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The timeless appeal and endless style of 70s retro shirts

September 1, 2019

70s retro shirts have enduring style and endless ways to rock them through every decade, so mash them up with your current outfits for that perfect 70s vibe!

 

Nothing says boho-chic like 70s retro shirts. Bring the classic look of vintage 70s shirts into your wardrobe today and experience the timeless style and personal flair of all in-the-know retro-reworked fashionistas.

High waisted flares and wild 70s retro shirts

High waisted flares and wild 70s retro shirts

A look back at 70s Retro Shirts history

 

70s shirts for men and women were inspired by specific trends in the 1970s, which included the Hippie look, bohemian casual and highly embellished looks, particularly for men. Here are some of the key styles as interpreted by 70s retro shirts:

 

  • Hippie-inspired:  The hippie-look originated in the 1960s and carried over into the 1970s. 70s retro shirts inspired by this trend included peasant blouses, tie dye T-shirts and tops and ponchos. These 70s shirts were paired with flared jeans, maxi or midi skirts in swirling colours and patterns and the look was finished with chokers, headbands, floral scarves and wooden, beaded or feathered jewellery.

 

  • Bohemian vibe: A spin on the hippie look, the bohemian trend in 70s retro shirts was brought to life with casual, globally-influenced loose blouses in floral or geometric prints, fitted shirts in stripes of bold multi-colours, fringed shirts ala cowgirl or cowboy style and crinkle cotton shirts in playful patterns.

 

  • Bright and Bold:  70s retro shirtsfor men were usually in bright colours and exotic textures. Satin 70s shirts with ruffles down the front were paired with bell-bottom pants or pastel-coloured suits.

 

Or corduroy, velvet or wool 70s shirts were worn with plaid, paisley or striped flared pants.

Chenaski-Purple-Long-Collared-Shirt

Chenaski Purple Long-Collared Shirt

Casual wear

For more casual wear, men wore 70s shirts made out of flannel, or tie-dye T-shirts tucked into jeans.

 

  • By the middle of the decade, the hippie look had transitioned into ever more casual and comfy styles, with 70s retro shirtsworn loose in natural fibres like cotton, linen and poplin, and embellished with whimsical patterns, designs, slogans and logos.

 

For work wear, 70s shirts were worn fitted and tailored – think classic button-down style – under midi-skirt suits. Another popular work wear look was 70s retro shirts re-imagined as pussy-bow blouses with long full sleeves worn tucked into A-line or pleated midi skirts.

 

  • The 1970s man wore a more streamlined suit to work, with slim-cut pants and fitted jackets, worn over 70s shirts that still showed a strong sense of personal style in floral or checked prints and pastel colours.

 

The off-duty 1970s man rocked 70s retro shirts with Western flare or in rugged flannel styles, worn loose over jeans or chinos and topped with leather or suede jackets, finished with sockless oxfords.

70s Disco shirts, Groovey baby!

70s Disco shirts, Groovey baby!

Disco

  • By the end of the decade, 70s retro shirts were all about disco style and strut. Women rocked their 70s shirts the tube-top way, or wore their 70s shirts emblazoned with sequins or fitted close to the body with lycra fabrication. They paired these disco-style tops with slit skirts or flared tight pants and platform heels.

 

  • Men rocked 70s retro shirts the disco dancing way ala John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” – all black under a classic 70s white suit. The suits had wide lapels and flared trousers and were usually in pale colours, offset by 70s shirts in deep tones.

 

  • Also trending in the late 1970s were loose 70s shirts with dropped shoulders and cowl necklines layered over tight-fitted T-shirts or lacy camisoles, and paired with jeans, skirts or shorts. Popular colours tended towards natural hues of tan, beige, brown and light blue.

 

  • When men were not rocking 70s retro shirts the disco way, they were wearing track suits with sneakers, or cardigans, sweaters or puffer vests over 70s shirts worn with the collar standing up for extra flare.

 

Now that you’ve seen the key historical influences on 70s retro shirts, read on to learn the best places to source your 70s shirts for mashing up with your current wardrobe to give yourself that modern-retro look with a fresh feel.

Marie Osmond wears Women's retro 70s shirt

Marie Osmond wears Women’s retro 70s shirt

Best places to source your 70s retro shirts

 

Take a virtual tour of the global online marketplaces below and treasure-hunt your way to the perfect collection of 70s retro shirts to refresh your look and add some classic throwback style to your wear.

 

Rustyzipper
  • Visit Rustyzipper

 

They offer a huge selection of vintage men’s 70s shirts that include trends like golf, hippie, western, disco, velour, tie-dye and more.

They offer and equally vast choice range of authentic 70s shirts for women in boho-chic, hippie, disco, tie-dye and other styles and trends.

 

Vintage Dancer
  • Your next virtual stop should be Vintage Dancer

Vintage Dancer lets you get your groove on with 70s retro shirts that range from Bohemian styles like peasant blouses, gaily-patterned tunics and classic loose tops that work perfectly with those equally retro pale blue flared jeans in your closet.

 

Or grab yourself a couple of authentic crochet 70s shirts to layer over a plain camisole and pair with your dark wash skinny jeans.

