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How to wear the 70s trend in 2018

It’s time to invest in the era’s groovy sartorial past

Sarah Young
Wednesday 26 September 2018 18:15 BST
Skirt ZW Premium Worker Brown Corduroy, £39.99, Zara
Skirt ZW Premium Worker Brown Corduroy, £39.99, Zara

Nostalgia is a funny thing – despite much contempt from those who experienced decades past the first time round, many look back on them adoringly.

Most notably, the Seventies has long been regarded as an era of “anti-fashion” and bad taste.

But that hasn’t stopped a handful of world-famous designers constantly revisiting it in a bid to pick out its timeless trends.

Alas, the revival of this decade’s groovy sartorial past is once again dominating the catwalks, high street and Instagram posts alike.

But, just how easy is it to wear this trend without looking like you’ve stepped out of a time machine, or worse, a fancy dress shop?

The trick here is to find a way to bring the distinctive spirit of the Seventies into the 21st century with luxurious renderings of key pieces and styles that defined it.

Brown is the new black

Single-Breasted Coat, £86, Warehouse

Unlike the psychedelic Sixties, this decade’s colour palette was dominated by rich, earthy tones including brown.

It may be a shade that was once considered drab and ugly, but designers have cottoned on to its timeless allure to bring an element of Seventies style to your everyday ensembles.

As seen on the catwalks of Fendi and Chloe, the easiest way to wear this trend is to ignore the myth that brown cannot be worn with black. In fact, one of our favourite ways to wear it is with a hazel overcoat layered over an all-black outfit.

Similarly, trusty wardrobe staples like boots and leather bags look super-chic in shades of camel, chocolate and copper.

Favour retro fabrics

A-Line Corduroy Skirt, £59, & Other Stories

Corduroy was the fabric of the Seventies, used in everything from dresses to skirts and trousers. Often thought of as unappealing, this season the notoriously nerdy material has got its sexy back.

Don’t be put off by its problematic past, though, because corduroy is actually super-easy to wear. For a real statement, wear yours as a blazer and pair with a T-shirt, jeans and trainers by day.

Alternatively, invest in a pair of trousers or a skirt and contrast its stiffness with a loose, silky shirt.

If corduroy really is a big no-no for you, try incorporating suede instead with a chic hobo bag or a pair of boots.

Fringe benefits

Black Tassel Fringe Cross Body Bag, £15.99, New Look

One of those trends that returns to the runway season after season, fringing is a great way to try out Seventies-inspired style without the fear of something quickly falling out of fashion.

While you can expect to see entire pieces of boho-chic clothing like cropped jackets and maxi dresses covered in tassels, the most wearable way to incorporate fringing into you wardrobe is with a bag.

For an everyday look, pick up a saddle bag that drapes across your body and is big enough to fit all your essentials. Or opt for a smaller, handheld style in luxe fabrics like metallics to amp up your big night out ensemble.

Go wide

Checked Wide-Leg Trousers, £29.99, Zara

Wide-leg trousers are one of the first things that come to our minds when we think of retro fashion, and this is particularly true about the Seventies.

The style can be found with a tailored finish that works for the office and swanky dinners, or more casual denim. Either way, when paired with a high-waist finish, this look helps to elongate your form, slim the waist and flatter your derrière all at once.

When it comes to what to wear with them, a tight-fitting top will even out proportions while an oversized knit or shirt will give a modern look when half-tucked over the waistband.

Free-spirited frocks

Maxi Dress by Yas, £70, Topshop

It may seem obvious to those of you who are already in the know, but the bohemian midi or maxi dress is one of the most versatile pieces to invest in.

A garment that will see you through nearly every season, a floor-grazing gown covered in florals encapsulates the hippy-dippy aesthetic and remains a true staple in any woman’s wardrobe.

Generally, during the cooler months we suggest buying one in a darker hue, with long sleeves and a high neckline. However, if you want to update a spaghetti-strap or plunging style from the summer, simply wear with a roll-neck knit layered underneath.

Get the boot

Round Toe Stretch Boots, £98, Boden

Over-the-knee or thigh-high boots are typically a style worn by models or the Kardashians, but believe us when we say anyone, of any age, can wear them.

The trick here is to ignore how the Kims and Kendalls of the world style theirs, and forget flashing the flesh with a mini skirt. Instead, the easiest and most flattering way to pull off a pair of tall boots is with a midi dress or skirt – sheer fabrics and suggestive slits allowed.

We’d also suggest investing in boots that have a heel. While flat versions might be more comfortable, heeled styles will have a leg-lengthening effect and bring a touch of glamour to your look.

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