It was a trend that roared on fall runways: the ’70s.
The decade encompassed an incredibly wide range of looks — from a boho-hippie vibe born in the late ’60s to disco’s sexy glitz as it inched toward the ’80s — making it an ideal treasure trove of inspiration for many a designer.
“It was a revolutionary decade for fashion,” says Stephanie Solomon, Lord & Taylor’s fashion director. “There are lots of different elements to the ’70s. The early part looked much different than the later, but the love affair with the era continues.” For some, it’s a throwback, but, says Solomon, “The good news is that there’s a whole generation that never experienced it.”
So why does fashion from almost 50 years ago continue to be surprisingly relevant? “The ’70s have always endured because they evoke a certain femininity, but with a confidence that is very appealing to women,” says Joe Zee, editor-in-chief of Yahoo Fashion whose new talk show, “Fab Life,” debuts on ABC in September.
For fall, the choices are vast. “Nearly anything from the decade goes,” says Real Simple magazine’s fashion director, Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln. Among the trends she points to: “brocades, tapestry fabrics, patchwork, shearling, suede, fringe, wide leg trousers, leather and geometric patterns.”
Solomon says the throwback offers new options. “This is a color palette we haven’t seen a long time — there are spice tones and earth tones. I just bought myself a brown saddlebag; it almost forces you to update.”
But don’t overdo, Solomon says, advising shoppers to steer clear of looking “too costume-y.” Sanchez-Lincoln says a look should “incorporate one statement ’70s piece per outfit, like wide-leg trousers, with something more modern or basic like a boxy top you already own.”
“The tipping point is more in terms of beauty than clothes,” says Zee. “Jennifer Lopez can wear a big, floppy hat and a maxi skirt and she always looks beautiful. She’s not wearing blue eye shadow and ’70s hair.” He adds that if you’re modern with the makeup, “you can go all the way with the clothes.”
Even if you’ve been there and done, here’s some advice on adding ’70s pizzazz to your wardrobe.
Shaggy fur: “It can be real or fake — but it should be fun,” says Lord & Taylor’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon. “Think about getting in a color or patchwork and maybe a vest or a chubby. It’s going to be a staple.”
Wide-leg trousers: Real Simple magazine’s fashion director Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln says you can go with any length that works for your figure, “from culottes to long.”
Metallics: Joe Zee, Yahoo Fashion’s editor-in-chief and executive creative director, suggests throwing some metallic and lame into the mix for a sultry pop.
Fringe: You can find it everywhere, says Sanchez-Lincoln, suggesting bags, shoes, boots, even a sweater.
Turtlenecks: They’ll go with everything this season.