 

Etsy
  • Then check out what Etsy has to offer

 

Etsy is known for their one-of-a-kind original vintage pieces so find yourself some genuine 70s retro shirts at this global marketplace that are unique, sometimes even handmade and with such a huge variety, you are sure to find something that speaks to your style sense here.

These guuys are rockin their 70s shirts

These guuys are rockin their 70s shirts

Amazon
  • No virtual treasure hunt would be complete without a visit to Amazon

 

Amazon is one of the largest global online shopping sites in the world, with products at all price points, so you are sure to find some cool 70s shirts here that fit your budget.

 

Look for 70s shirts that are modern spins on the top throwback trends but made in today’s superior fabrics and with a fresh style spin or go for vintage 70s retro shirts that embody the original styles of the 70s.

 

Amazon offers men’s 70s shirts in unique styles like dress shirts embellished with sequins, or classic button-downs in whimsical prints and colours, so let your style flag fly with these exotic options.

 

Rokit
  • Take a virtual tour on Rokit

 

Find yourself classic 70s retro shirts here for men and women by throwback brands that range from vintage Towncraft short sleeved 70s shirts to Arrow gingham women’s shirts, to Cotton Charisma disco styles for both women and men.

 

Now that you have so many exciting options to find and buy your 70s retro shirts, you can source yourself some perfect pieces from the comfort of your couch and then style them with your favourite modern items for a put-together look that is all yours.

Farah Fawcett in the 70s

Farah Fawcett in the 70s

Key influencers of 70s retro shirts fashion

 

From Cher to Travolta to Joni Mitchell, take a look at the top icons that inspired 70s shirts, dresses, suits and everything else that rocked the decade.

 

  • Farah Fawcett

One of the top TV influencers of fashion including 70s shirts and so much more, Farah Fawcett rocked the working woman’s wardrobe with her 70s retro shirts in checks or gingham, or her ribbed skinny style sweaters and tops tucked into bell-bottom jeans.

 

She was joined by the other Hollywood icons from her hit TV show “Charlie’s Angels” – Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson – in setting the 1970s fashion, hair and beauty trends of the decade that are still re-invented and re-visited on today’s catwalks.

 

  • Laura Ashley

Known for her English garden-inspired floral prints, Laura Ashley 70s retro shirts were all about romance and femininity and women have loved her fabrics and styles from back in the 1970s through to today.

 

Ashley’s vintage Edwardian-influenced 70s shirts, dresses and skirts inspired nostalgic style trends that harkened back to a time of simplicity and security and amplified the ethereal beauty of those who wore them.

  • 70s Purple Candy Stripe Guayabera Shirt

    70s Purple Candy Stripe Guayabera Shirt

    Maggie Thatcher

Thatcher was all about the power suit, 70s retro shirts with big pussy bows in flamboyant colours and prints and a look that said, “Here I am – hear me roar!”.

 

If you are looking to make a powerful style statement and stand out from everyone else in your workday world, then you know that wearing power suits combined with 70s shirts styles ala Madam Thatcher will give you that edge.

 

  • Joni Mitchell

When you hear the name Joni Mitchell, you think 70s retro shirts in fringed, tunic and tie-dyed styles, long flowing hair and the epitome of hippie-chic fashion.

 

Joni was all about the au natural look, going barefoot for her concerts, and playing her music the acoustic way on her rocker guitar. Style yourself some 70s shirts the Mitchell way for true 1970s rocker spirit.

Debbie Harry, 1979

Debbie Harry, 1979

  • Debbie Harry

Another 1970s music icon, Debbie Harry’s style was very different from Joni Mitchell’s style. Debbie’s 70s retro shirts were all about sexy, edgy rocker-chic looks with plenty of denim on denim, tightly-fitted suede 70s shirts and close-knit ribbed tops with turtlenecks and big hoop earrings.

 

Debbie’s look was amplified with lashings of black eye liner, tousled big hair and a liberal dash of 1970s punk style.

 

  • John Travolta

Picture Travolta rocking the dance floor in “Saturday Night Fever” with his iconic white suit and black shirt, and you have the inspiration for 70s retro shirts worn by men the world over who aspired to that too-cool-for-school rebel look.

Travolta also rocked 70s shirts with ruffles and frills, making them look uber-masculine when paired with skin-tight flared pants or jeans.

 

From Biba to Halston, Laura Ashley to Gucci, you can see how big-name designers, Hollywood stars and music icons influenced the trends of 70s retro shirts, dresses, pants, skirts and everything else that made up the fashion of that decade.

 

And the best part is that these timeless trends and styles continue to rock the fashion catwalks today, re-worked and re-invented with a modern flare and yet looking so cool and retro at the same time.

 

Links [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v]

 

[i] https://www.rustyzipper.com/mens/shirts/1970/

 

[ii] https://vintagedancer.com/1970s/womens-70s-shirts-blouses-tops/

 

[iii] https://www.etsy.com/ca/market/70s_shirt

 

[iv] https://www.amazon.com/Seventies-Shirts-Shirt-Vintage-Retro/dp/B07N5WN14F

 

[v] https://www.rokit.co.uk/mens/collections/1970-s

 

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