Sophisticated 70s: women’s trend

We all want that vintage vibe in our wardrobe. That essence of an era gone by. And we want to cherry pick the sleekest, sexiest, and most stylish looks from it. Of late that’s given us fashion choices that have included the best of the 20s and 30s, seen the rebirth and fading of an 80s come back, and we’re just about to do it all again. But this time, its the 1970s that are due for a reinterpretation.

While ’70s fashion is making waves and sure to continue on as a 2011 and 2012 fashion trend, let’s not forget that there are several variants. And you know what that means; all the more ways to get lots of wear out of your key seventies pieces, by taking them from ’70s boho to a more sophisticated look.

70s sophisticated dressing
’70s styling at Elie Tahari A/W 2010

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70s fashion revival: the sophisticated look

There’s an underlying confidence to this trend that’s key. Even the more demure looks need to be carried off with an air of sexuality and a sort of defiant independence. There’s a boldness. It’s in the addition of that floppy felt hat, those exotic jewels, that super-high pair of platforms. At night time the hint can snowball into a statement: think Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 in a slinky gown, ivory cigarette holder in hand, and you’ve got the picture. Read on for tips for both day and night time looks.

Bianca Jagger
70s fashion icon Bianca Jagger

’70s sophisticated fashion by day

By day it’s all about clean yet voluminous silhouettes, and earthy ’70s colour palettes. Look for:

  • High waisted wide-leg pants or flares, smartly belted in.
  • Neat bow-blouses, especially ones with billowing or bishop sleeves. Particularly great are fabrics like silk and satin.
  • Roll neck sweaters tucked into pants or skirts. Add to the ’70s effect by layering over beaded necklaces or a vest.
  • For those more daring, a pair of hot pants are the ultimate ’70s item.
  • A smart printed jumpsuit is another great alternative.

70s daytime glamour
Daytime ’70s styling at Chloe A/W 2010

’70s sophisticated fashion by night

By night the ’70s sophisticate turns into the ultimate socialite, with look-at-me shimmering fabrics and cuts that either tightly hug or sensually drape over the body.

  • Choose high sheen fabrics with a ’70s disco-inspired edge, like lurex or silk; anything with a metallic thread.
  • Add a ruffled neckline under a brocade blazer or tuxedo jacket, paired with a sharp pair of pants.
  • Long, slinky gowns with draping, low necklines or dress slits are the ultimate in ’70s night time glamour.

70s nighttime glamour
’70s evening glamour at Ferragamo A/W 2010

Accessorising the 70s fashion revival

Accessories are key when it comes to creating a ’70s look. Some things to keep in mind:

  • The right handbag completes a look. Try for smart, high quality bags like a leather satchel for day, and a small bag with a long strap for night.
  • Big, statement leather belts slung over mini skirts or maxi dresses add impact and fair to a seventies-inspired outfit.
  • A pair of on-trend thigh high boots are probably already be in your wardrobe by now – pair them with hot pants or a skirt for a decidedly sexed-up yet sophisticated ’70s look.
  • Wear lots of jewellery – but keep it a little cleaner than for a boho look. Try lots of rings with bold stones, neat piles of bangles, and long pendant necklaces and strings of beads.
  • Look to complimentary hairstyles like a sleek longer bob, masses of bouncy curls, or long, flowing hair.

Freja Beha Erichsen 70s shoot
Freja Beha Erichsen in Vogue Nippon, August 2010

Women’s trends related to the 70s fashion revival

So influential is the revival of 70s fashion as a trend that lots of clothing and accessory elements from the era follow with it. While most work into the sophisticated take on the 1970s that we’ve described above, wide legged pants as a key example, there are those which are popular in their own right. The following looks are trend revivals in their own right; they’ve come about as a result of the 70s fashion trend, but can be styled and worn without the 70s vibe and also without the sophisticated feel that is key to the overall revival of the decade’s fashions.

crochet 2011 trend

Crochet & macrame

These are two fabric finishes that could had to return along with the 70s fashion revival. Find out what clothes and accessories in the fabrics are are on trend along with how to wear them by reading our guide to crochet and macrame.

summer pants 2011

Bell bottoms

With skinny pants and jeans now so common that they no longer make a statement it was inevitable that a different style would emerge as a trend. It didn’t necessarily have to be this one, but with the come back of all fashion inspired by 1970s it was inevitable that fashion forward people would turn to bell bottoms / flared pants as their style of choice. Follow the link to find out more about this clothing trend including some key styling tips.

non skinny pants

Wide leg pants

Where there was a bell bottom revival there was always going to be other experiments with the the cuts of pants and jeans that aren’t skinny. Hence alongside the flares are wide leg pants and jeans. What is the difference between the two, and how should they be styled? Follow the link to find out.

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Punk fashion

It’s the 70s fashion sub-trend that sits worlds apart from the sophisticated overtones of the whole trend, yet punk carries on from elements of 2010 to become its own trend spring 2011. Read our guide to punk fashion to find out what it entails, what elements you should wear, and the looks you should avoid. One point at the outset, however: unlikes the rest of the 70s fashion revival, this is one element we’re not yet recommending beyond spring 2011.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.