70s Fashion for Men: Groovy Outfits & Bold Styles

The Fashionisto

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Updated August 23, 2023

1970s fashion stamp featuring man in paisley print shirt with flared jeans and platform shoes.Pin
From loud printed shirts and flared pants to the platform shoe, 70s menswear was one-of-a-kind. Photo: spatuletail / Shutterstock.com

The 70s silhouette is back with a vengeance, spicing up today’s scene from luxury brands such as Gucci to more affordable stores like Zara. Stylish jackets featuring wide lapels and flared pants are all the rage again, channeling men’s 70s outfits and proving this decade can’t be tamed regarding its individuality and character.

The 1970s, celebrated for their audacious spirit and fashion innovators such as the iconic Freddie Mercury from the rock band Queen, carried forward the bold stylistic ethos of the late 1960s. A significant fashion trend of this era was an adventurous play with form and shape.

The Seventies in the Details

mens seventies style leather jacket shirt sunglassesPin
1970s fashion had a cool factor with the cut and look of everything from men’s leather jackets and sunglasses to patterned short-sleeve shirts. Photo: iStock

70s menswear included special attention to cut. The unique silhouette could be seen in everything from jackets to pants to shirts as men sought to achieve a dashing and dramatic look. Bell bottoms, silk shirts, velvet pants, and double-breasted coats were all popular choices for clothes during this decade, along with bold prints and bright colors.

Accessories also played a crucial role. Clunky platform shoes with thick soles were all the rage, as were brightly colored scarves and fedoras. Many also experimented with facial hair and long sideburns during this period, creating a stylish and dramatic look.

Whether you’re searching for 70s outfits for men or looking to channel the trend in your daily wardrobe or want a blast from the past, there are plenty of ways to tap into this iconic era and make a bold statement:

Fashion Colors

70s outfit men neutral colors flared pantsPin
Neutral tones, predominantly brown and gray, were significant for men’s outfits in the 1970s and made mixing and matching pieces easier. Photo: iStock

So what colors were popular during the 1970s? While the decade was known for its vibrant and sometimes wild color choices, it’s important to note that there was a specific color palette. Shades of brown, beige, black, white, and grey were popular choices.

Neutral colors were widely used in attire for males, with fabrics such as corduroy, knitwear, and silk shirts, while colorful pieces were also popular, especially plaid prints. If you want to channel the era with your outfits this season, stick to these classic colors for an on-trend and timeless look.

Men’s Wide Lapels Were En Vogue

A significant differentiator for suits in the seventies were a wide lapel. Pin
A significant differentiator for suits and dress shirts in the seventies was wide lapels and collars. Photo: iStock

There is no better way to define the 1970s than with wide lapels in menswear—a defining trend of that decade. Whether you were sporting a blazer, suit jacket, or cardigan, the seventies were all about wide lapels. While these garments may seem odd by today’s standards, it’s important to remember that, at the time, menswear focused on bold and out-of-the-box choices.

The Chic Turtleneck or Roll Necks

70s mens style turtleneck sweaters pleated trousersPin
Two men pose for a seventies photo, wearing turtleneck sweaters and pleated pants. Photo: iStock

In the 70s, nothing spoke sophistication louder than a turtleneck. Turtleneck sweaters were a go-to choice during this era. They provided warmth and elegance.

Whether sporting a classic black turtleneck or something more colorful like red or teal, a turtleneck is a surefire way to pay a nod to the seventies and look sharp. After all, men confidently rocked their turtlenecks with various ensembles, from jeans to suave slacks.

Vintage Disco Moment

Enjoying a night at the disco, a man wears a partially unbuttoned silk shirt.Pin
Enjoying a night at the disco, a guy wears a partially unbuttoned silk shirt. Photo: iStock

From the lively dance floors to the trendy bars, guys in the 70s embraced disco fashion fervently. This era’s unique fashion was beloved by many and seen everywhere around town. The disco aesthetic is best known for its tight fits in bright colors, bold prints, and many sequins and sparkles.

Some popular 70s disco clothes included bell bottoms, vests, silky shirts with collars and oversized sleeves, and fringed accessories. A typical men’s disco outfit was frequently accessorized with large glasses, leather belts, fedoras or boaters, and watch fobs.

Couples dance the night away in trendy 70s disco styles.Pin
Couples dance the night away in trendy 70s disco styles. Photo: iStock

The 70s era also saw an increase in guys wearing platform shoes, either to dance the night away on the dance floor or to look cool and trendy. Platform shoes were often brightly colored and covered with metallic accents or sequins.

While disco fashion was designed for movement and fun, it was also meant to showcase a man’s personality. Many guys embraced this unique fashion era, dancing the night away in their loose-fitting clothes and flashy accessories.

