Stevie Nicks circa 1975 versus Mr Stapley circa 1975
When you hear the words ‘70s fashion’, what springs to mind? Probably something along the lines of Stevie Nicks, adorned in swathes of black chiffon and fringing, smouldering at you from behind a blunt fringe. Lucky you. In my mind, the phrase triggers an irrepressible image I once saw in a family photo album – my dad wearing flares and a crop top.
Any super-high-fashion-darling type worth their salt has jumped on board the funk-wagon, with everyone from Alexa Chung to that trendy girl in the office dusting off their mum’s flares to pay homage to the trend. When it first hit the catwalks, I was delighted that the time had finally come to ditch the ‘60s miniskirts that give me a draught up my wotsit, and burn the dreaded ‘90s crop-top I never had the balls to actually wear.
If you can get the ‘70s trend right, you’ll feel like an absolute diva babe. But if you get it wrong, you’re going to look like a dick in flares and a crop top. Here are some dos and don’ts for avoiding the latter at all costs.
DON’T be too authentic
This isn’t a fancy dress. If you rock up to the office having sprouted an afro, wearing round John Lennon sunglasses, eight-inch platforms and a paisley kaftan, you’re doing it wrong. Making a retro style look cool means not actually doing it properly.
DO pick a muse
This advice can be applied to all areas of life. Pick someone who’s nailed it and copy them until someone calls you out on it. And then keep doing it anyway. Here are some good starting points for you:
Girls: Stevie Nicks, Jenny from Forest Gump, the original Charlie’s Angels
Guys: Mick Jagger, Melvin Van Peebles, Steve McQueen
DO take things slowly
Thanks to raunchy perfume adverts and glossy magazines, many of us think of fashion as a vehicle for reinventing ourselves overnight. This is fantasy. If your trademark look for the last six years has been a pair of khaki chinos and knock-off Converse All Stars, you’re not going to feel quite right rocking up to the pub in a batwing tunic and platform clogs. Ease into it.
DON’T leave your comfort zone
If you’re one of those Scandi-phile normcore types, this trend probably isn’t for you. If you’re a true fashion slave, feel free to join the Topshop-bound lemmings in their weekly hunt for whatever threads the magazines promise will ensure your spiritual fulfillment this week. Just don’t roll around in suede waistcoats and turtlenecks until you’re covered head-to-toe in ‘70s throwback memorabilia. This is like the rule about showing some boob and wearing a short skirt. You have to pick one thing.
DO buy some new shit
Raiding the charity shop for bonafide ‘70s fodder will have you looking less “grapevine” and more “yewtree”.