How to Wear 1970s Fashion Inspired by Harry Styles

Harry Styles may only be modeling as a hobby when he’s not busy being one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but he still managed to take over the Festival from the Venice 2022 film with only two looks. The two Gucci sets, personally curated by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, went so viral over Labor Day weekend that they eclipsed everything else at the legendary film festival. Styles has collaborated with Gucci for years, replacing Jared Leto as the brand’s unofficial face. While everything Gucci creates is heavily inspired by the 1970s, they particularly leaned into that decade recently when outfitting Styles for brand campaigns and public appearances.

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

While Gucci and Styles have the menswear community salivating right now, the looks they’re creating are admittedly too eccentric for even the most fashion-forward everyday man. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of us mere mortals can’t embrace the aesthetic of the 1970s. bigger pants and the biggest swagger. So we’ve put together this guide on how to wear 1970s fashion if you’re not Harry Styles.

Jacket

The jackets of the 1970s were all about wide lapels and bold shoulders while maintaining a fitted but not tight silhouette. The style offers a new alternative to the slim fit, soft shoulders and narrow lapels that dominated suits in the 2010s. It’s also a more refined look than the large, loose-fitting 1990s-inspired suits that have recently been trending. fashion.

The king of seventies-style jackets has always been Ralph Lauren. His suits then and now feature lapels that almost touch square shoulders while being tailored to hug the torso, have sleeves falling just to the wrist, and the body sits just below the hips.

Ralph Lauren presenting his collection of ties in 1970.
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The other standout feature of 1970s suits was bold fabrics. Designers used usual colors and large-scale patterns from decades like the 1960s or 2010s. Rather than sticking to grays and blues, they played with warm colors and pastels. If a jacket had pinstripes or a houndstooth pattern, it was much larger and really stood out. These fun and adventurous types of fabrics have made a comeback, led by Gucci and breathing some life into suits that had become a bit stale of late.

Adding a 1970s-style jacket or three to your existing wardrobe is the best way to sink your feet into that retro look. Since the jackets are tailored to some extent, they will match your existing slim pants. If your wardrobe features mostly dark colors and subtle patterns, a bold jacket is an easy way to spice things up. Blue pants or jeans will go with the most exaggerated retro jacket.

Just make sure you get the right jacket size. While the shoulders will feel fuller (because they are), you’ll want the sleeves and body to fall where you’re used to. You want the body of the jacket to be a little looser than the slim fit you were wearing while still hugging your body shape. The shoulders should be square but the body and sleeves should not be baggy.

Trousers

The cut of 1970s-style trousers deviates even more from the slim fit than 1970s-style jackets. remained slimmer. Some high-end fashion designers like Balenciaga have massively overcut and introduced outrageously baggy pants into suits. The 1970s style is a much more reasonable alternative to the slim fit.

Harry Styles sitting with kids.
Gucci 2019

The look is defined by a gradual – or sometimes extreme – push from the knee down. Sizes will usually be a little taller than you’re used to, but they’ll have a similar feel through the seat and hips, just with a little more room. Pleats have been around for about a decade, but they’re much more prevalent with the 1970s look, which will give you even more room at the hips and seat. As the hips drop to the knee, you’ll have a fitted, fitted look, and then things will get funky. Below the knee, your pants widen until you have a leg opening that’s about twice as wide as the skinny pants you’re used to. It also means you’ll have a much fuller break – the way the pant opening sits on your shoe – than you’ve worn in the last decade. Ideally, you want a full pant crease in the front as it sits on your shoe with the back almost touching the floor at the back.

Choosing the right pair of 1970s style pants is all about deciding how much flare you want. Very few people can pull off the wide, exaggerated flare that Harry Styles wears. For most men, a subtle look will do. You want to find a pair of pants that will feel very familiar around the waist and hips, maybe a little looser if you’re used to the slim fit. The big difference will be from the knee and the deciding factor will be how the pant opening sits on your shoe. You want the back to be low to the ground without touching and the front to cover your tied shoelace without engulfing your entire shoe.

