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70s Fads: A Flashback to the Era’s Iconic Trends

The 1970s were a vibrant decade marked by bold expressions of style and culture, a time when the world seemed to spin on the glittering ball of disco. As you immerse yourself in the nostalgia of Earth Shoes and paisley patterns, you’ll find the 70s were about more than just the music. The era brought about a medley of fads that defined a generation eager to explore the boundaries of fashion and self-expression.

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Picture yourself strutting down the street with platform shoes, the clack of the wooden soles echoing with each step, perhaps paired with the bell-bottom jeans that were all the rage. Or maybe envision joining the crowds gyrating to the tunes of The Village People, Donna Summer, and the Bee Gees. The decade was a treasure trove of trends that ranged from the quirky to the quintessential, many of which continue to influence the way you dress, decorate, and unwind today.

Your world became technicolor and funky, with trends that stretched beyond the wardrobe. Self-help was on the rise, culminating in phenomena like EST Therapy, reflecting a decade’s pursuit of personal growth and spiritual fulfillment. These fads weren’t merely passing whims; they illustrated your societal shifts and the collective yearning for freedom, comfort, and a splash of glamour.

Popular Culture and Music

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In the 1970s, music transformed, embracing new forms that dictated fashion and leisure. Your memories or impressions of the era might be colored by the disco phenomenon, the rise of iconic music groups, and the significant changes in how people listened to music, with vinyl records and cassette tapes becoming staples in every music lover’s collection.

Disco Fever

Disco music became synonymous with the 1970s, offering a driving beat that filled dance floors. Artists like Donna Summer led the charge with hits that became the soundtrack to your Saturday nights. Disco was more than just music; it was an experience, a culture that boasted shimmering disco balls, loud outfits, and unmistakable dance moves.

Iconic Music Groups

During this decade, several music groups left their mark on the world. ABBA, hailing from Sweden, churned out a string of hits that still resonate today. Their infectious melodies and harmonies exemplified the Euro-pop sound of the era, making them a global phenomenon. Groups like The BeeGees also defined the decade with their falsetto-laden tracks, perfectly complementing the disco scene.

Evolution of Music Media

Your experience of music was ever-changing during the ’70s due to advancements in music media. Vinyl records had their golden age, providing rich, warm sounds that many still cherish today. But as the decade progressed, cassette tapes gained popularity. They offered a new level of portability, allowing you to take your tunes with you or even make your own compilations—forever changing the mixtape game.

Fashion Trends

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In the 1970s, you saw an eclectic mix of trends from bell bottoms to daisy dukes, and the materials used were just as diverse, with polyester at the forefront.


You couldn’t walk down the street in the 70s without spotting polyester. This was the fabric of the decade, known for its durability and often used in the creation of leisure suits, which were a staple for both men and women. These suits were great for a trip to the disco or just an everyday stylish look.

  • Bell Bottoms: These flared pants weren’t just a statement; they became a symbol of the era.

  • Daisy Dukes: Known for their very short cut, these denim shorts took their name from a popular TV show character and were all about freedom and comfort.


The 70s were also a time to shine when it came to accessories.

  • Platform Shoes: Often paired with bell bottoms, these shoes gave you height and an unmistakable presence.

  • Puka Shells: This beachy necklace complemented the casual, free-spirited fashion of the time.

Your hair was as much an accessory as your jewelry, embracing styles like the feathered hair look, made popular by celebrities, and the afro, which was both a stylish and cultural statement.

Toys and Entertainment

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In the 1970s, you could bring the excitement of arcades right into your living room or gather around for a sci-fi adventure with the newest action figures. This era saw revolutionary shifts in how you enjoyed your leisure time, from digital gaming breakthroughs to collectible crazes.

Home Entertainment

Your home entertainment was forever changed in the 1970s with the introduction of Pong. This simple table tennis simulation game became wildly popular as one of the earliest arcade video games. As Pong‘s popularity soared, it opened the door for home consoles, paving the way for the Atari systems. These consoles brought the variety of the arcade into the comfort of your own home.

