40 Years on: Fashion in the 1970s
As we commemorate 40 years since the 1976 Soweto Uprising, we have decided to build a small capsule that looks back at the time.
It’s always painful looking back into our history because it is marred with stretches of time where most of the population was under subjugation. However, we have decided to look back to those moments of exhale and humanity. Moments that, while the country was unlivable, created small pockets of comfort. That is what we are looking back on.
First up, is the fashion.
The important thing about the 1970s is that black love and self-acceptable was the guiding method of resistance. From black consciousness to the black power movement in the United States, activists were saying “black is beautiful!”. This time was marked by black hair worn proud and big. Expression and enhancement of blackness played a big role in the fashion and beauty of the period.
So, what were the people wearing?
Bell-bottoms and mini skirts
Bell bottoms found popularity in both women and men’s fashion. The women were equally likely to be found wearing either trousers with the widest legs or a good mini skirt. The silhouettes of the decade leaned on the tailored and slim side of things.
Tight tops and coats
1970s style icons call to mind images of the likes of Jimi Hendrix in his fitted shirts. Another big component was the coat, or long jacket often in the form of a black leather jacket.
Platforms and berets
A lot of the fashion in the 1970s decade could be called “unisex” During this period; men wore heels as high as those worn by the women. Everyone made the platform look good. Be it a brightly coloured suede platform boot or a simple black one, everyone stood tall.
The same applied to berets, which everyone wore as a fashion statements. Often the berets would have a badge with a slogan or political statement.
1970s fashion is currently experiencing a renaissance in popular fashion trends. It wouldn’t be to hard for you to recreate the look today if you wished.
Share with us your family’s 1970s style moments on Facebook!
Coming up from our time capsule is the culture