It seems that the start of every year calls for a tribute to another decade, and 2011 is no exception. Coupled with the vintage and grunge vibes currently dictating the wardrobes of winter and spring, 70s retro has made a triumphant return to the tune of bright colours, kitschy patterns and wide leg pants. But in case you’re hesitant to embrace Mary Tyler Moore as your new style icon, we’ve given you a guide to channel 70s chic without looking like an extra on Laverne & Shirley.
Let’s be honest: regardless of what year serves as fashion inspiration, prints are as reliable as April thunderstorms, and regardless of size, style, colour or the combination of all three, to wear them in excess can be a little visually crippling. This year, designers like Marc Jacobs and Etro mixed palettes and designs, but unlike the pieces of 1974, paired them with solid (albeit vibrant) pieces to anchor the look and keep them modern. While you may opt for a loud, printed blouse, pair it with a pair of denim wide-leg trousers; or if you’re vying for a patterned dress, choose solid-toned accessories to quiet down the loud.
If you’ve invested in high-waisted skinny pants, fear not: they’re here to stay. But since wide-legged silhouettes were a major factor in 70s design, give your jeggings a break and opt for pants with a little more bulk, using them as a statement over what would normally be reserved for an oversize button-up. American Apparel and Urban Outfitters have used Fendi’s spring collection to re-introduce billowy, high-waisted trousers that pair beautifully with a printed tank, while pantsuits (as re-introduced by Zac Posen) are the modern-day solution to business chic.
And because fashion would be nothing without its embellishments, accessories are the perfect way to channel a 70s aesthetic without overhauling your entire wardrobe. Scarves (a la Rhoda or Mary Tyler Moore), brooches, hats and flower hair clips serve to give that playful retro vibe without going overboard, helping to ease into a decade that can be a little more kitsch than fashionably sound. Bright necklaces, large beads, bold rings and vintage sunglasses are also the answer to what do I wear with this, as they make their own statement without you having to commit to a head-to-toe ’76.
A decade remembered for disco, big hair, roller skates and unmistakable fashion, a 70s revival would be nothing without its statement pieces. Whether you opt for a full A-line skirt and matching crop top or a pair of overalls with a printed tank, the 70s were about risk-taking and having fun “ especially when it came to clothes. A full-length printed dress is the perfect holiday look, while a crop-top worn with high-waisted pants and a denim jacket will do service to the costumes of Dazed and Confused.