Janet's Vintage Finds

My Fashion Muses from the 1960s and 1970s

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I’ve recently ventured into vintage fashion in my Etsy shop, which now includes a small but growing selection of vintage hats and purses in addition to vintage housewares. As a result, I find myself revising the styles of decades past. I have to admit it seems strange to see the styles of the 1960s and 1970s making a comeback. Truth be told, I have often thought we were well rid of some of the looks we sported when I was a kid! However, it’s worth looking back on some of our fashion influences.

Denim was big and we all wanted to look casual and cool — your clothes were supposed to look like you’d lived in them for a while. Nothing new and shiny. Pure white sneakers were an embarrassment as were stiff, unfaded jeans and overly coiffed hair. Stars of TV sitcoms tended to be highly influential to tweens and teens. Remember, this was back before cable, videos, or DVR, so we watched a lot of  TV shows and when the regular broadcasting season ended, we watched them again in reruns (no summer programming).

Here are a few of the trends I remember.

  • The 1960s Denim Craze.

Personally, I’m old enough to remember when denim cutoffs were just that: our old jeans that we actually cut up with scissors and wore as shorts in the summer. Back then, no one was selling new jeans made to look old and beat up, so we designed them ourselves. We waited and waited for our new jeans to turn old and faded so we’d look cool. Then when they got threadbare they got a second life as shorts. We used the discarded scraps for patches.

Check out these teens from the 1960s. (photo from Vintage Everyday).

 

1960s denim styles

What was cool: Long flowing hair, frayed bell bottoms, jean jackets, wide buckled belts.

  • 1960s Capri pants.

Mary Tyler Moore rocked these on the Dick Van Dyke Show, and it turns out she had to do some lobbying to wear them on screen. The producers thought housewives should be seen mostly in dresses but Mary argued that no one she knew wore dresses around the house (yeah, Mary!) and proceeded to wear them on the show. According to IMBd, it was because of Mary that capri pants went on to become a huge fashion craze in the early part of the decade.

 

Mary tyler moore 1960s fashion

‘Who can turn the world on with a smile’? Love Mary as Laura in Dick Van Dyke. (Image from Violet Gray)

  • The mystery of 1970s fashion.

I was a kid in the 1970s and remember some very odd fashion choices, many of which can be seen in the photo below of the Brady Bunch (which ran in perpetual reruns). Wild colors, wide lapels, bell bottoms with patch pockets. And everyone’s dad had a “leisure suit” with matching turtle neck.

Brady Bunch 1970s fashion
The Brady Bunch looking very 1970s (Image from Mental_Floss).
  • The feathered hair, unzipped look. 

The Partridge Family was another one of our favorites in the 1970s. We loved sexy Keith with his long feathered mane and sensible Laurie with her long, straight (unfeathered) locks. (It often seemed like Keith took more trouble with his hair than Laurie). They played in the family’s rock band but acted as if they had normal teenage problems, too. The biggest fashion faux-pas here, by today’s standards, has to be Keith’s ribbed sweater with long, open zipper. At least to me it looks pretty lame, but maybe that look is coming back too.

Partridge family 1970s fashion
Keith and Laurie from the Partridge Family: who has the better hairstyle? (photo from Everything Susan Dey.)

 

About Janet

Welcome to my blog where I talk about vintage collecting, retro fashions, and home design ideas and tips. I love scouring thrift shops for vintage housewares, purses, and other odds and ends and revisiting styles from the '40s and '50s. Some of my other passions include hiking, being in nature, reading good books, music (have a little facility with guitar, mandolin and piano), and sewing. I live in West Hartford, Conn., with my husband, two sons, and two dogs (a springer spaniel and a Cairn terrier).

2 thoughts on “My Fashion Muses from the 1960s and 1970s

  1. Great post! Though I rarely sport looks from either era myself (these days – I wore a lot of 60s/70s styles around the age of 12 – 14, as a child in the late 90s), I have a serious appreciation for them all the same and adore that they were the fashions my parents were wearing as they came of age. If no other reason (and there are of course many others – such as the amazing music!), that alone will all endear both decades to my heart.

    ♥ Jessica

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