Groovy Baby: Bodacious Bell Bottoms And Other Fashion Funnies That Should Stay In The 70sBy Ruby M
From a fashion perspective, the ’70s were known for being a time of platform boots, bell-bottoms, tie-dye, and many classic looks that originated in the ’70s have made a massive comeback and are trending worldwide even in 2021. We can’t deny that the ’70s has played a massive role in fashion today, but we’ve also got to admit that there were some strange trends in the 70’s that we doubt will be making a comeback any time soon – like matching his and hers outfits, crocheted ponchos, and mixed patterns that do not belong together. So, get your favorite snack, and don’t go anywhere because we’re going to have a blast from the past with a list of the most bizarre trends from the ’70s.
This is a not-so-classic snap of a couple who, at our best guess, must own a business together painting houses by the look of their matching navy overalls. Then again, we doubt that as this picture was taken in the ’70s.
The ’70s were an era when most women weren’t in the working world, and more focused on the house. Many of them were definitely not painters. If anything, they were receptionists or tea ladies unless they were utter geniuses. Perhaps the overalls are actually pajamas?
This matching set must have been inspired by the hippy-dippy ’60s era because the tassels and style just scream Woodstock. The only difference, we assume, would be that there would probably be no undershirts at the famous Woodstock festival.
We aren’t too sure where this couple was intending to go when they decided to flaunt this matching set, but at least they won’t lose each other in a crowd. All they have to do is point at their odd green crochet shirt thing and say, “They’re wearing this, too!”
Boy’s Night Out
Going out on the town with the boys? Try matching your attire with each other by wearing the exact same outfit but in different groovy colors and patterns! That way, everyone on the block will know that you’re a manly pack of men.
Don’t want to look so manly in your matching outfit? Worry not. These gentlemen could still embrace their feminine side by choosing to flaunt a striking floral shirt that still matches their glamorous out-with-the-boys-fit. It is all about the vibe.
Here are some more of the wackiest clothing items from the ’70s. These men’s nightclothes (we think) sort of resemble the clothing that a patient would wear in prison or a hospital – and they sort of look like they were meant to be shirts but were too big.
We wonder why men stopped wearing nightdresses like the ones in the picture – oh, right, we just answered our own question. It’s probably because someone realized that they were night dresses! That didn’t go over so well with men with the passing of time.
Collars seem to have always been in, and the floral denim shorts paired with the high-waisted jeans actually look great on both the woman and the man in the picture, but why-oh-why do they have to look exactly the same?
Yes, we get it, you’re a couple, and you like to coordinate your outfits – but you also look like you both work at the same hospitality workplace where you teach quirky art and modified yoga at a gym somewhere.
Hansel and Gretel
Everybody loves dungarees. Even nowadays, they are a staple closet basic for men and women alike in many places. Dungarees are especially perfect for denim lovers who work out in the garden, in construction, or maybe even on a farm.
We can picture this outfit being worn by a farmer and his loving wife – in fact, this his and hers outfit could actually be rather cute for a modern-day farmer and his wife as well. Or perhaps a brother and sister dressing up as an American-style Hansel and Gretel for Halloween.
Looking Good in Leather
Okay, this is something that we can actually get on board with. Even in the 21st century, there’s nothing quite as fashionable as a trench coat for a cold or rainy day. The leather trench coat combined with red plaid underneath actually looks pretty fashionable.
Even as a couple’s outfit, as strange as matching outfits may seem, this is by far one of the least strange on the list since it’s basically a trenchcoat. With trendy fashion quirks like this one, maybe the ’70s weren’t so bad after all.
Togas – We Think
This odd hybrid of a short toga and a sweater vest makes for a very strange outfit, especially when it’s bright aquamarine and being worn by a smiling couple, which we bet must be cringing on the inside – we mean, who would be proud to go out in public dressed like this?
We wonder if there was some sort of bet that had been made among friends, and this was the couple that lost and had to wear something embarrassing for the remainder of the day. Or perhaps, the ’70s was just a really strange time for fashion.
King And Queen of the Jungle
If Tiger King fantasies are what keep you up late at night, then you and your partner may want to invest in a matching, silky set of leopard print pajamas. That might be just the perfect thing to spice up your relationship.
After all, what could scream power couple more than a delicate one-piece pajama ensemble to compliment your partner’s karate-style wrap bodysuit. With this matching set, everyone is sure to know that you are king and queen of the jungle.
This extract from a vintage 70’s magazine shows us four more bizarre his and hers sets, including some fun couple’s onesies. On the plus side, matching onesies means you can match your partner without the entire town knowing you are wearing them under an oversized coat.
