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How to Bring '70s Fashion Trends into 2024

 70s trends rainbow suits.
70s trends rainbow suits.

As a sartorial decade, the '70s were hard to pin down. There was the continuation of the "flower child" aesthetic of the late 1960s, with flares, bright colors, and a ton of patterns. There were also standout structural moments, like the big suit and over-the-top hat, making for some avant-garde workwear choices. We also had '70s icons who had their own trademark style providing inspiration: Whether we wanted to look like Cher or Donna Summer, Sophia Loren or Cheryl Tiegs, Diana Ross or Joan Jett, we could choose a famous aesthetic and emulate it to our heart's content.

While the decades that followed would be in large part a rejection of this period, there are plenty of ways to channel the '70s but integrate modern energy. With some tweaks, many of these outfits would work just as well today.

Long Bouffants

70s trends bouffant
70s trends bouffant

While the shorter bouffant was popular in the '50s and '60s, the '70s bouffant was longer and messier (with curls through the bottom), thanks to the vibe of the decade. The modern bouffant would probably add bangs and some layers.

Neck Scarves

70s trends sophia loren
70s trends sophia loren

Sophia Loren is always a good fashion North Star, and she's giving off very casual Italian style with a scarf knotted casually at her neck. This wouldn't need a ton of altering if you wanted to wear it today, to be honest, except to perhaps make the skirt not hit right at the knee.

Overalls and Suspenders

70s trends cher and sonny
70s trends cher and sonny

If you ever want ideas on how to buck tradition, Cher is probably your number one fashion representative. The fact that she can make suspenders look chic and smart instead of patently ridiculous comes down to her inner cool (and also a crop top, if you want to emulate the look).

Crochet

70s trends crochet bathing suit
70s trends crochet bathing suit

'70s crochet can look dated as heck—it's easy to look like your grandmother's quilt, you know what I mean? But I enjoy a surprise crochet moment (as in, this is probably not a practical swimsuit, but it does make for a fun bodysuit when paired with shorts).

Big Suits

70s trends suit
70s trends suit

The oversized pantsuit wasn't just exclusively reserved for men. It looked just as cool (if not more so) on women, so long as the tailoring was smart. Something truly oversized can make you look like you're drowning in fabric, so invest in a tailor.

Magnificent Hats

70s trends bianca jagger
70s trends bianca jagger

Bianca Jagger is a high-end New York fashion icon (think: Studio 54 and Andy Warhol), so she can make what looks like a tuft of feathers on a hat with a veil feel chic, somehow. Reserve your big hats for a big occasion, and maybe skip the bird-like features.

Flowy Fabrics

70s trends beverly johnson pastel
70s trends beverly johnson pastel

Model Beverly Johnson makes these candy-colored swatches look like Grecian perfection (which makes sense, since she was arguably one of the '70s' most famous models). Stick to a single color and make sure the flowiness is balanced by the belt.

Caftans

70s trends caftans
70s trends caftans

If you want to lean in on "rich lady pours herself a stiff drink and lounges on the porch," by all means, caftan it up! In all seriousness, though, a flowy dress is magnificent for all sorts of activities, but you might have to experiment to find the one that makes you feel comfy but not huge.

Stripes

70s trends jerry hall
70s trends jerry hall

We appreciated a vintage stripe, as seen on Jerry Hall here, but the cut of this dress is classic (meaning she feels like a sailor instead of just silly). The '70s vibe is in the tiered, flowy skirt, which is a cut that would absolutely work today.

Patterns

70s trends donna summer
70s trends donna summer

Donna Summer married her style to her songwriting beautifully, and especially in her pattern work. This leopard print has a few intermittent sparkles—very '70s, very Donna—but it's not so loud and obnoxious as to be overwhelming. Take note.

Denim on Denim

70s trends denim
70s trends denim

Going with a full Canadian tuxedo isn't a '70s invention, necessarily, but it was a fun alternative to a jumpsuit (also on this list!). The tie-dye design is not a necessary design element: Just go with a near-matching top and bottom—and the hat is also optional.

Vivid Colors

70s trends red
70s trends red

The '70s was, in many ways, a rejection of the decades that came before it, but one trend that just got bigger and bolder was the use of joyful color (which we'd now call serotonin dressing). Big hat, big belt, big flares = all '70s. Skip the hat to make it modern.

Patchwork

70s trends patchwork
70s trends patchwork

Okay, this trend really does make me feel like my grandma's quilt sometimes, but I think it's all about the styling. The dress plus the lace-up boots is a lot, so opt for black boots to ground the look and a similarly hued cardigan or blazer.

Tie-Dye

70s trends colors
70s trends colors

We may all remember the tie-dyed tee the decade is known for, but tie-dye can actually look quite chic (I promise). Just pair it with a more structured top or bottom so that the pattern feels like a design choice instead of a DIY project.

Pattern-Mixing

70s trends iman
70s trends iman

Iman, red carpet goddess, shows us all exactly how to mix two seemingly incongruous patterns together. It's hard to tell in this black-and-white photo, but they two patterns need to have a unifying color—and that's the only rule!

