The fringe accents, the bell sleeves, the groovy prints—everything about ‘70s fashion trends speak to a generation’s need to express themselves louder, and with more vibrancy, than ever before. After the tumultuous ‘60s, fashion icons, brands, and consumers of the so-called “Me” Decade were breaking away from established norms, embracing eclectic, folkloric, and gender-neutral pieces to bring a visual identity to the rebellious spirit of the time. And now? We’re living (and dressing) through our own breakthrough moment—unshackling ourselves from pandemic restrictions through “revenge shopping” and finding a sense of freedom through fashion.
Thanks to celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid embracing this summer’s optimism with care-free outfits of their own, we’re seeing a resurgence of iconic ‘70s looks in everything from streetwear to swimwear. Flared pants, sweaters vests, and retro sunglasses were first adopted by A-listers, with niche styles (think crochet pieces and headscarves) starting to heat up as more people pull together their reemergence wardrobes.
For further proof that the world is seeking sartorial comfort in groovy relics of the past, check out Instagram accounts like @70sdaily or @70sbabes who are elevating the free-spirited style subculture. Or take a look at the latest collections of designers like Hermès and Chloé, who sent out runway models in clogs and fringe ponchos.
Disco fever is in full swing—and if you want to channel some of this retro energy in your own wardrobe, scroll down to see which ‘70s fashion trends are reigning supreme in 2021.
After a year of virtual dating and being trapped in tiny Zoom squares, the going-out top is re-entering the zeitgeist, thanks to the likes of Bella Hadid championing flashy Studio 54 vibes. The halter silhouette is one of the more flirty and wearable options, as it looks great in a dress or top version. Not to mention, the exposed shoulders play nicely with another beloved ’70s trend: high-waisted bell-bottom jeans. Go for a statement-making print, cropped cut, or something you can secure in multiple ways, like the lurex Kukhareva top that Hadid has.
If anyone can convince us to put our minimalist, chocolate-brown-loving, aesthetic on hold, it’s Lizzo and her psychedelic mini dress. Whether you go for exaggerated florals, squiggly gingham, or an equally trippy abstract motif—keep the rest of your look simple to give the print its full-on moment to shine.
People in the ‘70s lived in flare pants—and celebs like Queen B are solidifying their place as a wardrobe staple yet again. Think of them as the sexier cousin to balloon jeans: still comfy thanks to the bell-bottoms, but form-fitted through the hip. The more in-your-face the pants are, the better—and you can ground your look with unfussy staples like a tucked-in white T-shirt or tank top.
It’s time to pack away those teeny, tiny specs and lean into exaggerated shapes for summer—ideally of the rectangular or aviator variety. Take cues from Miley Cyrus and Kaia Gerber and opt for lenses in lighter tints (think gold, amber, or blue) to add an extra pop of color to your looks and show off your eyes. The future is bright!
Few textures embody the decade’s sunshine spirit quite like crochet, and right now we’re seeing brands reimagine the trend on everything from tops and skirts to colorful short sets. Take your pick from any of the four below—or check out our full edit of crochet pieces on how to bring the retro vibes into your wardrobe.
Clogs are a divisive footwear choice, period. You either love the quirky middle-school art teacher look…or you don’t. Either way, celebs like Dua Lipa are making a case for the folklorish shoe by working it into their everyday wardrobe—and brands like Fabrizio Viti and Loeffler Randall are offering up actually chic and practical options as a stand-in for trek-y sandals and workout sneakers this summer. Best part? You can still wear these babies in the fall with woolly socks.
Silk scarves worn as hair wraps get a big y-e-s from us. We first wrote about them last year—and while the look wasn’t as popular then, it’s all over TikTok now. A square silk scarf is a low-committal way into the trend since you style it in many other ways, but if you want to go all-in on the milkmaid vibes, opt for something triangle-shaped. The smaller cut is perfect for tying behind your ear and leaving a few strands of hair out to frame your face. Cue the hair toss.