Many credit the 60s as the turning point for American society, where post-WWII conservatism was traded out for a cultural revolution that made us less prude, less rigid, and less scared of the unfamiliar. Though the 60s is where the change started, the 70s saw the realization of those ideas, in every aspect of American life. The best example of this was the fashion, which could best be described as “experimental,” “vibrant,” and of course, very cool. Thankfully, 2016 has seen a revival of many trends that dominated 70s fashion that deserve their second chance.
The long, natural hair
I’ve written before about the “natural” hair trend’s roots in the feminist movement. Long, natural hair has long since replaced the very stylized haircuts that originated in the 80s and lingered through the 90s, and since the early 2000s we’ve gone from natural and wavy to long and straightened, and recently back to natural and wavy, which de emphasises the strain on women to maintain a carefully-cultivated appearance and re emphasises the natural look (granted, the “instagram perfect” makeup standard of today sort of defeats this idea, but let’s hope and pray shifting hairstyle trends are the first sign of change in the air).
The turtleneck was a defining fashion trend in the 70s. Who knows who’s to credit for its resurgence – it probably has something to do with the phasing out of the messy, sparse, hyper-sexual fashion of the early 2000s (empowering in its own way, to its credit). The turtleneck, now heavily adopted by women, embodies intellect, dignity, and regality.
The platform boot
The platform boot, very unfortunately eschewed by men since the 70s, is the new decade’s answer to the long, thin, ultra-feminine heel of the early 2000s. The square heel is now fixated to close-toed shoe of all kinds, from dress boots to casual ankle boots to mary janes. Thankfully, the faux-leather material used for most 70s booties is also back in style, replacing the coarse pseudo-cloth used in the early 2000’s less fully realized ankle booties.
The crop top
The crop top epitomises the risk-taking aspect of fashion in the 70s. Any collection of street fashion pictures from the era includes at least one woman in a midriff-exposing top – even Jodie Foster wore one as part of her iconic 70’s enguene outfit in Taxi Driver. Since then, the playful prints and designs used for the crop top have been largely reduced to neutral colors and a scoop-neck, and is more likely worn with a pair of skinny jeans for a uniformly streamlined silhouette.
The high-waisted jeans
High-waisted jeans and shorts were foolishly left behind in favor of various degrees of low-cut waists for decades, until very recently. The high waist was finally introduced to skinny jeans, and is now very popular for its ability to make legs look longer and to make shirt-tucking easier (which is also in style again since before the 90s). Like the turtleneck, the high waists’ put-together, almost academic look has replaced the low-hanging jeans’ messier aesthetic.