Men’s Corduroy Craze

Corduroy wasn't just relegated to pants and nerd outfits for the 1970s; brown jackets reigned supreme.Pin
Corduroy wasn’t just relegated to pants and nerd attire for the 1970s; brown jackets reigned supreme. Photo: iStock

In the 1970s, corduroy was all the rage. This fabric offered a soft, plush feel that was popular for casual and formal wear. Jackets, pants, and vests were all crafted from corduroy in different colors and patterns. Popular colors for corduroy included brown, green, blue, and grey.

The Luxury of a Silk Shirt

During the 1970s, many donned silk shirts for a fashionable look. This luxurious fabric gave shirting a more refined and polished look, perfect for formal occasions. Button-down shirts were trendy, although some silk shirts also featured open collars.

Guys wore their silk shirts with everything from tailored pants to casual jeans. If you want to channel this look today, you can reinterpret the look with a satin shirt or Tom Ford silk pants.

The Hippies Look

mens hippie style 1970s flared denim long hair cigarette t shirtPin
The seventies hippie aesthetic for men embraced simplicity, like this stylish guy wearing a t-shirt with a pair of flared jeans. Photo: Deposit Photos

During the 1970s, the hippie aesthetic was popular. This look featured loose-fitting shirts, wide-legged pants, and long hair and beards to achieve a laidback vibe. Ensembles often included earthy tones, colorful prints, and accessories like platform shoes or headbands.

Vibrant, Patterned Knitwear for Every Occasion

Men loved knitwear with patterns. Whether stripes, argyle, geometric prints, or floral designs, men’s knitwear had a ton of personality during this era. Many pieces were made from wool or cotton, which allowed for a soft and breathable fit.

Seventies Men’s Suits

man 1970s brown suit tailoring striped tiePin
An image from the seventies shows a stylish gentleman in a herringbone suit jacket and an example of the decade’s wide and bold neckties. Photo: iStock

What man’s wardrobe would be complete without a suit? The man’s suit was a 70s staple and featured notable updates from the previous decade. The 70s suit jacket was often slightly shorter than usual, while the waist included more defined shaping to give a sleek silhouette. Men wore suits with dress shirts, ties, and other accessories for an ultra-dapper look.

Muscle Culture

One of the prominent figures of 1970s bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger poses for a 1974 photo before defending the title for his fifth Mr. Olympia contest. Pin
One of the prominent bodybuilding figures, Arnold Schwarzenegger, poses for a 1974 photo before defending the title for his fifth Mr. Olympia contest. Photo: Madison Square Garden Center, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The 1970s were a time of subculture proliferation due partly to the rise of muscle culture. Also known as “the muscle cult,” this trend was founded on physical fitness, bodybuilding, and muscular development. This movement continues to influence current trends from an aesthetic perspective.

Men in this subculture strove to construct strong and toned physiques, generally through weightlifting or bodybuilding. This act reflected a sign of manliness, strength, and power. To flaunt the fruits of their labor, men often donned tight t-shirts; this trend continued into the disco era when showcasing chiseled bodies by dancing with tightly fitted attire became popular.

The Touch of Velvet

Velvet was the epitome of menswear and for a good reason. Its soft touch and rich, textured look made it so desirable! Whether it was a velvet jacket, pants, or shirt, these pieces were sure to turn heads with their dramatic texture and rich color.

Popular colors for velvet sports coats included deep purple, emerald green, and burgundy. Velvet is still a popular fabric today, so watch for this opulent material the next time you’re shopping for a new outfit.

Glam Rock Style Clothes

The 1970s was a time of bold choices, and men were no exception. During this era, the glam rock aesthetic emerged as a popular trend among men who embraced their inner rock stars with tight-fitting clothes in bright colors.

Glam rockers wore form-fitting pieces such as leather pants, metallic jumpsuits, and sequined shirts designed to show off their body shape while making a statement. Accessories like chunky platform shoes and long scarves completed the look for many glamorous gentlemen of the 70s.

Wide-leg Trousers

male model wide leg trousers 1970s stylePin
The seventies wide-leg trousers made a statement back then, and now they are back for an encore performance. Photo: Deposit Photos

Wide-leg trousers were a staple of the scene, often remembered with fondness and admiration. These garments were popular for formal and casual wear, offering a comfortable fit that still looks great today—prevailing amongst 70s outfit ideas.

Men wore their favorite wide-leg trousers with everything from a button-down shirt and blazer to a basic T-shirt. From loose-fit chinos to wide-leg denim jeans, this staple is making its return in today’s landscape. So if you’re looking to channel the 70s, invest in a pair of wide-leg trousers!

But What About Flared Pants?

male model wide leg trousers 1970s stylePin
Flared trousers were a staple of men’s trendy styles. Photo: Deposit Photos

John Travolta’s iconic clothes in Saturday Night Fever made him an unforgettable fashion icon, especially his white trousers. But what sets flared pants apart from wide-leg trousers?

