Vintage Style #21: The All Encompassing "Seventies" Vibe

You may have noticed that I've changed all 23 posts labeled "Bad Fashion" to "That 70s Style" because it was driving me nuts.  I don't think that 70s fashion is bad - the fashion now is bad.  I guess my original thinking was that I would poke fun at all the over-the-top styles of the decade.  However, I think 70s fashion is an easy target because it went out on a limb. It basically said fuck it, if I want to wear polyester pants so tight you can see every crease of my genitals, then by God I 'm going to where them.

I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: today, we have no style.  It's easy to poke fun at something funky and wild when you're wearing something so forgetably meh.  Commentors on these posts typically call out hip hugger jeans as an example of a 2000s style, but how lame is that? The 70s dress code wasn't about a particular item of clothing, it was an overall vibe.  Show me a picture of a guy in plain old khakis and a t-shirt and I can tell he's from the seventies, because the "seventiesness" is all encompassing.

Which brings me to this small full color gallery of posed fashion shots featuring young folks demonstrating  that all encompassing seventies vibe.... a fashion that is anything but bad. Enjoy.

click on images to enlarge


  1. Those collars. Those colors. Yes, you can tell the '70s from three decades away.

  2. Looking at these pictures is the next best thing to watching reruns of Match Game or Celebrity Bowling!

    Of course, '70s fashion includes hairstyles, and there are some great examples of bad judgement calls here!

    The lady wearing the purple dress in the second image is a striking beauty!

  3. AnonymousJuly 15, 2011

    I need to track down some checkered pants like the guy with the maroon sport coat. NICE!

    @R.A.M.'67. Just got best of Match Game on DVD. It's very entertaining.

  4. I think part of the problem is we live in a very dressed down society. It's appalling to me to see people attending my church wearing shorts, tank tops, flip flops and polo shirts. No one gets dressed up for everyday life anymore...unlike some of the couples in your post.

  5. AnonymousJuly 15, 2011

    i agree with the above post. The dress code today seems to be a t-shirt and basketball shorts....anywhere, anytime. Although the photo with the man in the maroon jacket and plaid pants, sheesh...back then nobody thought twice about going out in public in formal clown wear.

  6. @Philio Dilio: Oh, yeah; I got that Match Game set about the same time I got The Price is Right set. (Bob Barker sports some WICKED trousers on one of those shows in the collection!)

    Any idea how many ladies wore platform shoes for bike riding back in the '70s?

  7. Part of the lure of the 70's fashion folk lies in their ordinariness. I know, those thar are models in the photos, but nowadays everyone is botoxed, photoshopped, fake boobed, tattooed, grungified, pants around the ass, flip flops as shoes, general fashion victim....

    it's just nice to see people who don't look like freaks. The freakification really went mainstream in the early 80's with the new wave.

  8. Maroon coat, checkered pants and a stripped bow tie. I'm sorry, nobody could have thought that combination looked good, even in the '70s.

  9. Couldn't have put it better myself re modern "fashion"!

  10. Yeah, today's style is yesteryear's cartoon stereotype bum in an undershirt planted in front of the tv with a cigar butt and a pile of beer cans, gone out in public.

    Now the trio in the tenth picture down - they must have had a Hanna-Barbera cartoon show where they fought crime with a robot dog. They guy in the back was the 'wacky' one.

    Girl #4 in green? Woo woo!

  11. That lady on the bike is fabulous. I dated a girl back in 1974 who wore shorts like that and had legs up to her ears.

    In those days, a lot of girls in the UK wore tartan as they were all Bay City Roller groupies. Everything was just so much more fun back then and all the girls had such style..

    Really loving your blog.

  12. Yeah, some of it is pretty goofy looking but some of them like the flouncy, peasant tops, the platform heels, the high-waisted flared pants like the ones in #10 are so awesome. I took a Which Fashion Decade Do You Belong In quiz and I was hoping for the sixties because its my favorite decade and it put me in the seventies. After that, I dunno, I find the neo-Hippie, neo-Renaissance kind of appealing...even if I probably couldn't pull it off :P

  13. That's the thing - at least the 70s style HAD style! (I think you wrote a post on this).

    @el cornichon - you are so right! People just dress so DUMPY nowadays! Casual is nice and all, but sheesh! I've actually seen someone in pajama pants in public - bloody awful!

    Oh, and that green dress in no. 4 is to die for! I'd love to get it and have it be my diet/exercise 'goal' dress :)

  14. The girl in lime green dress, the girl in flower dress and the girl in red dress are pretty!

    WTF has happened to the world. Now men and women are badly groomed, tank tops and flip flops, tattoos and beer...No girls would wear a dress, no men would wear shirt and trousers.