The accessories

Accessories are where you can have the most fun when introducing 1970s style into your look. The decade featured oversized sunglasses, oversized ties, flamboyant pocket squares, eloquent scarves and kerchiefs, and plenty of jewelry. Accessorizing in the 2010s was understated, often featuring a bold element as the icing on the cake. For the 1970s, like today, accessorizing is all about layering as much as possible. Take all of these standalone accessories from your collection and put them all on at once if you like.

Robert Redford in aviator sunglasses.

Sunglasses are the best starting point to add a touch of the 1970s to your look. It used to be hard to find large framed sunglasses that weren’t from high fashion brands at excessive prices. They have become more popular lately and more and more affordable brands are introducing them into their collections. Trying them on in person is the best way to see if a pair is appropriately oversized for you, but most of us buy sunglasses online these days. The key to determining if a pair is actually big seventies is to look at the width of the lenses. When you find a pair you like, click on the details and look at the dimensions. You want the width to be 60 or more to get that retro look.

  • For ties, you should always follow the same rule of thumb: the width of the widest part of the tie should match the widest part of the lapel. So if you wear a wider lapel, you want a wider tie to match.
  • For any other scarf, it should be elaborate yet elegant. If it looks like a scarf or neckerchief that a wealthy grandmother would wear, it suits the look.
  • Pocket squares should be very decorative, with bright patterns and detailed scenes. You also want to fold them up to look like a big flower sticking out of your breast pocket.
  • When it comes to jewelry, you really can’t wear too much so go to town.

The shoes

Slip-on shoes have become the norm for men recently. This goes with the emerging look of the 1970s. Men’s leather shoes of this era were sleek with a smooth toe and often featured a chunky chunky heel. A moccasin or Chelsea boot are the best places to start. Finding a pair with a chunky heel can be tricky, so if you already have a smooth toe loafer or Chelsea boot, this will work. Cowboy boots are also a good alternative because they have a smooth toe and a big heel.

Of course, you can also wear sneakers with your seventies ensemble as Harry Styles likes to do. If you want to do this, you should stick to classic flat-soled tennis shoes. Something clean and white like an Adidas Stan Smith or a Nike Killshot II would be ideal. Chuck Taylors are too retro and you don’t want to wear contemporary running or basketball sneakers. Essentially, you want to wear period-appropriate sneakers – so if they don’t look like sneakers worn in the 1970s, don’t wear them.

Be thrifty

Gucci is almost single-handedly responsible for the popularity of 1970s fashion, but for most people, buying Gucci is about as realistic as walking the red carpet at a film festival with Harry Styles. Don’t worry though; there are plenty of ways to get the same retro look for a fraction of the price. The best way is to visit your local thrift stores and search for resale marketplaces online. Many clothes and accessories made in the 1970s are available on the second-hand market. The condition of the merchandise will not always be excellent, but the prices will be. You can easily find a vintage jacket and scarf that is indistinguishable from Gucci’s current line.

Browsing local thrift stores is a fun way to support your local economy and practice circular fashion consumption. There are plenty of second-hand markets online, but eBay is the best place to find authentic 1970s clothing. The best part is that most of the vintage items you find on eBay come from independent thrift stores around the world. Searching the eBay app for the right retro gear is far more rewarding than scouring social media, as you end up with new clothes in the end.

Two men standing together.
Gucci

Above: Harry Styles with Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele

Don’t be afraid of the funk

Men’s fashion in the 1970s was exciting and eccentric. Embracing the spirit of this decade is one way to have fun with fashion, especially costume. Ornate textures and colors refresh a menswear scene that was getting a little lackluster at the end of the last decade. If you think your wardrobe could use the same refresh, don’t be afraid to be funky. Fashion has been all about experimentation and finding your own unique look since we emerged from the 2020 lockdown. You don’t have to be one of the world’s most famous pop stars to dress up like a Gucci model. Even if it’s just a new pair of boots and a great vintage jacket, you can inject 1970s style into your wardrobe. If you are comfortable with this, add accessories and continue to develop the look. If nothing else, dressing like you’re from the 1970s is a lot of fun.

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