There are few decades that divide fashion opinion quite like the 70s. Whether it’s thick platform heels or wide sunglasses, you don’t have to look far to see the resurgence of 1970s clothing. Read on to see how you can pull off this decades best looks.
Read more Men’s Style Guide features.
Fashion in the 70s was pretty inconsistent, they may not have always got it right but they weren’t afraid to take risks. All of our icons from this iconic decade were willing to try something new, throw caution to the wind and wear whatever felt good. This was a time for experimentation and people were looking to push boundaries, so if you’re going to recreate their style make sure you do it with passion and confidence. shirt tucked in all the time but feel free to let it loose.
- 1 70s Fashion Icons
- 2 How to Dress like David Bowie
- 3 How to Dress Like Mick Jagger
- 4 How to Dress Like Marvin Gaye
- 5 How to Dress Like Sid Vicious
- 6 How to Dress Like Robert Redford
- 7 Men’s 70s Style
- 8 Cuban Collars
- 9 How to Get Your 70’s Style Icon’s Look
- 10 On That Note
70s Fashion Icons
We’ve put together a few of our favourite style icons from the 70s. Fashion in the 1970s was an interesting time and people felt like they could take risks. Here are a few people that were hugely influential throughout the decade.
When it comes to 70s style icons, you can’t get much better than the sex machine himself, James Brown. When he wasn’t doing the splits on stage, the Godfather of soul was styling some classic formal looks. This man understood the power of an all black look, and so should you. Team a black polo neck jumper underneath a black suit jacket. Roll neck’s are a stylish alternative to a shirt and tie, adding some unique detail to your look. Finish it off with a pair of matching trousers and some black leather shoes.
Alongside the huge musical legacy that Curtis left behind he was also a fashion icon. With his classic wide sunglasses he’d wear a suede jacket with big lapels. Here he combines a pair of classic navy jeans with some tan boots and a camel overcoat jacket. He finishes the look with a pair of glasses and a stylish flat-cap.
How could we make this list without mentioning John Travolta. An icon in so many ways, this was the decade that he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Saturday Night Fever. The three-piece white suit is probably one of the most instantly recognisable film outfits of all time.
However, when he wasn’t cutting shapes on the disco floor, Travolta was the master of understated and stylish casual outfits. For instance, this simple black T-shirt and jeans combination is effortlessly simple, whilst still remaining cool. To maintain the casual vibe, combine this with a pair of classic white and black Converse All Stars. This retro style will elevate your outfit to new levels.
How to Dress like David Bowie
When it comes to influential musicians from the 20th Century, you can’t get much better than David Bowie. Not only did his genre defining musical style reach millions, he was also at the forefront of modern fashion. Often personified through his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, Bowie would dazzle with vibrant and extravagant outfits.
Although we don’t expect you to paint a lighting bolt on your face and wear a multicoloured coat, there are still plenty of Bowie styles that you can wear more regularly. He was just as stylish off the stage and could master any formal look.
To emulate this musical legend, try wearing a simple grey suit with a pair of brown loafers. The colour contrast between the two pieces will create a nice balance within your look. Now, it wouldn’t be Bowie if there wasn’t some unique detail in there. So, to add some flare to your style, get your hands on a brightly coloured rain coat. The neutrality of the your suit means that you can pull this off with minimal risk.
How to Dress Like Mick Jagger
We’ve all tried (and failed) to copy Mick Jagger’s moves but his style is just as appealing, and a little easier, to emulate. There’s no doubt that he’s one of the biggest music personalities of all time but there’s no need for this to put you off trying to dress like Jagger.
You can see Jagger in a more traditionally masculine outfit below but his style is usually a lot broader. A classic Jagger look would be a loosely fitted floral shirt with high waisted trousers. You can also add some style to your look by throwing on a silk scarf or a colourful broad brimmed felt hat.
To express the inner Mick Jagger in you then all you need is a dark denim jacket, checkered trousers and some sand or tan shoes. Add a light coloured roll neck jumper to layer your outfit and add another dimension to your look. Layering is also useful for keeping warm during the winter, giving it a practical purpose.
