From Nehru jackets and hipster flares to toe socks and peasant blouses, styles in the '70s had everyone feeling “far out” and “groovy.” eBay style director Constance White shares some '70s-inspired looks and style tips to make you say “I can dig it.”
Why are the looks of the '70s coming back around again? What is the appeal?
The '70s were a feel-good time in our culture and the styles reflected that. The feeling for fun, feel-good fashion is back. There's a lot of optimism in the air now. In addition, designers are looking back to the '70s because we're in a glamorous, feminine moment in style. Meanwhile, menswear is a huge inspiration for designers, and the '70s ushered in a period when women borrowed liberally from menswear. Finally, pop culture is awash in '70s nostalgia, from "Charlie's Angels" to Donna Summer revivals.
How can you take a trend like the '70s and wear it well, without looking like a fashion catastrophe?
Most important is that you bear in mind that nothing comes back the same way twice. So don't copy Farrah's look down to her nail polish, or Bianca's pantsuits line for line.
Is the '70s trend right for every age? How can you decide which item works for you and your age?
A great aspect of '70s fashion is that anyone can wear it. Caveat: Not everyone should wear everything. The Jackie O. look works for any age, and is perfect for women in their 40s and 50s. Studio 54 style, like hot pants with high boots, is best for those in their 20s and 30s. A lot of '70s dresses were body conscious, so wear Spanx or Nancy Ganz undergarments or instead choose another look, like wide-legged pants or a military jacket.
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What are some basic fashion tips for wearing this or any trend?
Don't do the look just as it was in the '70s. Feel free to mix a '70s trench coat with a very now pair of skinny jeans. Pair hot pants with high boots and tights to take you through fall. Above all, make sure the trend flatters you (meaning, hot pants may not be your thing anymore). Just because it's in doesn't mean it should be in your closet. And think about jewelry and accessories to freshen up a wardrobe with a new trend, like Lucite bangles, gold necklaces, and soft bags. Have fun with it. Mix decades, but keep a consistent feeling in one outfit.
For hair and makeup, what should you keep in mind when keeping with the trends?
Hair and makeup should always be what flatters you, regardless of what's in vogue that season. However, you can update your look, for example, by deepening or lightening a favorite color or adding soft highlights to a favorite haircut. Glossy lips were big in the '70s. If you're in your 20s and 30s, it may still be a super look for you. For a woman in her 40s or a woman of any age in the workplace, substitute a shimmer rather than the wet-lip look that suggests you're going to the disco.
How much should you spend on trendy pieces?
Timeless pieces — great pair of pants, jeans, a trench coat or a fur jacket — merit pulling out the credit card. Invest in black. But pay cash for overt military pieces, hats, party platform shoes, camouflage, and African prints, which will date by next year. And try costume jewelry chains and hoop earrings.
Will the '70s fad continue into the fall?
Seventies fashions will be big for fall, mixed with some other inspirations. Several leading designers did military; also look for menswear, jersey dresses, gold chains and furs — all characteristic of the '70s — to be popular.
Looks featured on the show:
Diane Von Furstenberg
The wrap dress became iconic when DVF gave women a feminine power look for the workplace.
- Diane Von Furstenberg vintage-inspired jersey wrap dress
- Jessica Simpson Footwear ‘Amy’ sandal
- Juicy Couture equestrian horse-bit layer necklace
Menswear is going to be huge this fall, as it was in the '70s. Women borrowed from men during the decade as they joined them in the workplace.
- Michael by Michael Kors white poet shirt
- Marc Jacobs shawl coat
- Marc Jacobs black satin trousers with suspenders
- La Rok gold metallic vest
The winds of war always inspire designers. It did in the '70s and it does now.
- Dolce & Gabbana military jacket
- Dolce & Gabbana white pinstripe shirt
- Dolce & Gabbana military cropped trousers
- Pierre Hardy gold strappy sandals
The '70s sizzled with a funky fashion sense, and nothing was hotter than hot pants.
- L.A.M.B. pull-over hoody
- La Rok copper hot pants
- Converse shearling boots
Nothing said glamour like Studio 54. Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Cher and Diana Ross all made the look of the New York nightclubs de rigueur.
- Marc Bouwer cropped faux fur coat
- Stephen Burrows red jersey dress
- Christian Louboutin red satin platforms
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