Out of all three odd fashion trends on this extract, the vests are definitely the least problematic. For us, the oddest is the red matching suits that look like baby outfits- except they’re being worn by full-grown adults here.
Sometimes, bands like to synchronize outfits when they’re up on stage, giving their all into their music to create a sense of unity for the crowd. This odd foursome here includes two people wearing matching fits, but to us, they seem quite strange.
The yellow, red, and navy contrast with the browns and don’t really seem to hit the metaphorical fashion spot quite right. We can’t quite place our finger on it, but something just seems odd with their choice of fits and colors here.
A modern-style sailor?
This odd, white matching suit with a colorful belt is eerily similar to a sailor’s outfit – minus the sailor hats. We wonder if this couple planned on traveling, and if they did, were the other passengers confused as to why members of staff are playing shuffleboard?
Or perhaps this his and hers are better suited for the skies. But, the same question may be raised as to why the air host and hostess are napping with their earplugs in while the pilot talks people through landing.
Bright As The Sun
This odd, bright yellow couple’s outfit is definitely one that had heads turning at every corner, eyes scanning the odd hats, strangely fitting belts and even odder shoes. Sure, tie-legs are great for ladies, but we aren’t so sure of the man’s version.
We wonder if this couple were on their way to some sort of island retreat in their sunny-yellow matching ensembles and bright color sandals. Personally, we think that they should have stuck to pretty much anything else. But hey, each to their own.
If you’re a fan of hand-knitted things, then this vintage 70s matching outfit is just the thing you need for you and bae. Surprisingly, vintage-style knits are all the rage right now, and there are many small businesses selling crochet goodies online.
For those of you who aren’t into it – that’s fine, too! Not everyone has a fondness for crochet shirts or wearing something that matches their partner. We can’t disagree – the concept of these mandala-esque or floral centers is definitely an acquired taste.
What’s worse than a matching his and her outfit? Matching his and her SWIMWEAR! In this cringe-worthy, rainbow-striped range of his and her swimming costumes and attire, you would have been the couples of the summer in the ’70s.
But now, you probably would have been given a much less complimentary title. Perhaps it would be something along the lines of the strangest couple of the summer? Some things – including this outfit – are definitely best left in the past.
Strangely enough, this would probably be the perfect matching set of ugly sweaters to wear if you’re the type of couple who is inclined to take an annual Christmas card photo. You know the one that you send to everyone to show them how cute and happy you are?
Speaking of Christmas, this was probably the go-to Christmas gift for newlyweds in the ’70s. Perhaps the Christmas-crazed wives adored them, and their husbands just went along with it so that they could enjoy their Christmas feast in quietly.
The Stranger The Better
Another one on the list of strange 70’s fashion is this tight-fitting short-sleeved cardigan-like top. Of course, the belt makes it all the more 70s. We want to know where this man is planning on going with this look.
Maybe he’s an eccentric, fashion-forward young man whose passion in life is to wear every single trend that comes to light, even if it looks a bit silly. Or, perhaps he genuinely enjoys his look – each to their own, we suppose.
Rock That Poncho
Remember ponchos? They were super popular in the ’70s, and as we’ve seen from this list, so were matching outfits. These particular outfits revolve around matching, strangely patterned ponchos – and even poncho sweaters. This trend needs to stay hidden in the closet.
You don’t have to be from the wild, wild west to rock a western outfit with these ponchos. All you need now is a cowboy hat and boots, and you’re all set for that western-themed dress-up party that your sister is throwing for your 8-year-old nephew.
A Night On The Town
We think that this outfit could actually be pretty trendy. The black bell-bottom jumpsuit, the abstract-floral undershirt, and the man with his feathered hat are a LOOK. This one is a little eccentric, but perhaps that’s precisely the kind of couple that would rock it.
This ensemble would be perfect for a couple that wants everyone to know their exclusivity and dedication to one another. Perhaps it was used for a night on the town, dancing and enjoying a cocktail or at a fancy restaurant on date night.
Funnily enough, the outfit on the left where the woman is wearing green, and the man is wearing brown don’t really match. However, they are both wearing the same checkered pants that actually work. We aren’t sure when such an outfit would come in handy, but at least they aren’t wearing the exact same thing.
Unlike the couple on the right, who, guessing by the baseball bat in their possession, might be going to a game? Or perhaps, they’re planning on playing in a baseball match and need to wear matching clothes so they can be on the same team?
