How to Bring '70s Fashion Trends into 2024

With modern touches, the decade's style can easily be updated.

70s trends rainbow suits
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As a sartorial decade, the '70s were hard to pin down. There was the continuation of the "flower child" aesthetic of the late 1960s, with flares, bright colors, and a ton of patterns. There were also standout structural moments, like the big suit and over-the-top hat, making for some avant-garde workwear choices. We also had '70s icons who had their own trademark style providing inspiration: Whether we wanted to look like Cher or Donna Summer, Sophia Loren or Cheryl Tiegs, Diana Ross or Joan Jett, we could choose a famous aesthetic and emulate it to our heart's content.

While the decades that followed would be in large part a rejection of this period, there are plenty of ways to channel the '70s but integrate modern energy. With some tweaks, many of these outfits would work just as well today.

Long Bouffants

70s trends bouffant

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While the shorter bouffant was popular in the '50s and '60s, the '70s bouffant was longer and messier (with curls through the bottom), thanks to the vibe of the decade. The modern bouffant would probably add bangs and some layers.

Neck Scarves

70s trends sophia loren

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Sophia Loren is always a good fashion North Star, and she's giving off very casual Italian style with a scarf knotted casually at her neck. This wouldn't need a ton of altering if you wanted to wear it today, to be honest, except to perhaps make the skirt not hit right at the knee.

Overalls and Suspenders

70s trends cher and sonny

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If you ever want ideas on how to buck tradition, Cher is probably your number one fashion representative. The fact that she can make suspenders look chic and smart instead of patently ridiculous comes down to her inner cool (and also a crop top, if you want to emulate the look).


70s trends crochet bathing suit

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'70s crochet can look dated as heck—it's easy to look like your grandmother's quilt, you know what I mean? But I enjoy a surprise crochet moment (as in, this is probably not a practical swimsuit, but it does make for a fun bodysuit when paired with shorts).

Big Suits

70s trends suit

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The oversized pantsuit wasn't just exclusively reserved for men. It looked just as cool (if not more so) on women, so long as the tailoring was smart. Something truly oversized can make you look like you're drowning in fabric, so invest in a tailor.

Magnificent Hats

70s trends bianca jagger

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Bianca Jagger is a high-end New York fashion icon (think: Studio 54 and Andy Warhol), so she can make what looks like a tuft of feathers on a hat with a veil feel chic, somehow. Reserve your big hats for a big occasion, and maybe skip the bird-like features.

Flowy Fabrics

70s trends beverly johnson pastel

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Model Beverly Johnson makes these candy-colored swatches look like Grecian perfection (which makes sense, since she was arguably one of the '70s' most famous models). Stick to a single color and make sure the flowiness is balanced by the belt.


70s trends caftans

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If you want to lean in on "rich lady pours herself a stiff drink and lounges on the porch," by all means, caftan it up! In all seriousness, though, a flowy dress is magnificent for all sorts of activities, but you might have to experiment to find the one that makes you feel comfy but not huge.


70s trends jerry hall

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We appreciated a vintage stripe, as seen on Jerry Hall here, but the cut of this dress is classic (meaning she feels like a sailor instead of just silly). The '70s vibe is in the tiered, flowy skirt, which is a cut that would absolutely work today.


70s trends donna summer

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Donna Summer married her style to her songwriting beautifully, and especially in her pattern work. This leopard print has a few intermittent sparkles—very '70s, very Donna—but it's not so loud and obnoxious as to be overwhelming. Take note.

Denim on Denim

70s trends denim

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Going with a full Canadian tuxedo isn't a '70s invention, necessarily, but it was a fun alternative to a jumpsuit (also on this list!). The tie-dye design is not a necessary design element: Just go with a near-matching top and bottom—and the hat is also optional.

Vivid Colors

70s trends red

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The '70s was, in many ways, a rejection of the decades that came before it, but one trend that just got bigger and bolder was the use of joyful color (which we'd now call serotonin dressing). Big hat, big belt, big flares = all '70s. Skip the hat to make it modern.


70s trends patchwork

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Okay, this trend really does make me feel like my grandma's quilt sometimes, but I think it's all about the styling. The dress plus the lace-up boots is a lot, so opt for black boots to ground the look and a similarly hued cardigan or blazer.


70s trends colors

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We may all remember the tie-dyed tee the decade is known for, but tie-dye can actually look quite chic (I promise). Just pair it with a more structured top or bottom so that the pattern feels like a design choice instead of a DIY project.


