Wednesday, 15 September 2021

5 essential '70s vintage pieces to spice up your autumn wardrobe

Written by Leila Kaess
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The '70s are back! An era full of glam, disco, Bowie, Jagger, bell bottoms, bold prints, crochet, dagger collar blouses and so much more. '70s style pieces are full-fledged on again. So, stock up your autumn wardrobe with these five essentials that should not be missed in anyone’s closet this autumn season.

'70s vinatge fashion. Essentials for A/W wardrobe. Ph. Julian Myles, UnsplashPh. Julian Myles, Unsplash

'70s kaleidoscopic style is the hottest fashion trend on Instagram, a good source of inspiration to make vintage looks truly yours. Perfect vibes for the upcoming autumn season, these are our 5 essentials for your wardrobe.


Retro aesthetics of the ‘70s are taking over our social media pages, and surely we all know what this era’s fashion stands for, right? You may have a lot of associations but read on to find out how you can also adapt those to contemporary trends.

Penny Lane Coats

Penny Lane coats. '70s vintsge fashion essentials. Credits @hannahlouisefA black & white example embellished with silver star and moon stitching, seen on influencer @hannahlouisef.

Showcased on everyone’s Instagram feed at the moment, contemporary brands like House of Sunny and Saks Pott brought about the resurgence of an absolute classic, the Penny Lane coat. Not only do they look fabulous, but also keep you warm and cosy throughout those stormy autumn days about to be faced. Simultaneously, these statement piece coats are spreading huge ‘Almost Famous’ vibes, whose character of Penny Lane is where its name originally stems from.

Formerly better known as Afghan coats, the style was brought into mainstream fashion mainly by celebrities, especially musicians like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix throughout the late '60s and early '70s, which created all the associations it has with Rock n’ Roll nowadays. Available in plain suede or embellished with stitching and embroidery, they add an effortlessly chic twist to even the most basic outfit, a real no-brainer. Penny Lane coats are here to stay!

Funky Prints

Funky prints. '70s vintage fashion essentials. Credits @mounakaeLondon-based influencer @mounakae effortlessly sports a '70s-inspired swirl patterned set. The halter neck top adds to an overall retro atmosphere.

Battle the upcoming gloomy autumn days with ever more vibrant colours and funky prints. They appear in numerous forms and can be incorporated through basically every form of clothing. No matter if it is a top, blouse, trousers, skirt, jacket, or if you do not want to go all the way simply add a colourful headband or scarf. Chevron and flame stitch, argyle, paisley, swirls, zebra, floral and abstract geometric patterns are just a few infamous '70s patterns to be named. All were influenced by folk and psychedelic rock of the era. Matching sets are an easy way to pull off a nice fit without much effort. Bright colours and bold patterns can complement each other or clash in an offbeat way. This season there is no such thing as too radiant or vibrant. Multi-coloured clothes all the way, it is about mixing and matching, so be bold.

Flared Trousers

Flared trousers. '70s vintage fashion. Credits @hannahlouisef@hannahlouisef wears a classic denim flare with a middle line seam.

First popularised by Cher and Sonny in the mid-'60s, flared trousers became a staple piece of the era, and are interconnected with the counterculture hippie movement.

They are extremely versatile and can be styled in either '70s Americana style, feminine chic, androgynous with a pantsuit, or in a glam rock/disco manner for those nights out and about. Extra points if they are corduroy or in flower print, for the ultimate retro style. A more classic approach would be a pair of simple blue denim in true Farrah Fawcett manner, worn with a colourful top and white trainers. The choice of fabric is key here, they are available in either denim, cotton, corduroy, or polyester and vary in terms of how wide they flare at the bottom and whether they have an additional split hem. One thing is for certain, every kind of flared trousers will give legs for days since the shape is known to elongate the silhouette.

Platform Boots

Platform boots. '70s vintage fashion essentials. Credits letsgetflashy, Ph. Alexandre Alaux@letsgetflashy goes all in with a Bowie-esque approach on colour coordinating platform boots, perfectly fitting her ginger mullet. (Ph. Alexandre Alaux)

The '70s surely were an innovative decade for fashion, as the clothing represented youths newly found carefree mentality and desire to deviate from their parents' generation’s norms regarding outward appearances and attire. The way they dressed was an act of rebellion in itself. Platform boots were mainly popularised by glam rock performers like Elton John, the New York Dolls, and especially David Bowie during his alter ego Ziggy Stardust phase. This made the trend gender-neutral, since Bowie incorporated various queering elements in his stage performances and photoshoots, so a lot of men adopted this element and could be spotted wearing heels.

Due to being considered the era’s disco shoe, the connection to present events seems fitting. Now that clubs have reopened after long months of social distancing, expressing a newfound sense of liberty is once again expressed through head-turning clothes. Online shops frequently advertise new 'going out wear' with phrases and puns referencing a need for customers to prepare for their comeback to the club floors with fitting party outfits, predominantly targeting teens and 20-somethings. Just like the trend was originally about catching attention, the intention remains the same. On a side note, the shoes are particularly petite friendly and can add a good few inches of height, while also keeping your feet dry when stomping through those leaf-covered parks and forests once foliage hits the ground.

Bulky Square-shaped Tinted Sunglasses

Bulky square-shaped sunglasses. '70s vintage essentials. Credits @annacascarina@annacascarina stuns in a simple, yet eye-catching black-framed model with yellow/orange-tinted glasses, which harmonizes very well with her floral printed Resume blouse.

A drastic opposition to the previous tiny sunglasses trend, originally stemming from the '90s. Now the motto certainly is 'the bigger the better!'.

Don’t shy away from colourful tinted glasses to give your fit this extra pop of colour. Particularly popular now are blue, yellow, amber, and red-tinted glasses with a tortoiseshell look frame. A perfect companion when having to hide nasty dark under-eye circles or puffy eyes in the morning.

Where To Get The Look?

It is apparent that these trends are interconnected in cultural significance, socio-political influence, and historical context. A feeling of exuberance seems to be around, which is expressed and underlined through fashion.

Though all items are in some form currently available at the established high street fashion houses, we recommend you take a look at your local thrift store or browse online through secondhand apps like Vinted, Depop, and Etsy to find a truly unique and long-lasting piece of clothing with an attached history. Not only is the quality of fabric and construction usually higher, but buying used clothes contributes to more conscious and sustainable consumption, therefore helping to protect our planet and spreading awareness. If these options do not fit size-wise, upcycling in DIY, or bringing it to a local tailor can easily fix any issue and simultaneously make it more distinctive and individual. Fashion cycles have always existed and will continue to do so, however, now with constant online access to fast-fashion retailers they are speeding up more and more. Nevertheless, the aforementioned trends are certainly not fleeting or just adaptable for this season, because true vintage never goes out of style.