A New Way to Play
Apparently, these outfits were advertised as dressy sportswear or sports suits. We aren’t quite sure which particular sport or sports welcome tight-fitting suits as comfortable, but we are guessing it wasn’t anything that involved moving around a lot.
Perhaps the sport that this ad was referring to is chess? After all – it is not a very active sport for the body – but more for the mind. Or, more realistically, it was the perfect attire for the upper-class couples to wear at the country club or private golf estate.
These strange outfits look like some sort of wacky take on a doctor’s and nurse’s uniform. But, we doubt that was the intention. Judging by the “male” and “female” signs sewn onto the pockets of the navy outfits, this was a sad attempt at a cool his and hers outfit.
Both outfits would be great for a Doctor and nurse dress-up party for Halloween or a funky-themed Christmas party. However, unless you’re playing dress-up, these looks should probably stay in the ’70s and not make a debut out in public.
They say that orange and blue are often paired together in nature and that it brings a sense of stability and peacefulness to the human eye – and that’s probably why it’s such a popular color combination, especially in this era.
But when the fashion magazines of the ’70s and even the ones now spoke of such a unique color combo, they didn’t mean that couples turn it into a matching set of his and hers with alternate colors of the classic Hugh Hefner outfit.
Purple is Power
Okay, this sweater is actually kind of nice if you want our opinion. Purple is a powerful, charming, and elegant color. It’s popular among male and female trends. It is just a pity that they sort of resemble purple versions of matching family Christmas sweaters.
Although, it could have been a cute look for a couple who just got hitched or were about to get hitched and wanted some cute winter couple photos in their matching hand-knitted sweaters from grandma. If that were the case, that’s real cute.
Too Much Silk
In this masculine take of what the 70’s re-imagined Anthony and Cleopatra’s royalty choice of dress, it’s not hard to tell that these silk pajamas were a huge hit for men and women alike back in the Disco era.
We wonder if it had anything to do with the matching clothes trend or if the silk was simply really comfortable to sleep in. Perhaps it was a bit of both, or perhaps most people simply slept in their boxers despite what the magazines said.
The frills, the puffed sleeves, and the strangely collared shirts? This looks like the 70’s take on medieval times when Romeo and Juliet roamed the streets of Italy searching for a place to secretly meet. It reminds us so clearly of any era before the 70s, that’s for sure.
Perhaps the designer of this odd look was a fan of Shakespeare. If so, that makes complete sense. Or perhaps the gentlemen wearing the ensembles had a medieval fair to go to and wanted to look more like the part before attending.
Why the Chicken?
Here is yet another classic example of the strange fashion style of the 1970s. This oversized jersey is definitely… unique, that’s for sure. On the plus side, though, it does look like it could keep someone really warm in this cozy sweater.
This cardigan sort of looks like it was once meant to be a quilt. One thing is certain about this one – the man in the photograph truly believes that he looks fabulous! He’s ready to strut his stuff for any camera that passes by! By why in the world is he hold a chicken like that?
We Love America
These matching couples denim jackets with the star-spangled banner and colors of the American flag on the back with a deep blue denim at the front were definitely designed by someone who is extremely patriotic and loves the USA.
This look is definitely reserved for fellow patriots, proud Americans who want to show the world just how much they love their country and each other. In a weird sort of way, the jackets are sort of cute. Today, they would be a trendy vintage piece.
Rock n Roll
Apparently, there’s nothing quite like showing off to the world who your life partner is by wearing a matching rock-inspired outfit – especially if you are 70s babies, according to these odd rocker-style outfits. It looks like they are made for families.
Then again, the ’70s did bring us some of the greatest rock songs of all time, like Sweet Home Alabama, Another Brick in the Wall, and Free Bird. It does seem that some fashion trends follow the world of rock ‘n roll.
Another set of matching pant-suits, only this time the woman’s jacket is a strange combination of a sweater-vest and coat, while the man has a long-sleeved coat on. They also don’t have the same color shoes. We guess there had to be some distinction.
The look isn’t actually so bad – not compared to what we’ve seen. The strange part, however, is that the couple has been photographed walking on the beach. What we want to know is why anyone would want to wear a coat to the beach.
We aren’t quite sure whether these were intended to be his and hers pajama sets or something to be worn when going out for a casual dinner date – but we have to admit that these outfits look rather comfortable.
Perhaps they are meant to be used for travel attire when a happy couple has to sit on the bus for a few long hours and needs to be wearing something comfortable. This will certainly help with the long trip ahead.
Here’s another take on his and hers Christmas edition, only this time their inverted sweaters have hoods, too. Well, at least the hoods will be useful for light snow or rain and perfect for the chilly winter months. The design is also classic to this day.
