking in that loft, you might still find a pair of flares... but, wait... surely you don't want to use them again?

Yomraholmes: please don't... don't... unless you are going to glassvisage's "Sony and Cher party"


Rik Ravado profile image

Rik Ravado 8 years ago from England

Found a link from one of my hubs on weird fashion to yours. The 70's were a golden era for bad taste - Thanks for reminding me what it was like. Great fun!


pjdscott profile image

pjdscott 8 years ago from Durham, UK

What memories Princessa - thanks for sharing! I knew I should have kept my flares - they will eventually come back in some shape or form...


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

My company just had our annual "Olympics," and the theme was Sonny and Cher... :D


lewgard profile image

lewgard 8 years ago from Southern Michigan

I'm a "child of the 70's" and have a lot of great memories. Looking back, things sure were UGLY!! The other day, I was watching a rerun of Sanford and Son and cracked-up at the fashion. Saturday Night Live is my favorite movie.


yomraholmes profile image

yomraholmes 8 years ago from San Francisco

Great hub - you just motivated me to go buy a pair of disco shoes. back it a bit! :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Thanks for your comments. Sorry I have not been able to answer individually.

Like Neil says... Peace, love and groovy to all of you ;-)


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

Men really had to be on drugs to wear most of those colors. ;) Great hub, I love the 70s!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

A Princess you are...... Mmmmwwwaaaaaa - Peace Love and Groovy to you doll. :-)

Some aspects of the 70's fashion I love even today. Pants that fit snug to the knee and a "gentle" flare in my opinion still look great. The hair styles till appeal to me and I have my hairdresser trained to never let the top of my ear show....LOL.

Hugs to you my friend! Thanks!

Peace!


Dumbledore profile image

Dumbledore 8 years ago from Somewhere in Ohio

I grew up in the 50s and 60s. By the time the 70s roolled around, I was on my way to adulthood and military service.. The uniforms did not change in the 70s but the music did.


teeray profile image

teeray 8 years ago from Canada

This is an awesome hub! Though I still like much of the music from the 70's, I recall that the clothing was not only shocking to look at - it was some of the most uncomfortable, annoying stuff to wear. This hub is a good reminder of what NOT to wear.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Lionel Blair's "flares" (which is cockney rhyming slang) and platform shoes are the last fashion styles that will come back around again...for guys anyway!..

Thnaks for the amusement:O


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

As far as I'm concerned the 70's did seal the changes that were imminent and not just in fashion. The totally straight-laced 'Leave it to Beaver' parents were slowly being replaced by the first flow of ""hippy-ish"" grownups. My parents were not amongst them but by 1973 when I was married we kind off caught the 'bug. My bell bottoms were never belly enough, platforms never high enough...my furlined suede vest still hangs in one of the closets. The music is probably the thing that endures the most. What I honestly hate is the 70's retro furniture yuk.

Princessa a great fun and memory filled hub

regards Zsuzsy


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Lionel Blair's "flares" which is cockney rhyming slang, and platform shoes are the last fashion styles that will come back around again...for guys anyway!..

Thanks for the amusement:O


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Some of the fashion and the hairdos were more attractive in the 70's than the 80's. I love to wear flared pants and peasant tops from time to time. Also, the music of the seventies is my favorite.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

Yeah some of the style had to come from, God only knows but, I grew up in the 70's with stick straight hair to my waste...It was more hippie turning preppy for me. Platform shoes were the worst. Those awful long sideburns too! Yuk! Yuk!


Jason Stanley profile image

Jason Stanley 8 years ago

As they say, every thing goes in cycles. In the 90s my then teenage daughter swore she would never, absolutely never ever wear bell bottoms - they look pretty cute on her now.

And, oh horror ... the wide mens tie with a very big knot is making a come back which just goes to show that there truly is no depth to which fashion can not sink, and sink again.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Its what they call selected memory. We really only want to remember some of the things we did wayyyyy back then. Thanks for sharing


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

This is totally funny! Just like when we were kids and used to dress up in the 50's attire, my kids are now dressing up and partying in 70's and 80's style. I must be getting really old! Thank goodness disco only lasted a short while! lol Great Hub.


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

Grew up in the late 70s, but I love the music. To me, the 60s and 70s rock music is the best. Personal opinion of course. As for the fashion, the 80s topped it for ghastliness; another opinion of course. (Puffy shirts and argyle socks) Yuck!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I was a teenager in the 70s and, to be fair, nobody dressed that way except the disco culture and the people on TV. The heavy metal explosion was also happening at that same time: Ozzy, Alice Cooper, etc, and the hippie culture was still going very strong. Granted, some of the fashion was unescapable, but the average young adult looked nothing like the the media portrays them. Just like everybody in the 60s weren't hippies. Just "the kids," and everyone else hated them.


Erinn Soule profile image

Erinn Soule 8 years ago from Los Angeles

Brilliant! I needed that humor today, thanks Princessa!


mroconnell profile image

mroconnell 8 years ago from France

Haha, 70's fashion is definitely wacky enough to deserve a hub. Although you might want to find a way to make the news capsule more relevant ;D

Good work.

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