In the history of men’s fashion, there has been no decade as adventurous as the 1970s. After years of the style scene being dominated by dark suits and conservative clothing, it was time for them to break out of that shell, and suddenly, men’s wardrobes were more colorful and luxurious. There were bound to be a few major fails on the way- platform shoes- but it was all part of the ballsiness the decade came to see and enjoy. It was also a decade where men were not scared to dress to gain attention from others.
Fashion breakthroughs that came up in the 1960’s in men’s wear carried on to the 1970s. Men’s fashion changes very little over the years. Changes in their hairstyles were more pronounced than changes in their dressing, which were subtle. From the mid-1969s, the most visible change was in men’s pants, which became more slim fitting — a huge change from the trends observed in previous years.
There were progressive changes, and by 1972 it was the norm to see a man in low rise bell bottom pants and platform shoes. The most interesting thing about fashion is, this style of dressing would have been a joke ten years prior.
Over the years, men’s clothing became tighter and tighter. As trends changed, the preferred material for these outfits also changed. Most of the clothes in this decade were made of polyester or a blend of cotton and polyester. The materials of choice kept on changing and later in the decade, terry cloth and velour became popular choices in men’s shirts.
In the 1970s, there were two very different types of suits that had become overly popular, especially after John Travolta’s “Saturday Night Fever” the leisure suit, which had been introduced in 1972 exploded in popularity.
The other popular suit in this decade was the tracksuit. Ideally, this type of suit was more popular in the ‘80s – as worn by the Beastie Boys- they were also very popular in the late 1970s. It was not only tracksuits that were popular, but sportswear in general as they were a popular trend favored all round and worn everywhere.
By the mid-1970s, men’s fashion became more colorful with plaid styles being very popular. For example, one would be considered hip if they wore plaid bell bottom pants and a solid colored turtle neck sweater. Though, the opposite was also the norm as men would also opt to wear a plaid suit jacket and polyester pants.
The late part of this decade was replaced by the flamboyance of the disco-era where men began wearing the loudest, brightest shirts they could find, and these often came in very shiny materials. The shirts had a slimmer look with wide open collars.
Men had altogether stopped wearing their hats. They had even gone ahead and grown out their hair, such that longer hair amongst men was a popular fashion trend. They had also stopped tucking in their shirts and favored having them hang out outside their pants. Facial hair was also all the talk, but if you did not have chest hair to rock, you went out and bought a gigantic gold medallion to cover it up.
In the 70s, collars were worn wide and lose while pants became tighter and tighter. The 1970s also had some pretty cringe-worthy advertisements for their outfits, but I guess it was all about the eccentricity in that decade, so the more eccentric, then undoubtedly the better.
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