They probably just sat in the closet for the other 364 days of the year, but hey, if you really wanted the best Christmas card out there, you should probably get yourself and your partner a set of these subtle sweaters.
The Office – But in the 70’s
Here’s another set of matching suits for the men and women that are probably working in a corporate office job where wearing your own clothes is deemed unprofessional. Rather, this workplace prefers suits even on the hottest days of the year.
We know that uniforms aren’t the best thing in the world, but on the plus side, these powerful-looking outfits will mean that the people in that workplace will be ready for meetings at any time of the day and be prepared to take you seriously.
Bell-bottom Jeans, Baby
In 2021, these colorful shirts and bell-bottom denim jeans would probably be quite popular for both men and women looking to spice up their wardrobe and wear more colorful, inviting clothes. If that’s the case, this outfit would definitely get the job done.
The difference is that in this day and age, his and her outfits are usually reserved for cute dress-up parties, engagement photo shoots, or matching pajama sets. People don’t really feel the need to wear matching outfits as much as they did in the ’70s.
Here’s another classic example of the strange looks that came straight out of the ’70s. These three look as if they’re about to compete in some sort of Dirty Dancing competition – or at least that’s what we think.
Another strange thing about this ad is that one of the men is wearing a builder’s hat, and we doubt that any of the three outfits in this photograph are really a good idea for anyone in the construction industry.
Live Long and Prosper
Okay, these two look as if they have just come from a Star Trek convention where they dressed up as members of the crew. Either that or they just stepped out of their trailers and are about to play their roles as extras in the TV show.
We wonder what it was that inspired this spacey look and if Star Trek was at all behind it. We also don’t see any zips on these tight-fitting jumpsuits. So, we can’t help but wonder if these two have to basically strip if they want to go to the bathroom.
This happy-looking couple is rocking their matching rustic bandana-printed flannels. There’s even a checkered shirt option for those who prefer it more. We have to admit, these shirts do look pretty fashionable, even now as a vintage piece.
The couple does sort of look as if they have just starred in a Western film or were perhaps attending a cowboy-themed party. But compared to some of the other outfits on this list, we’re willing to let the cowboy vibe slide if it means a semi-normal look.
Talk about “Sheeple”
This must be a photo that was used as the album cover for an alternative, indie-style rock band. They even made the sheep match their look. We wonder who would win in a “who wore it better” contest if this was submitted.
If it were up to us, the sheep would be the winners for sure. They look even more cozy and warm with their sweater-style wool painted with flannel designs. In fact, they actually look like they’re having a great time in the photograph.
Not So Fun Fare
This couple looks as if they are wearing a hybrid between an Olde English chimney sweep’s outfit and a denim lover’s dream. We aren’t hating this look, but it certainly doesn’t crack our list of top ten things to wear if we had to choose from this specific selection.
We wonder whether the couples who bought into this outfit really felt comfortable wearing it or if they simply wanted to fit into what the fashion magazines at the time were telling them what they should wear to be trendy.
This couple looks like the popular senior couple in high school who’s gone to the bowling alley after class in their school uniforms and only bought the milkshake for a cute couple’s photograph. If so, they definitely pulled it off.
She was once the most popular girl in school, and she’s probably grown up to be an angry mother of four, while he once played quarterback and was head boy and is now balding and barely moves from the couch.
We Made It Young
Who would have thought that even in the ’70s, knee-high socks and shorts still look terrible. Right? We sure did. The moment we saw this one we knew that it would definitely be one of the worst, so we had to include it.
These guys can’t really think that they look good, do they? They look like they made it in life young and then retired way too young and don’t actually care what they’re wearing because they live in a retirement village anyway.
The facial expression on the bartender’s face looks exactly how we feel with these two – unimpressed. Just look at how the guy wearing blue is leaning on the bar table like his friend. The best thing we’ve since sliced bread.
They both look a little bit silly. The guy in the yellow cardigan is definitely enjoying the attention that he’s getting from the guy in the blue cardigan. We wonder which of them will be picking up the tab tonight.
Volleyball in the 70’s Must Have Been Hard
These volleyball uniforms are the furthest thing from practical. The granny ponchos and sweatpants don’t look very easy to play any sport in, let alone one that involves a lot of jumping and arm movement. If this is just a prop, it’s quite odd.
It’s also rather odd that the material they chose looks like wool, which is also the furthest thing from comfortable when it comes to playing sport. Well, at least the two men standing have a better shot at actually hitting the ball, unlike the poor guy in the poncho.