The 1970s were a swinging time with lots of bright clothing and highly recognizable trends. Whether it's the hippie free-love clothing of the early '70s; the tight flashy clothing of the disco age; the extremely identifiable clothing from the biggest blockbusters of the decade; or the bright outfits, big hair and vibrant makeup of the glam-rock era, the '70s have a lot of clothing options for costumes.
The early '70s were filled with peace, love and rock 'n' roll, a continuing trend from the '60s, and that attitude was matched with a very distinct set of clothing. Women wore their hair long and straight, often with a headband. Men's hair was also long, or in a curly afro. Both sexes wore jeans or bright fabric bell bottoms. Men wore popular band t-shirts of the era, like Led Zeppelin, and women wore flowing floral tops or halter tops.
The disco era ushered in a new set of clothing and a new type of cloth - polyester. The polyester three-piece white suit made famous by John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" was worn by many men during the time. Women often wore tight one-piece jump suits with low neck lines, wide belts and bright colors like gold. Both men and women wore platform shoes.
Glam rock continued in the era's theme of bright colors. Rock stars like David Bowie dyed their hair a rainbow of colors and painted their faces with outlandish makeup; Bowie's signature symbol was a lightning bolt across his eye and cheek. Tight- fitting lycra dresses for women and pants for men were often adorned with small bells, glitter and sequins. The tight pants were paired with button-down shirts - also in a bright or glittery color - often featuring puffy sleeves and over-sized collars. Big hair was also in fashion for men and women.
Movie and TV Characters
The '70s featured some great iconic characters from films such as "Saturday Night Fever," "Rocky Horror Picture Show," "The Godfather," "Star Wars," and "Grease" and TV shows like "M_A_S*H" and "All in the Family." Characters from any of these movies or shows will be quite recognizable and costumes can be easily found at any costume shop, or made from items of clothing you already own.
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Suzanne Hodgson is a graduate of Penn State University, receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and integrative art. She works at a marketing firm and has previously served as the photographer and journalist for the "Kennebunk Post," a weekly paper in southern Maine.