While flared pants typically have a slim fit through the thigh and flair out the knee, wide-leg trousers are wider. Both types offer the 70s take on modern menswear while providing comfort and ease of movement.

If you’re interested in effortless ensembles for guys, you can start by adding flare (literally) to your wardrobe. Invest in a pair of flared trousers this season.

’70s Punk Style Outfits

Sex Pistols Skinny Jeans 70s Men's FashionPin
Sex Pistols perform in Paradiso, Amsterdam on January 6, 1977. Bands like the Sex Pistols helped craft the 1970s image of the punk music scene with their skinny denim jeans. Photo: Koen Suyk. In: Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 – negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 928-9665 [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons

Since the mid-1970s, punk has been an emblem of rebellion against mainstream culture, and bands like the Sex Pistols became the forefront of this rebellion. These pioneers of punk music embraced an aesthetic that broke from tradition, with their skinny denim jeans becoming a signature element of a burgeoning fashion movement.

Men’s fashions included a diverse mixture of DIY clothing, such as leather jackets, distressed jeans, band tees decorated with spikes, studs, safety pins, and skinny denim jeans. The style was a form of rebellion, a sharp contrast to the flared trousers and colorful prints that had dominated earlier in the decade.

Sex Pistols 1970sPin
English punk band Sex Pistols perform in Norway in 1977. Photo: Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway) from Oslo, Norway, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

It was marked by edgy hairstyles like Mohawks, along with both men’s and women’s makeup looks that portrayed a sense of disillusionment for those who felt ostracized from society at large. Paired with leather jackets, ripped shirts, and an attitude of defiance, these jeans were uniform for those who felt marginalized or misunderstood.

Renowned icons of the punk scene include Johnny Rotten, lead vocalist for the Sex Pistols; Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols; Joe Strummer, frontman, and rhythm guitarist from The Clash; and Iggy Pop, singer-songwriter with The Stooges.

These influencers left an indelible mark on music history. They paved the way for a fashion trend that resonates even today, not just in men’s fashion but in a spirit of creativity and nonconformity that continues to inspire.

1970s Leather Jackets for Men

The leather jacket is one of the quintessential men's styles of the '70s. Pin
The leather jacket is one of the quintessential men’s styles of the ’70s. Photo: iStock

Leather jackets were a popular outerwear choice for men. These timeless pieces provided an edgy, sophisticated look that was perfect for any occasion. Trendy options for this era ranged from typical tan leather jackets to others in bold colors, such as red or yellow, with exaggerated collars and lapels.

Some leather jackets had wide cuffs and waistbands, while others had buckles or zippers down the front. Men could also choose from various lengths to suit their preference—from cropped versions to full-length coats. No matter their preference, men’s leather jackets in the 70s offered a classic look that is still fashionable today.

’70s Men’s Accessories

man seventies style sunglassesPin
Make an effortless ’70s statement with a wide shirt collar and aviator sunglasses. Photo: iStock

Men had plenty of accessory options. From braided belts and aviator sunglasses to silk scarves and fedora hats, the decade was all about accessorizing! Retro shades, patterned neckties, and cufflinks were popular accessories then.

Men’s ’70s Shoes

mens leather platform shoe 1970sPin
Men’s leather platform shoes from the seventies. Photo: iStock

What shoes were fashionable for men during the seventies? Popular men’s shoes included loafers, moccasins, platform shoes, work boots, and sneakers. With so many different looks, it was easy for men to find shoes that suited their preferences.

Don’t Forget the Suede Jacket

The suede jacket reigned supreme. Men everywhere were head-over-heels for this fantastic outerwear option! Whether it was a blazer or a bomber, men knew that it was the perfect way to keep warm and look stylish simultaneously. At the same time, these staples may seem old-fashioned today but don’t underestimate their 70s charm.

mens 70s style outfits casual shirt shorts co ordPin
The popular CO-ORD set is a blast from the past as men enjoyed wearing matching shirt and shorts sets during the 1970s. Photo: iStock

Overall, What Did Men Wear in the 70s?

In summary, during the 1970s, menswear was bold and unashamedly audacious. From leather jackets and silk shirts to bell bottoms or wide-leg pants, there has never been a more daring or admirable era of menswear than in this period. Not only were loud colors and eye-catching prints celebrated, but rich textures like velvet, corduroy, and satin were embraced.

Menswear during this decade also included turtleneck sweaters, oversized collars or lapels, high-waisted pants, leisure suits, and platform shoes. Overall, men confidently embraced their individuality, making it a famous era for fashionable gentlemen everywhere.

As the 1980s arrived, men’s fashion transitioned away from the flamboyant 70s styles, leaning towards a more subdued, conservative look. However, the spirit of individuality and self-expression remained, evolving in different ways.

Are you looking for 70s inspiration? Whether it’s a classic black turtleneck or something more vibrant like a tan leather jacket, there are endless options to channel the seventies in a modern way.


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