The 70s are back! Men’s fashion has often been criticised for lack of colour, texture or silhouette – a revived style of 1970s sophistication and elegance however has contradicted those exact concerns. Harry Styles, Matt Healy, Tom Ogden and Alex Turner are just a few modern-day celebrities to bring back the excitement of formal menswear, as ‘minimal’ becomes ‘timeless’. Keep reading to find out more about 70s style for men, those who influenced it and how to build an outfit with statement retro pieces. Here’s what vintage we have in stock for you!
Men’s 70s Fashion
1970s fashion screams individuality and expression, a time for rules to be broken. While often we would relate this decade to bright and bold, it’s important to note palettes of brown, beige, black, white and grey were very popular amongst men’s fashion and the base of most looks. Tied in with corduroy, silk and knitwear as common fabrics, 70s style for men was noticeably influenced by the newness of comfortable garments (popular in sports and athletic wear), as well as innovative silhouettes (disco culture).
Pops of electric and colour in statement pieces however were key in breaking the clean image of menswear, and this mimicked the way social and historical factors of the time were breaking the norms of society. In a time of globalisation and concoctions of inspirations, menswear was also developing – influence from Japanese, African and Caribbean styles was a result of international travel. An abundance of factors such as the 60s counterculture movement made this decade particularly exciting for the fashion industry, giving men’s style the boost it needed.
Men’s 70s Fashion Icons
There’s a true versatility in 70s fashion – inspiration upon inspiration and cultural movement upon another created a fresh and unique outlook on menswear. Celebrities were quick to express themselves and push boundaries with iconic looks we recognize to this day. Famously putting a twist on a classic and simple formal wear, here’s how these personas revamped men’s fashion, 70s style.
Mick Jagger Style
Mick Jagger and his interest in fashion as a form of expression continues to inspire artists today. His personal style was the true epitome of 70s outrageousness, as he became a ‘rock n roll’ icon. Skinny jeans, flamboyant shirts and Chelsea boots were some of his go to statement pieces which remain popular for artists looks today.
David Bowie Style
Both offstage and onstage, as alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Bowie loved silhouette as the new 70s trend. He used super-skinny leather, flares and psychedelic prints and scarfs as statement pieces alongside classic elements of an office outfit to create that innovation of formal wear.
Marvin Gaye Style
Marvin Gaye embraced the timelessness of 70s fashion. Noted for his infamous beige suit, Gaye often played on formality, adding with the flamboyance of an open shirt. Even outside of his public appearances, he was quick to take to the trends of tight tees and double denim, quickly becoming one of the major fashion influencers of his time.
Paul Newman Style
Paul Newman took a more classic approach to 70s menswear with the American prep. Few could pull off a neutral suit the way he did. Even on his weekends, driving in a moccasin, Newman remained looking impeccable with the long sleeved polo and tailored trouser combination. This movie star was probably one of the major reasons as to why the formal aspect of 70s menswear is coming back around today.
Men’s 70s Fashion Trend
70s fashion gives a true sense of nostalgia – the way designers at the time thought outside the box and overstepped boundaries makes some slightly fearful for a modern return. However, an electric mix of 70s elements with contemporary styles and vintage can create an exciting and beautifully balanced take on men’s style. Incorporating a 70s vintage piece not only contributes to slow fashion, but adds to the individuality of an outfit, giving menswear a true identity. In modern interpretations, the flamboyance of 70s fashion can help emphasise a non-binary approach to style. Unafraid of silhouette and a bit of extravaganza, Harry Styles, Timothee Chalamet and A$AP Rocky will mix a classic 70s trouser or scarf with a trainer or shirt and create an iconic modern approach to the decade’s style.
Modern Day Men’s Fashion Icons
There are some incredible menswear influencers in the world of contemporary celebrities and this is likely down to the incorporation of fun vintage in their outfits. Mainstream fashion wouldn’t be as exciting without the 70s inspiration and the odd statement - here’s some celebs that live by that rule.
Harry Styles Style
Following his One Direction days, and starting to form himself as a defined artist, Harry Styles also upped his fashion game. Not afraid of gender norms, and 70s extravaganza, Styles quickly became a global icon for menswear. Embracing everything from tight jeans, printed shirts and sweatshirts to ruffles and a colourful tailored suit, he contributes massively to bringing vintage to mainstream.
Matt Healy Style
Leading member of The 1975, Matt Healy is a true advocate for vintage. He famously described his style as ‘expensive’- and not in the sense of price. Healy has an eye for design and statement pieces. A typical Matt Healy outfit would include a retro inspired loud jacket over a plain black tee (occasionally women’s, playing on gender norms in fashion) and 70s inspired fit black jeans. He knows exactly how to bring in vintage elements and make pieces stand out with a plain base.
Alex Turner Style
Artic Monkeys' Alex Turner loves to play on a 70s silhouette with his trousers, as he never goes without a slim fit. He incorporates formality with a polo shirt, often featuring an open collar. What makes him a fashion icon is his repetitive use of timeless pieces in the modern day of micro trends.
Tom Ogden Style
Tom Ogden knows exactly how to turn a very simple outfit into something that looks intentionally styled. A plain tee layered with a 70s tailored jacket is his go to alongside accessories such as retro sunglasses, jewellery or a buckled belt on high waisted jean give his formal style a bit of edge.
70s Formal Wear Essentials for Men
Whether you’re inspired to try a full 70s formal look, or want to spice up an outfit with some classic pieces, here are some essential products and styles we have in stock and tips on how to style them.
A popular texture of the 70s, corduroy can bring a classic element to a modern outfit. Whether you casually style cord pants with a trainer and graphic tee, or a corduroy shirt with flared jeans for a full 70s look, this is the perfect nostalgic piece everyone should have in their wardrobe.
A tailored jacket is essential for any formal look. But you can also dress it down and take a more casual approach with accessories. Vintage jackets have a great identity about them and never fail to elevate the simplest of looks.
Similarly to the tailored jacket, this piece can be worn on its own or as a full suit! For a more casual look, style with a graphic tee and an adidas trainer – this will keep within the trend of formality and give your outfit an effortless look.
A fun pattern can go a long way, especially if it’s vintage, it will give your outfit an element of uniqueness. Patterned knitwear is versatile, it can be worn on its own or layered on top of a shirt to elevate.
The definition of effortless chic, a formal garment that looks great every season. We have a variety of vintage silk shirts that are particularly comfortable, light and soft.
A daring but truly unique fabric – if you keep an open mind, velvet can be incorporated outside of just party wear. Subtle elements can be styled in your everyday outfit, for example as a cover-up. You can go beyond the classic denim or leather jacket and give that formality a fun twist.
The perfect piece for keeping formality whilst giving warmth. Cradling the face and sitting proudly, the roll neck is timeless and looks great as a basic on anyone.
Guayabera shirts are great in the sense that they can be worn loose for a casual look, or brought in on the sides to emphasise the physique. Patterned guayabera shirts are particularly exciting for summer, on holiday, date night or even at a party.
The safari jacket is a perfect example for the influence of history and culture in fashion. Once serving as uniform, now a statement cover-up. This piece can truly elevate a simple look! Check out our website for unique jackets that are likely to have a great story behind them.
We have a range of 70s accessories to add a pop of nostalgia to any outfit. A silk scarf or classic shoes are enough to give any outfit a timeless vibe and pop of excitement.
In homage to a beautifully chaotic decade, we hope to have inspired some ways to spice up your outfit. Whether you take on a preppy or more daring approach to the 70s formal, you’re guaranteed to give menswear its well-deserved excitement. A vintage statement piece really goes a long way, and when shopped sustainably can benefit the planet too!