Annie Hall Style

70s trends diane keaton
70s trends diane keaton

Diane Keaton, who would make this her signature style, perfectly blends masculine and feminine design styles with an oversized blazer, collared shirt, tie, and corsage. The art, as ever, is in the tailoring: These are very clearly not just men's clothes she happened to put on. They're made to suit her, pun intended.

Jumpsuits

70s trends jumpsuit
70s trends jumpsuit

The fashion jumpsuit is pretty synonymous with this decade (even though this might technically be a matching top and bottom, the effect is the same). Skip the fur accessories to keep the look from feeling like a costume, but keep the collared shirt.

Minis With Thigh-High Boots

70s trends grace jones
70s trends grace jones

Fashion innovator Grace Jones played by her own fashion rules—and often, the sheer audacity and innovation was a feast for the eyes. You may not want a sweater dress mini that's this short, but the trick is to keep a few inches between the top of the boot and the bottom hem.

Platforms

70s trends platforms
70s trends platforms

The platform heel is now a ubiquitous fashion item, which means it's highly wearable compared to some of the other styles on this list. Floral flares are one, highly '70s choice, but a plain flare or wide leg will do just as well without feeling dated.

Vests

70s trends blondie
70s trends blondie

Blondie's stylish secret was that, despite being "one of the boys" in her band, she wore deeply edgy and still feminine style. I love this neon look, but would probably advise all us non-Blondies to go with a more neutral color (or denim) instead.

Daring Dresses

70s trends jerry hall
70s trends jerry hall

The glittery sequins on this dress would already identify it as a '70s creation, but add the low back, and Jerry Hall is giving us shimmery perfection from that decade. It's up to you how low you want your dress to go (I like wearing bras, so mine would go to mid-back).

Lacy Casual

70s trends jane birkin
70s trends jane birkin

Jane Birkin, my queen, did '70s French fashion better than anyone. Despite some very delicate pieces, like this top, everything always felt casual, thanks to the flared denim, platforms, and (not pictured) her trademark basket bag. This is a look we could emulate today!

Crop Tops

70s trends pam grier
70s trends pam grier

Blaxploitation star Pam Grier had a highly enviable style (case in point: this photo!). I myself might go with a longer crop top (or a collared shirt belted at the waist with a crop top underneath) but if you've got the abs, go forth!

'Chinatown' Cosplay

70s trends chinatown
70s trends chinatown

This neo-noir, which reinvigorated the genre, also caused a resurgence in the style (particularly with Faye Dunaway's character's chic suiting, bob, and hats). I beg of you not to tweeze your eyebrows this thin, but otherwise, this look is chic as heck.

Chunky Jewelry

70s trends diana ross
70s trends diana ross

Diana Ross was often maximalist, particularly in her performance style, but when she went with a more subdued vibe, it was just as gorgeous. Here the jewelry is the star, and the white dress complements without fighting with the piece.

Plaid

70s trends cher
70s trends cher

Shorter sister to the over-the-knee boot, the knee-high platforms were ubiquitous in this decade. (The riding boot style pre-dates this, so Cher is rebooting a classic here.) This is also a quieter take on the loud plaids of the '70s, with a smaller, more subtle print.

Shine

70s trends beverly johnson
70s trends beverly johnson

The shimmery, sparkly jumpsuit is stunning on Beverly Johnson—and, even though these days it might look out of place, you can still opt for a similar style in pants OR a top. Go with black or white to complement the metallic sheen.

Tennis Casual

70s trends cheryl teigs
70s trends cheryl teigs

Cheryl Tiegs did cute tennis fashion without missing a beat (or a ball). In case you missed it, she was a famed Sports Illustrated model, so her vibe was already sporty. But nothing was cuter than her on-the-court fashion, and you could emulate it as-is.

Flares

70s trends flares
70s trends flares

While they first became popular in the '60s, the flare pant style took off and was still going strong in the '70s. More creative versions (the trouser style, the deep flare) were ways to keep the style from feeling dated, and they still look classic today.

Rocker Chic

70s trends joan jett
70s trends joan jett

Joan Jett had a style all her own: a little punk rock (thanks to her choppy black mullet) and a dash of femininity (those platform heels and her jewelry). It's a highly specific look, but it's also balanced enough that the core elements would work just as well now.

Florals

70s trends jane fonda
70s trends jane fonda

(Immediately makes a joke about how florals are groundbreaking.) Jane Fonda had cool style in this decade, and this is a perfect example of the balance between a blunt, short haircut and a deeply delicate outfit. With a little edge in the boots and bracelet.

Fringe

70s trends farrah fawcett
70s trends farrah fawcett

Perhaps no image represents the '70s better. Farrah Fawcett's trademark fringey hairstyle (a classic from that time). The flares. The sneakers. The smile. It's all happening! Seriously, though, aside from the hairdo, you could wear this tomorrow and get compliments galore.