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The 60s and 70s in fashion

and | Monday, April 20, 2015

WEB_fashionSara Shoemake

The spring runways reaffirmed the old saying, “The apple does not fall far from the tree,” as styles spring back to classic ’60s and ’70s garb. Established designers, such as Michael Bastian, Tom Ford and Hedi Slimane, are rethinking the classic outfits their parents sported around the house and on family outings during those time periods. Not getting to actively participate in these trends the first time around, nostalgia has been an influence in their latest collections.

While Mendoza may try to convince you that its bro tanks are an “awesome and stylish trend” in their incessant emails, don’t fall victim to the system: We are here to provide you with a real style guide.



As Mad Men winds down, it’s hard not to notice the similarities between its sartorial choices and today’s mainstream fashion. Having passed the dark ages of the ’90s and 2000s, suits, shirts and pants have slimmed down to match the crisp, clean-cut elegance of the mid-20th century. Today’s slim-fit clothing in no way recalls the horror of skinny jeans and “meggings,” which seared retinas. These chic choices are accentuated by skinny ties, as well as fitted polos and joggers.

Although minimalism continues to dominate in design, the simplicity of the ’60s has been reimagined with complex textures and pattern mixing. Matching stripes with polka dots or plaid can display one’s creativity. At the same time, we are seeing suits decorated with wider and wider window panes. Even floral and geometric patterns have reappeared on button-downs and tees, as if masculinity could be plotted as a function of design size. Pan-Am style is back, and I couldn’t be more excited about sporting flamingos on my ties.

Jumping back to the ’60s and ’70s means returning to a time of color awareness, giving simple but lively tones a reboot. Pantone named Marsala (think: pomegranate seeds) the 2015 Color of the Year, reminding us to look past our standard blues and blacks (editor’s note: whites and golds) when picking out ties, polos or even suits. Other out-of-the-box, but still in-the-workplace, hues include robin’s egg blue, caramel and olive.

On the more casual side, spring and summer collections have embraced the light and bright “hippie” colors. Birkenstocks and white Vans have been making their steady comeback for a while, and designers have thrown their support toward washed-out jeans. The staple goes great with white tees, just don’t get too into the hand-me-down vibe and start ripping them — #SaveOurRetinas2k15.



The spring runways featured strong ’60s and ’70s vibes, man. Models were decked out in groovy garb from head (middle-parts channeling Joni Mitchell or, more recently, stars from Solange Knowles to Reese Witherspoon to Jared Leto at the Oscars) to toe (chunky flatforms and sandals with bold heels in bolder colors that looked like they stepped off a Volkswagon bus).

Since you’re inevitably starting from the bottom — a confined dorm room closet/cubby and an even more confined college budget — incorporate these trends from there: the bottom. The ’60s were all about mini skirts, so go for short and go for patterns or bold colors. Look for skirts that button up the front for a ’70s-esque look. Try this out in denim and a below-the-knee length for an on-trend look that almost too closely channels “19 Kids and Counting” vibes but also resonates with “It” girls like Diane Kruger.

Wide-leg pants are the new, easier to wear culottes (wide-leg “shorts” that have been “in fashion” for a couple of years but are honestly atrocious and reminiscent of 2000s rap music videos). The Annie Hall-esque vibes look great when paired with neutral tops but can also be taken in a more colorful route with printed or jewel tone blouses.

Two important aspects of any ’70s look are fringe and suede. Look for suede pencil skirts in bright colors or fringed skirts and tops that you can don at upcoming music festivals to make your dancing look better than it is — fringe benefits. If you’re up for the challenge, incorporate both with a western-inspired suede fringe jacket.

Finish off your look with oversized, preferably cat-eye, shades. Add a neck-scarf tied in a flight-attendant or French girl manner to channel the ’60s, or add a head scarf and let the ends hang over your shoulder to master the ’70s bombshell look — and cover up a bad hair day.

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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About Daniel Barabasi

Daniel enjoys taking long walks on the lakes, debating grammatical punctuality and dancing in the swing fashion. In his spare time, he is a neuroscience major in the Class of 2017.

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