70s trends iman

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Iman, red carpet goddess, shows us all exactly how to mix two seemingly incongruous patterns together. It's hard to tell in this black-and-white photo, but they two patterns need to have a unifying color—and that's the only rule!

Annie Hall Style

70s trends diane keaton

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Diane Keaton, who would make this her signature style, perfectly blends masculine and feminine design styles with an oversized blazer, collared shirt, tie, and corsage. The art, as ever, is in the tailoring: These are very clearly not just men's clothes she happened to put on. They're made to suit her, pun intended.


70s trends jumpsuit

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The fashion jumpsuit is pretty synonymous with this decade (even though this might technically be a matching top and bottom, the effect is the same). Skip the fur accessories to keep the look from feeling like a costume, but keep the collared shirt.

Minis With Thigh-High Boots

70s trends grace jones

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Fashion innovator Grace Jones played by her own fashion rules—and often, the sheer audacity and innovation was a feast for the eyes. You may not want a sweater dress mini that's this short, but the trick is to keep a few inches between the top of the boot and the bottom hem.


70s trends platforms

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The platform heel is now a ubiquitous fashion item, which means it's highly wearable compared to some of the other styles on this list. Floral flares are one, highly '70s choice, but a plain flare or wide leg will do just as well without feeling dated.


70s trends blondie

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Blondie's stylish secret was that, despite being "one of the boys" in her band, she wore deeply edgy and still feminine style. I love this neon look, but would probably advise all us non-Blondies to go with a more neutral color (or denim) instead.

Daring Dresses

70s trends jerry hall

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The glittery sequins on this dress would already identify it as a '70s creation, but add the low back, and Jerry Hall is giving us shimmery perfection from that decade. It's up to you how low you want your dress to go (I like wearing bras, so mine would go to mid-back).

Lacy Casual

70s trends jane birkin

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Jane Birkin, my queen, did '70s French fashion better than anyone. Despite some very delicate pieces, like this top, everything always felt casual, thanks to the flared denim, platforms, and (not pictured) her trademark basket bag. This is a look we could emulate today!

Crop Tops

70s trends pam grier

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Blaxploitation star Pam Grier had a highly enviable style (case in point: this photo!). I myself might go with a longer crop top (or a collared shirt belted at the waist with a crop top underneath) but if you've got the abs, go forth!

'Chinatown' Cosplay

70s trends chinatown

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This neo-noir, which reinvigorated the genre, also caused a resurgence in the style (particularly with Faye Dunaway's character's chic suiting, bob, and hats). I beg of you not to tweeze your eyebrows this thin, but otherwise, this look is chic as heck.

Chunky Jewelry

70s trends diana ross

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Diana Ross was often maximalist, particularly in her performance style, but when she went with a more subdued vibe, it was just as gorgeous. Here the jewelry is the star, and the white dress complements without fighting with the piece.


70s trends cher

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Shorter sister to the over-the-knee boot, the knee-high platforms were ubiquitous in this decade. (The riding boot style pre-dates this, so Cher is rebooting a classic here.) This is also a quieter take on the loud plaids of the '70s, with a smaller, more subtle print.


70s trends beverly johnson

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The shimmery, sparkly jumpsuit is stunning on Beverly Johnson—and, even though these days it might look out of place, you can still opt for a similar style in pants OR a top. Go with black or white to complement the metallic sheen.

Tennis Casual

70s trends cheryl teigs

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Cheryl Tiegs did cute tennis fashion without missing a beat (or a ball). In case you missed it, she was a famed Sports Illustrated model, so her vibe was already sporty. But nothing was cuter than her on-the-court fashion, and you could emulate it as-is.


70s trends flares

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While they first became popular in the '60s, the flare pant style took off and was still going strong in the '70s. More creative versions (the trouser style, the deep flare) were ways to keep the style from feeling dated, and they still look classic today.

Rocker Chic

70s trends joan jett

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Joan Jett had a style all her own: a little punk rock (thanks to her choppy black mullet) and a dash of femininity (those platform heels and her jewelry). It's a highly specific look, but it's also balanced enough that the core elements would work just as well now.


70s trends jane fonda

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(Immediately makes a joke about how florals are groundbreaking.) Jane Fonda had cool style in this decade, and this is a perfect example of the balance between a blunt, short haircut and a deeply delicate outfit. With a little edge in the boots and bracelet.


70s trends farrah fawcett

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Perhaps no image represents the '70s better. Farrah Fawcett's trademark fringey hairstyle (a classic from that time). The flares. The sneakers. The smile. It's all happening! Seriously, though, aside from the hairdo, you could wear this tomorrow and get compliments galore.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.