Our Guide to the 70s Revival

For this fall/winter season, modern and stylish versions of classic 70s looks are a big hit. In other words, this is not your dad’s disco wardrobe. We’re here to help you look classy and sophisticated this season, whether you’re channelling your inner debonair spy or aiming for a rockstar look. Just be careful - don’t try to wear too many of these looks at once, or you’ll look costumey.  Here’s our guide to some of this seasons major 70s-inspired trends and how to wear them:

What to Buy Now

Here are some trends that are pretty timeless:

Shearling and Fur

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Shearling is sleek suede on one side, soft cropped wool on the other.You can save by buying a jacket or coat made from synthetic materials, but the real thing is more durable and will last you for years.

Shearling jackets and coats are great for creating a stylish layered look.  A shearling jacket will keep you nice and warm in the colder months. Wear it out to parties or a winter date.

Fur accents are a bolder choice, but they are trending this season. My rule for fur--or faux fur, if that’s your choice--is simply that it should be in moderation. Skip the full fur coat (you’re not starring on Empire) and go for a long coat with a fur collar and cuffs.

Rollneck Sweaters

I say rollneck and not turtleneck, because let’s face it, the word “turtleneck” calls up images of a kid in corduroys and a scratchy sweater crying on a Christmas card. Rollneck sweaters are sophisticated, versatile fashion pieces. You can wear one casually with a pair of jeans, or layer it under a sportcoat with a pair of slacks for a formal look. They come in a form-fitting style that will showcase your body shape without feeling constraining.

Pick out some rollneck sweaters in brown, gray, or cream. You want neutral colors that will match with a variety of outfits and accessories. I recommend splurging on quality fabrics like merino or cashmere for maximum comfort. You don’t want a body-hugging sweater made of scratchy polyester-blended wool. Plus, it pays to invest in durable fabrics--these will be sweaters that you can wear for years to come.

Check and Windowpane Patterns

These patterns are already pretty mainstream, but they’re a hit component of the neo-70s style this season. So if you’ve passed on them in the past, give them a second chance for the fall and winter.

Check patterns are great for wearing out casually or to a day at the office. This grape gingham shirt from Twillory has a great fall color pallette. This red and blue checked shirt from J. Crew is brighter but still great for any-day wear. Because of the amount of color in checked shirts, they pair best with solid-color ties. You don’t want an outfit that’s a mish-mash of patterns.

Muted windowpane patterns are better for building formal outfits. A dressy windowpane shirt can work well with a blazer or suit. Something like this yellow window pane shirt from Ledbury would pair nicely with a navy suit, and yellow is a great year-round color. Since these shirts have simpler patterns, you also have more room to work with bolder accessories. 


What to Try

These are eye-catching 70s trends, but bolder choices. Remember that seasonal wardrobe pieces are a great opportunity for redefining or revamping your personal sense of style. If you’re looking to step out of your safe zone this fall/winter, here are some looks to consider:

Wide-leg Trousers

My fashion Spidey-senses  are telling me that this is going to be an exclusively seasonal trend. I would play it safe and only buy a couple pairs of wide-leg slacks. Maybe stick to one black pair and one brown pair, just to cover your bases.

Wide Lapels and Flared Collars

Here’s your chance to break out your inner Bowie. This look is great for striking a balance between fun and formal as you head into the winter party circuit.
    
Again, this trend might not last long after the fall/winter season. Stick with buying one blazer. By pairing it with different shirts, you’ll be able to create a variety of outfits without spending too much.

Bold Graphic Prints

These may seem like a risky choice, but there are plenty of 70s-inspired graphic patterns making their debut in product lines. You’ve got a lot of choices here. This floral-print navy shirt from Lands End can keep you in your comfort zone. For bolder picks, check out this floral print shirt from Bonobos or this bright red paisley-print shirt from Ben Sherman.

If this trend strikes your fancy, shop your options and pick two to three cool graphic print shirts to wear when you go out on the weekend. (These aren’t for the office.) If a shirt is too much, pick out a tie or pocket square with a bold graphic pattern to pair with a reliable solid-color shirt that you already own.


What to Avoid

There are plenty of 70s styles to draw inspiration from, but here are a few that I recommend skipping.

Lots of Leather

I know, a leather jacket seems like such an easy option for crafting a 70s rocker look. But leather hasn’t really made much of a splash for the fall/winter season. It’s been eclipsed by more functional fabrics like wool and shearling.

Please, please, please, do not pull out that pair of leather pants you bought on a dare in college. It’s just not the time for those. 

Fringe

Fringe-heavy pieces have appeared in several fashion lines this season, but I’m staunchly not a fan of the look. Fringe tends to make an outfit look more like a costume, and less like a stylish fashion choice. Plus I can almost guarantee the trend won’t last beyond this season. Just pass on it.

Authentic Vintage Items

There’s actually a pretty big difference between “vintage” and “vintage-inspired” looks (I promise). The current trends are modern looks inspired by 1970s fashion, but they aren’t pulled straight from the decade. While some truly vintage pieces might make just the right splash, most won’t mesh with the modern take on older styles.