What to Wear to a 70s Party: A Guide to Nailing the Retro Look

Are you gearing up for a 70s-themed party and wondering what to wear? Look no further, as we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about 70s fashion, from essential clothing items to hair and makeup tips. Keep reading to ensure you nail the retro look.

Understanding the 70s Fashion Scene

The 70s were a time of rebellion and self-expression, both of which were reflected in fashion. The trends of this decade were bold, colorful, and often incorporated elements of rock and roll and disco. From earthy tones to glittery costumes, 70s fashion was all about making a statement.

One of the most iconic trends of the 70s was the disco style. Disco was not just a genre of music, but a lifestyle and fashion statement as well. The disco fashion was all about glitz and glamour, with shiny fabrics, sequins, and bold patterns. The disco trend was embraced by both men and women, with men sporting colorful satin shirts and women donning glittery jumpsuits and dresses.

Key Trends and Styles

The 70s saw the rise of several iconic fashion trends that are still relevant today. These include bell-bottom pants, which were wide-legged and flared from the knee down. Bell-bottoms were often paired with platform shoes, which added height and drama to any outfit. Platform shoes and boots were available in a variety of colors and materials, from leather to suede to patent leather.

Another trend that emerged in the 70s was the use of denim. Denim jackets, jeans, and skirts were all the rage, and were often embellished with patches, embroidery, or studs. The denim trend was embraced by both men and women, and was a staple in the wardrobes of many.

Maxi dresses and skirts were also popular in the 70s. These dresses and skirts were long and flowy and often featured psychedelic patterns. They were perfect for a day out in the sun or a night out on the town. The maxi trend was embraced by women of all ages and sizes, and was a symbol of freedom and femininity.

Other popular styles included polyester shirts and blouses, which were silky and often bright in color. Jumpsuits and rompers also became popular during the 70s, offering an effortless yet stylish option for both men and women. Jumpsuits and rompers were often made of lightweight fabrics, making them perfect for the summer months.

Influential Fashion Icons

There were many influential fashion icons in the 70s, including Farrah Fawcett, Cher, and David Bowie. Each of these style icons had their own unique style, which ranged from disco-ready jumpsuits to androgynous glam rock looks. Farrah Fawcett was known for her feathered hair and her love of denim, while Cher was known for her daring fashion choices and her love of sequins and glitter. David Bowie was known for his androgynous style, which included platform shoes, glittery makeup, and bold patterns.

Studying the fashion choices of these icons can provide inspiration for your own party outfit. Whether you want to go all out with a disco-inspired look or keep it simple with a pair of bell-bottoms and a denim jacket, the 70s fashion scene has something for everyone.

Essential Clothing Items for a 70s Party

Now that you have some background knowledge on 70s fashion, let’s dive into the essential clothing items you’ll need for your party outfit. These items are versatile and can be mixed and matched to create a personalized look.

Bell-Bottom Pants and Jeans

If you’re going for a classic 70s look, bell-bottom pants or jeans are a must-have. These pants are designed to hug your thighs and flare out at the bottom, creating a dramatic yet flattering silhouette. Pair them with a blouse or shirt tucked in to accentuate your waist.

For men, bell-bottom pants were often paired with a fitted button-down shirt and a leather jacket. This look exuded a cool and confident vibe, perfect for any party.

Platform Shoes and Boots

No 70s outfit is complete without a pair of platform shoes or boots. These shoes add an instant retro vibe to any outfit and offer some extra height for those who want it. Opt for a solid-colored pair that can be worn with a variety of outfits.

For women, platform shoes were often paired with maxi dresses or skirts for a bohemian-inspired look. For men, platform boots were a popular choice, especially when paired with bell-bottom pants and a colorful shirt.

Maxi Dresses and Skirts

Maxi dresses and skirts are a great option for those who want to achieve a more bohemian or hippie-inspired look. Look for ones with flowy silhouettes and colorful patterns. Pair them with a denim jacket or vest for a casual yet chic vibe.

For women, maxi dresses and skirts were often paired with chunky jewelry and a floppy hat for a complete bohemian look. For men, a flowy shirt with a colorful pattern paired with bell-bottom pants and platform shoes was a popular choice.

Polyester Shirts and Blouses

Polyester shirts and blouses were a staple of 70s fashion and are still popular today. These shirts are generally brightly colored and feature a silky texture. Pair them with bell-bottom jeans or a skirt to complete the retro look.

