Can You Dig It: ’70s Fashion Trends Make a Comeback This Summer

by | May 24, 2018 | FASHION

Summer fashion trends are in full swing – and they’re taking us back to the 1970s.

Everything from high-waisted bottoms and flared-leg pants to bold prints and textured accessories are in this summer season.

“You see a lot of 70s inspiration right now,” said Taylor Pitera, founder of e-boutique Tailor. “It’s cool because there’s something for everybody out there.”

Reminiscent of the 1970s, this summer is chock-full of dresses and skirts designed with pinstripes, polka dots, and paisley patterns. Seen in every style and cut, bright prints have arrived and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing


“(1970’s fashion) was very flattering,” said Lauren McCrocklin, co-owner of curated boutique Addison Handmade and Vintage. “A lot of people are into that boho, 70s look.”

Addison Handmade and Vintage

What makes this summer’s fashion most like our groovy past is the modest cuts. The most popular cuts making their way over from spring include jumpsuits, midi dresses, and high-waisted bottoms. We aren’t seeing as much of an incline towards cut-off shorts or crop-tops. Instead, there are maxi dresses and culottes galore.

Addison Handmade and Vintage

“We’re in a transition where things are a little more covered-up than usual for the summer,” Pitera said. “You don’t see everyone’s typical hurry to bare skin. It’s more subdued and a little more tasteful.”

The jumpsuits and rompers we all know very well from spring are here to stay for summer. Get ready to see jumpsuits in every color and rompers in every print imaginable. But the focus this summer is on details – cutouts, buttons, and ties.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoor

Sweetest Stitch

“Anything as small as a peek-a-boo cutout to something more like an open back,” said Niki Kong, owner of local Richmond boutique Sweetest Stitch. “I love the cut-out trend because they’re placed in certain areas that are really appealing to all body types.”

A trend from 2017 Kong said to trash this season – detailed sleeves.

“Last year was all about the sleeve. You’d see bell sleeves, tiered sleeves and lots of ruffles,” Kong said. “Now we’re getting into details around the body, not so much the sleeve.”

Image may contain: people standing

Sweetest Stitch

The trend to jump on – prints, prints and more prints. The iconic prints to get your hands on this summer are big florals, fruits, and palm trees. And of course, stripes and polka dots are always a hit.

“Wear color,” Pitera said. “Don’t be afraid of those bold prints and just own it.”

What about accessories? Keep it simple, sweet and gold. Dainty necklaces and thin hoop earrings are foolproof.

Sweetest Stitch

“With some of the details that are here for summer – the buttons, the prints, the fringe – it leaves you the ability to do less with jewelry,” Kong said. “Layer simple pieces of jewelry and let your outfit be the statement of your look.”

Other accessories which Kong and Pitera recommend are a big floppy hat and a straw or rattan bag.

We can’t forget about men’s fashion, so RVA Mag checked in with Jackson & James men’s clothing in Scott’s Addition to see what’s trending for the guys this summer. Now, while you might not find flared trousers, huge collars, or the suede frenzy that were all staples of the 70s, co-owner of Jackson & James Mike Anderson said menswear trends this summer aren’t too far from what’s trending for the girls.

“Definitely lots and lots of prints,” Anderson said. “Lots of tropics, flowers, big bold prints.”

Button-ups are in, polos are out. As for bottoms, comfort is key as menswear starts to introduce more stretch material.

“The men are finally catching up with the women,” Anderson said. “Realizing (stretch denim) is more comfortable. We’re seeing that showing up in shorts, too.”

Summer 2018 is all for men’s accessories – with leather bracelets and light-colored sneakers a go-to with any outfit according to Anderson.

What to expect for fall?

Lots of the same 70s-style summer trends, but weather-friendly – sweaters with cutouts, fringe accessories and light layers. Prepare to see one trend hand-picked from the 1970s, according to McCrocklin.

“Bikers in the 70s would wear these really thick sweaters with thick stripes on them – either white and navy blue or white and red,” McCrocklin said. “We’re going to see that come back this fall.”

One transition both women-and men–will see this fall: Ditch the skinny-fit jean. Skinny jeans have dominated ready-to-wear fashion for the past five years; but Kong, Anderson, and Pitera all agree that the skinny cut is old news. The upcoming fall season will introduce some more straight- and wide-leg denim for women; tapered and slim jeans for men.

Addison Handmade & Vintage

And for the boys – expect brighter colors this fall. Anderson said raspberry is a fall color that’s popping up on the menswear autumn palette.  

Top Photo By: Tailor

Saffeya Ahmed

Saffeya Ahmed

Saffeya Ahmed is a senior at VCU studying journalism and political science. Enjoys painting, writing poems, and watching Friends.

more in photo

The Empowerment Of Otherness With Richmond Film Artist Evie Metz

Richmond filmmaker Evie Metz is an interdisciplinary artist centered in sculpture, photography, and puppet stop-motion animation. Her work, in collaboration with artist Nick Daly, explores the relationship between humans, animals, and nature and the empowerment of...

The Last Richmond Fall 2022 Photo Set Of The Year!

To be totally honest, there are only so many photos of the city skyline or James River we can look at. We get a ton of people sending us this stuff everyday. That's totally cool (and we support this happening) but at some point we gotta call it and let our audience...

Tudor Opulence In RVA: Exploring Virginia House

Where Richmond's old money is concerned, it doesn't get much older or more moneyed than the Windsor Farms neighborhood, which starts on the south side of Cary Street Rd, just west of Carytown, and runs south all the way to the shores of the James. There are quite a...

Pin It on Pinterest