The ’70s also had its share of cult-classic media, with films like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. You could often find fans gathering for midnight showings, where the line between audience and performer blurred in an interactive mishmash of screening and live performance.

As for communication, CB radios became a foundational part of the decade’s culture. Unlike today’s smartphones, they offered you a novel way to stay connected, whether you were a trucker coordinating on the highway or a child playing spy in the backyard.


The ’70s saw a boom in collectibles that you’d love to have and trade. Perhaps the most iconic were the Star Wars action figures. Launched in conjunction with the epic space opera, these figures weren’t just toys; they became a cornerstone of ’70s pop culture and a must-have for any fan.

Not to forget mood rings, which allowed you to “see” your feelings change color right on your finger. Though not scientifically accurate, they were a fun, pseudo-scientific accessory.

And then there were Wizzers, the top-like toys that you’d battle against each other. Simple yet fascinating, they were part of the decade’s spin on traditional playthings.

Toys in the ’70s were more than just playthings; they reflected your personality and became a form of social currency for showing off your interests and tastes.

Lifestyle and Social Trends

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The 1970s saw a remarkable shift in how you spent your leisure time and took care of yourself. Exciting new recreational activities became popular, and health and beauty trends saw a significant evolution.

Recreational Activities

During the 1970s, you might have tried to ride a moped as a trendy and economical way to get around town. These lightweight motorbikes became synonymous with a sense of freedom and adventure. Leisure time also saw an uptick in unconventional activities like streaking, where individuals ran nude in public, sparking both controversy and amusement.

Health and Beauty

The decade introduced est therapy, an intense psychotherapy method that encouraged you to experience life more fully. In the realm of beauty, products like the shampoo ‘Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific‘ not only had an enticing name but promised to leave your hair with an unforgettable fragrance, becoming a household staple.

Technological Advances

The 1970s marked a significant period where technology began to seep into the fabric of everyday life, bringing new forms of entertainment and communication into your home and onto the road.

Video Game Popularity

The video game revolution of the ’70s introduced you to a new world of digital entertainment, notably with the arrival of Pong. In 1972, this simple table tennis arcade game became a cultural phenomenon, laying the groundwork for the video game industry you’re familiar with today. This paved the way for a multitude of games that would keep you and your friends entertained for hours.

Communication Devices

During the ’70s, your car wasn’t just a means of travel—it became a hub of communication with the advent of the CB radio. Initially utilized by truckers, citizens band radio quickly turned into a craze, allowing you to chat with others on the road. In addition, the 8-track tape player found its way into many Trans Am automobiles of the time, letting you enjoy your tunes with a quality that was unmatched by previous car radios. These devices were not just about function, but also style and personality on the go.

Novelties and Oddities

In the tapestry of the ’70s, pet rocks emerged as a whimsical trend. Imagine, you didn’t need to walk them, feed them, or clean up after them, yet they offered a bizarre sense of companionship – a true oddity of the decade.

But the quirks didn’t stop there. You might have seen a dashboard hula girl swaying to the rhythm of a car’s movement, an adornment that added a touch of tropical whimsy to any ride.

Here’s a quick look at some of the other peculiar items from the ’70s:

  • Cork Pop Guns: Safe for kids and an endless source of fun, these toys could pop repeatedly, much to the delight of children and the chagrin of parents seeking quiet.
  • Earth Shoes: Characterized by their unique soles that were lower at the heel than the toe, these shoes claimed to promote natural posture.
  • Mexican Jumping Beans: A peculiar “toy”, these beans would twitch and hop in your hand, captivating your attention and curiosity.
  • Short Shorts: Not just for the athletes, these wardrobe staples made their way into everyday fashion, shorter than you might imagine today.

And let’s not forget the cultural phenomenon of The Happy Days. This TV show not only entertained you with a throwback to the ’50s, but also played a part in reviving vintage styles and introducing nostalgia into fashion and attitudes of the time.

From inanimate pet companions to the retro-inspired trends and quirky gadgets, you experienced a time that was all about embracing the unconventional with a smile.