For women, polyester blouses were often paired with high-waisted pants and platform shoes for a chic and sophisticated look. For men, a brightly colored polyester shirt paired with bell-bottom pants and a leather jacket was a popular choice.

Jumpsuits and Rompers

Jumpsuits and rompers are perfect for both men and women who want a no-fuss yet stylish outfit option. These are one-piece garments that offer a more relaxed fit while still looking chic and fashionable.

For women, jumpsuits and rompers were often paired with chunky platform shoes and hoop earrings for a complete 70s look. For men, a jumpsuit paired with platform boots and a leather jacket was a popular choice for a night out on the town.

Accessorizing Your 70s Outfit

Once you have your essential clothing items, it’s time to accessorize! Accessories are a great way to add some personality and flair to your outfit.

Statement Jewelry

The 70s were all about bold statement jewelry, so don’t be afraid to layer on the necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Look for pieces that are colorful and feature unique designs, like fringe or tassels.

You can also mix and match different types of metals, like gold and silver, for an eclectic look. If you’re wearing a low-cut top or dress, a long pendant necklace can draw attention to your neckline. Alternatively, if you’re wearing a high-necked top, try layering shorter necklaces for a chic look.

Wide-brimmed Hats and Headbands

Wide-brimmed hats and headbands were popular in the 70s and can add some bohemian flair to your outfit. Look for hats with a floppy brim or headbands with floral designs or beading.

If you’re going for a more casual look, a wide-brimmed hat can add some instant style to a simple outfit. Alternatively, a headband can keep your hair out of your face while adding some visual interest to your look.

Oversized Sunglasses

Big, oversized sunglasses were popular in the 70s and add some drama to any outfit. Look for black or tortoiseshell frames with oversized lenses for a statement-making look.

Not only do oversized sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun, but they also add a touch of glamour to your look. You can also try different shapes, like round or cat-eye frames, to find the perfect pair for your face shape.

Scarves and Belts

Scarves and belts can add some texture and color to your outfit. Tie a scarf around your neck or wear it as a headband, and opt for a wide belt to cinch your waist and create curves.

A scarf can also be worn as a belt, or tied around the strap of a handbag for a pop of color. A wide belt can be worn with a dress or over a shirt to create a more defined waistline. Try experimenting with different patterns and textures, like a leopard print scarf or a studded belt, to add some edge to your look.

Hair and Makeup Tips for a 70s Party

Now that your outfit is complete, it’s time to focus on hair and makeup. The 70s offered a range of iconic hairstyles and makeup trends that can inspire your party look.

Iconic 70s Hairstyles

The 70s saw the rise of several iconic hairstyles, including the Farrah Fawcett feathered look and the David Bowie mullet. However, there were other hairstyles that were popular during this era, such as the shag, the wedge cut, and the Afro. The shag was a layered cut that was perfect for those with long hair, while the wedge cut was a short, layered style that was popular among women. The Afro was a bold and iconic hairstyle that was embraced by the black community.

If you have long hair, try curling it with a curling iron and then teasing it out for some volume. Those with shorter hair can create a sleek, layered style reminiscent of the pixie cut trend of the era. Another option is to add some hair accessories such as a headband or scarf to complete your look.

Makeup Trends and Techniques

70s makeup was all about bright colors and bold looks. Opt for a shimmery eyeshadow in bright blue or green and pair it with a nude lip. For those who want to go all out, try a glittery eye look or incorporate some fake lashes. Another popular makeup trend during this era was the use of bold and bright blush. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks and blend it out for a natural-looking flush.

When it comes to skincare, the 70s was all about natural beauty. Embrace your natural skin tone and use minimal foundation. Instead, focus on a good skincare routine that includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing to achieve a healthy and glowing complexion.

Overall, nailing the retro 70s look requires some careful planning and preparation. By following these tips and incorporating your own unique style, you’re sure to turn heads at your next party.

Katie Sophia

Hey there! I'm Katie Sophia - your go-to gal for all things style at WhatKatieWore.com. With a love for fashion and a knack for picking the perfect outfit, I'm here to make dressing for any event a breeze. I believe in looking fabulous without the fuss. Join me as we conquer the fashion world one outfit at a time!

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