I’m in a very seventies state of mind these days, feeling nostalgic. Especially when I’m perusing the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Of course, for a while this fall, everything made me feel nostalgic. That’s because I attended my 40th high school reunion in September. That was so much fun.

But it’s not that. Not now anyway. I think my current state of mind is down to the fact that fashion seems to be having a prolonged seventies moment. Maybe even a seventies season. And that takes me back to my own memories of the seventies and what I was wearing then. Because the seventies is when I grew up. I don’t mean that I was a child then, but I was a teenager in 1970, and in my early twenties when the eighties finally came along. So I guess you could say my “coming of age” occurred in the seventies.

My fashion memories of the early seventies include images of Gloria Steinem in her tight jeans, wide belt and tinted glasses. In fact, I had a belt just like the one she’s wearing in this picture. She was awesome, wasn’t she. Still is.

And, of course, I remember all those shots of Ali MacGraw. Long and lean in her knitted cloche, skinny-knit sweater and flared jeans. Please tell me I’m not the only one who obsessed over Love Story. I read the book by Erich Segal in junior high… like, a million times. I had most of the first page committed to memory….”What can you say about a girl who died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Beethoven and the Beatles and me.”  Well, not quite, but not bad after forty+ years

And a couple of years later. We tucked our pants into high boots so they puffed out over the top. Like Ali is doing here.

I remember in 1975, I wore a tweed blazer and black turtleneck, with black dress pants tucked into my Fry boots. Just like these, actually. I was surprised to find out that you can still get Fry boots.

The fashion of the mid-seventies seemed more grown-up than that of the sixties. The midi-skirt was cool and the mini was not. Tie blouses were big too. Just like this season.

And menswear inspired suits. Like these. I remember that I had a black and white, striped tie blouse that I wore with a button-front black vest and black pants. Very corporate. And good for my first foray as a student teacher in 1976. I was twenty, and I looked about twelve; I needed all the gravitas I could get. A class of thirty+ grade eight kids can be daunting.

And then. Well, then, a couple of years later, there was disco. Love it or hate it, people… you can’t deny that it certainly changed the face of fashion. The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, “Le Freak.” Glitter and glam, too much cleavage, too much make-up, high heels, and dancing, dancing, dancing. This is a shot of Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli with the fashion designer Halston, at New York’s famous Studio 54. Halston was huge in the late seventies. Of course, I never wore anything he designed…I was too poor… but I did wear his perfume for a while.   And I might have been persuaded a couple of times in 1979, when I first came to Ottawa, to visit our version of Studio 54… namely Disco Viva, across the river in Hull. Maybe a couple of times. In my teal green, silk blouse and high-waisted pants, and my sister’s burgundy high heels… I was …maybe not the ‘Dancing Queen’… but close.

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 1979: Bianca Jagger, Halston & LIza Minelli returning to Halstons apartment at Olympic Towers after a night at Studio 54 in New York City 1979 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

So you can understand that after perusing Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar this fall, I was definitely in a seventies state of mind.

The long, lean looks, the high-waisted, flared pants. Like this look from the September issue of Vogue. I love those camel Altuzarra pants.

And this look from Emilio Pucci in the September Harper’s Bazaar is very seventies. It seems sharp suits and tie blouses are back, big time. I could certainly be persuaded to wear the blouse and jacket with jeans. But my power suit days are definitely behind me.

There are lots seventies-inspired looks that tempt me this season. I might don a pair of flared jeans with heels again. And a short jacket.  

But no more Fry boots. And definitely no more Disco Viva. Even if it still existed. I’m more inclined to dressing down these days than up. Besides, I’m sure by the time things liven up on the dance floor… it would be way past my bed time.  

It’s funny that the seventies began with images of distressed jeans and women’s lib and ended with the flash and glam of disco. What a decade.  

I wrote a post last spring about fifties fashion. It seemed that last spring fashion was having a Fifties Moment. We seem to be working our way through the decades.  

Oh. No. I hope we’re not due for an eighties revival.  

Big hair, shoulder pads. Please. Say it isn’t so.        

What do you think about the seventies revival? Are you in a seventies state of mind?


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30 thoughts on “A Seventies State of Mind”

  1. I actually loved the seventies! I graduated from high school and got married and had my first child in the seventies…all good things.
    Frye boots are awesome…I like the short boots with skinny jeans.
    Not a big fan of the eighties….loved Ali McGraw and Love Story.
    Fashion is like a revolving door….it just keeps on coming back.
    I enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

  2. I loved my Fry boots too. One of those Christmas gifts that my dad really splurged on for me, and it was thrilled. May have been the same year I had TWO pairs of overalls!

  3. I was born in the 70's so there are photos of my when I was a young children wearing the typical polo neck and flares. I actually love flared jeans and think I prefer the 70's to the 60's. I with you as regards the 80's!!
    Lorna Mai Blog

  4. We are just about the same age, Susan, and I remember all these styles. I had such a girl-crush on Ali MacGraw, and I was a Dancing Queen in the late 70's. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, this is a wonderful post. xo

  5. I am a lover of the 70s, especially the disco period, but probably it's because I didn't get to live much of that period, I was too little…I am not looking forward to the shoulder pads if 80s have to come back, instead, LOL ! 🙂

    Fashion and Cookies

    1. I must admit that I still love some of the disco music…esp the Bee Gees. Nothing makes me feel like dancing more than "Stayin' Alive." Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Thanks for the overview! Especially love the images of Ali McGraw. I'm keen on fashion from c. 1968 – 1973 (even though I don't really have the long, lean body type that fashion calls for). I am now wearing all those styles in the form of true vintage or vintage-inspired thrift store combinations that I couldn't then because I was just a child/young teen at that time.

  7. Loved this post — visiting via the "Manic Monday" linkup. I was born at the end of the '70s but it's still my favorite look, that "long and lean" look. That's when I feel my best. And no, you're not the only one obsessed with 'Love Story' — that haunting music gets me every time! 🙂

    Jen @ Librarian for Life + Style

    1. Thanks for stopping by,Jen. The music for Love Story is wonderful isn't it? That song and the theme from the 1969 Romeo and Juliet are two songs which remind me of junior high…my early teen years. Love them.

  8. Great post! I was just coming of age in the 70s, as I was born in the late 60s. But I remember the style icons. My fondest fashion memory, along with Ali, was of Diana Ross in Mahogany. I loved that movie and the was she dressed.

  9. This is such a fun post at looking back at fashion in the 70s and how it comes around. And how fun that you just attended your 40th anniversary. With Facebook, I have been in touch with classmates that I've lost touch with. I am sure when we have our next reunion, conversations will flow so easily since we already know what everyone is up to.


    1. Funny you should mention FB. After having caught up with old friends at my reunion, I am now friends with them on FB…so we can keep in touch. Thanks for stopping by, Alice.

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