How to Dress Like Marvin Gaye
Born in Washington DC in 1939, Gaye’s life was short but his Musical legacy is huge. He was a style icon of the 70s, with his simple laid back look he mastered the ‘every man outfit’ that we all wanted to perfect.
It seemed like Marvin was able to throw together his outfit in a matter of minutes, double denim with a T- shirt and add a belt to get this casual look. We can’t talk about Marvin Gaye without mentioning the knitted hat, something every guy needs in his wardrobe. Finish the look off with a pair of brown suede desert boots, the ultimate in smart and simple footwear.
How to Dress Like Sid Vicious
Knowing what we do about Sid Vicious, it’s unlikely he would have wanted to be included in this list. He was an anti-fashion icon, but over the years his style has been copied by fans across the world. London born in 1957, Sid became the face of punk rock, an icon for the anti-establishment movement.
If you want to look like Sid you can do it with some ripped jeans, Converse and a leather jacket. A really simple look that will never get old. Investing in a pair of Converse is always a good idea as they’re some of the most versatile and long lasting trainers money can buy.
How to Dress Like Robert Redford
Robert Redford is a suave man, and the 70s saw him star in some of his biggest films including All the President’s Men and The Sting. By this time he was adored all over the world and could do no wrong, his style is pretty simple and you can recreate a Redford look by adding a number of jackets to your outfit.
Below he creates a simple winter look with a pair of light blue jeans and a tweed overcoat. To add the finishing touches to this look, accessorise with a pair of gloves and some autumnal boots.
Men’s 70s Style
Disco isn’t the only 70s relic that’s made a come back, there are influences all through men’s fashion. Think big lapels and double denim. Colour and pattern are without a doubt a part of the 70s legacy. If you don’t want to go all out, but still want a hint of 70s style to your outfit then look for some floral shorts or maybe grab a colourful backpack.
Another 70s throwback has to be big sunglasses. You can either go all out on some outrageous Elton John style shades, or something a little more understated. There are so many questions when it comes to sunglasses and it’s not always easy to decide what will go well. If in doubt, stick with black.
Top 70s Styles:
- High waisted trousers – These suit guys with a thinner waist, Jagger wore them really well with just a 27 inch waist.
- Aviator sunglasses – Finding the right sunglasses for you can be tough but these classics suit most men.
- Silk scarves – An easy 70s addition to any outfit, you can pick up a silk scarf from any decent vintage shop.
- Flares – Probably one of the 70s styles most people would like to forget, flares were huge in the 70s.
- Oversized lapels – Any suit with a bigger lapel can instantly look more striking.
- Shearling Jackets – You can find shearling added to so many jackets at the moment, perfect for some extra warmth.
This style actually dates back to the 50s but it was just as popular in the 70s and now we’ve fallen back in love with cuban collars. The open collar is usually on a short sleeved shirt that gives you a look halfway between bowling team and Hawaiian dad shirt.
When wearing this shirt don’t be afraid to get something with a pattern, this is your opportunity to try out something a little bit more interesting.
Dos & Donts for Cuban Collars
- Try out flamboyant colours and patterns, they’re a great chance to wear something you usually wouldn’t.
- Pair them with block coloured trousers or shorts, as there’s no need to go overboard on the pattern and it makes the shirt the centrepiece of your outfit.
- It’s not a good idea to wear a tie with your cuban collared shirt, it removes the notch from view.
- It might be tempting to keep the
How to Get Your 70’s Style Icon’s Look
- Be confident and take risks. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Add colour to your look for that 70s aesthetic.
- Loose fitting tops combined with high-waisted trousers are a classic 70s style.
- For a 70s punk look, wear leather jackets and Converse shoes.
- Don’t be scared of double denim. Despite its bad reputation this look is coming back.
On That Note
1970s fashion wasn’t kind to all men but those who got it right, got it very right. We’ve shown there’s not just one look that defined the 70s, you can find 70s style in anything. The biggest icons were also stars in their own right and it gave them a lot of creative freedom to express themselves through their clothing. There are lots of 70s styles we love to copy but if we’ve learnt anything it’s: never wear flares, ever. Stick by that advice and you’ll be fine.