5 ways to capture the spirit of the '70s

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We welcome back the '70s with open arms as we break down five of the decade’s most recognisable trends, from oversized sunglasses to paisley prints.
Fashion is cyclical. Just when you thought you would never again see the likes of platform boots, they come back and you’re left scrambling to replace what you gave away years ago. So hold on to your bell-bottoms, the '70s is back!
By Jocelyn Stiebel

A decade of complete freedom and no rules is what defines fashion in the '70s. It was radical, ever changing and spoke for the generation. There were, of course, the iconic looks and trends that were mainstream among the fashion-forward, but there were also those under-the-radar trends that made the '70s so aspirational.

1. Jumpsuits everywhere

The jumpsuit is arguably the most recognisable trend of the '70s. It was so popular that it was acceptable for both daytime casual wear and night-time grooving. Daytime wear saw loose-fitting cotton, double-knit polyester or denim; by night, the fit became tighter and more revealing, in a sleeveless or halter-neck style. Today’s jumpsuits are just as versatile, and look great with bold waist belts to show off your curves.
FREE 2BU printed jumpsuit 279.95; STEVE MADDEN block heels 999; FOSSIL leather-strap watch 2499; KELSO multi-layered necklace 79.95; ACCESSORIZE multi-coloured bangles 299.00; ACCESSORIZE beaded drop hoop earrings 249; VOGUE round sunglasses 1490

2. Print tops

Patterned clothing was all the rage in the '70s – just ask Cher. If you weren’t seen in print, you weren’t seen at all. This vintage Versace-inspired chain print looks effortless with oversized sunglasses and a pair of flared denims – both iconic looks of our favourite decade. And you can’t go wrong with paisley, a print that screams flamboyance and was a firm favourite of '70s icons like David Bowie and The Beatles (so much so that John Lennon even painted his Rolls Royce in the pattern). A paisley print will always add that '70s edge you’re looking for.
JO BORKETT print blouse 899; LEVIS flared-leg jeans 599; KELSO statement earrings 99.95; ACCESSORIZE top-handle bag 699; KELSO multi-coloured bangles 79.95; Sissy Boy ankle-strap heels 699.00; KELSO paisley printed top 279.95 SHOP NOW; KELSO pleated wide-leg pants 349.95; ACCESSORIZE studded earrings (set of 5) 249; ACCESSORIZE crushed metal necklace 249; ACCESSORIZE coin-link bracelets 79.95 each; FREE 2BU snakeskin-print heels 399.95

3. Modesty calls

While hot pants, platform knee-high boots and mini skirts are a few of the many daring looks that came out in the '70s, modest necklines, hemlines and silhouettes were favoured by the more traditional. Hemlines that grazed the knee were paired with slouchy boots and wedged heels, and coordinated belts cinched in the waist for a more form-fitting silhouette. Necklines too were humble; if not rising all the way up the neck, then covering the chest with just a hint of the collar bones peeping through.
KELSO striped dress 199.95; ACCESSORIZE hair pins 79; ACCESSORIZE pendant necklace 199; ACCESSORIZE drop tassel earrings (set of 3) 199; STEVE MADDEN mini backpack 999; FOOTWORKS suede wedge boots 749

4. Boho chic

The hippie movement gained traction and reached its peak in the '60s during anti-Vietnam war protests and carried on through most of the '70s. Ironically, the wearers of the famously loose-fitting, flowy, floral clothes couldn’t have cared less about the fashion world, and yet the fashion world took great notice and began to pave the way for what we now call boho chic.

This style is all about loose-fitting and flowy dresses, Western-inspired accessories, embroidery and earthy tones. Combine these easy-to-wear items and you’re running the boho show.
KELSO cropped denim jacket 499.95; KESLO snakeskin-print shirt dress 499.95; ACCESSORIZE hoop earrings 149; ACCESSORIZE chunky necklace 249; ALDO beaded strapped bag 899; Free 2BU Western boots 499.95 SHOP NOW; KELSO peasant top 239.95; KELSO wide-leg pants 299.95; ACCESSORIZE leopard-print headband 69; ACCESSORIZE leopard-print earrings 169; KELSO printed bangles 79.95; flat slides 199.95

5. Animal motif

Rudi Gernreich, costume designer for two of the most iconic movies of the '60s – Basic Black and Mrs Robinson – included animal print in his costume designs for both movies. From there, animal print increased in popularity and became a staple print among designers in the '70s, for everything from jackets and shirts to scarves and handbags. One daring animal print was often paired with another, to create a completely wild look. Complete your animal-print outfit with a wide-brim hat, and you’re channeling the very best of the '70s.
FREE 2BU snakeskin-print shirt 199.95; Free 2BU animal-print skirt 199.95; KELSO cross-body chain bag 449.95; textured boots 799; FREE 2BU statement earrings 79.95; KELSO cut-out cuff 79.95; hat stylist's own


Fashion editor: Brittany Penebre. Junior fashion editor: Rushana Burton. Photography: Jacques Weyers/Hero Creative. Hair & make-up: Cheryl Parker/SNCM. Model: Nina Henry/Boss

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