15 Iconic '70s Outfits I'm Recreating This Spring

Bold patterns and flares are back.

Originally Published: 
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Olivia Newton-John in a '70s outfit.

I'm not sure exactly what it is about '70s style that has me so intrigued. Perhaps it's the cool flared jeans that Farrah Fawcett effortlessly wore with her Nike Cortez sneakers. Or, maybe it's the sleek over-the-knee boots Diana Ross paired with adorable midi dresses. In fact, I've always found the era to resonate with my personal fashion taste. Therefore, I've decided to hone in on outfits from the '70s for spring styling inspiration.

Fortunately, with many '70s trends coming back onto the scene today, it's relatively simple to recreate iconic ensembles from prominent actors and models of the decade. For instance, my favorite piece from the '70s happens to be platform boots, which were beloved by style icons like Olivia Newton-John and Diane Von Furstenberg. As of late, the silhouette has been championed by brands like Versace, Simon Miller, Louis Vuitton, and Dries Van Noten and celebrities including Olivia Rodrigo and Florence Pugh.

And just like all the cool TikTok roller skaters, I'm loving groovy flared trousers (often worn in the ‘70s by model Beverly Johnson). This season, I'm planning on setting my sweats to the side and instead wearing these loose, roomy pants. And maybe I’ll throw on a brown leather jacket or blazer while I’m at it, because those iconic ‘70s pieces are all over TikTok these days, too.

To find all the other noteworthy '70s outfits I'm booking this spring, keep scrolling below. And consider watching Mahogany for further inspiration.

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Sweater Vest Season

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Sweater vests made an impressive return in 2021, and by the looks of it, the knit is only getting more popular. I'm loving Olivia Newton-John's cropped iteration that she wore over a sleek silk button-down. But instead of a skirt, I'll probably ground the look with a pair of straight-leg denim (or spandex shorts on any Zoom calls). For the ultimate ‘70s look, make sure to pair it with a billowy sleeved top.

Sharp Separates

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Spring is the perfect opportunity to swap out my black and brown jackets and trousers for tailored white separates. Like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, I'll accessorize the elevated ensemble with a silk scarf wrapped around my head, a simple tote, and oversized square sunglasses. Wearing all white is definitely a power move, but you do have to make sure you’re careful about not spilling your coffee if you go to a cafe.

Over-The-Knee Boots

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Diana Ross' look is ideal for any weekend brunch dates with my friends. Especially on those chilly spring afternoons, over-the-knee boots add extra warmth. You can choose a heeled pair like Ross is wearing or opt for a chunky heel — both are incredibly on-trend right now.

Feminine Staples

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Come spring, a floral mini dress is a must-have for me. However, rather than pairing it with sandals or sneakers like I normally do, I'm channeling model Jean Shrimpton by finishing off with a cute Mary Jane flat. Pairing ‘70s dresses with some socks or stockings will also keep me cozy depending on the weather.

Safari Cool

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I've been thinking about trying out a pair of bermuda shorts the past two summers, but never made the purchase. However, I think once the temperatures get in the 70s, I'm finally going to snag a pair for the ultimate easy ‘70s outfit. I adore how Catherine Deneuve made the shorts feel outdoorsy by coupling them with a khaki bucket hat and plain white tee. If I'm headed to Prospect Park, I'll likely slide on my Tevas. But if I'm looking to make the outfit a tad fancy, I'll opt for chic sandals like Deneuve.

Loose, Cozy Pieces

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For weekdays when I want to look cute yet comfy while I'm working from my couch, a long-sleeved tunic dress delivers the best of both worlds. On the weekends, I'm going to copy supermodel Iman and finish off with chic flip flops or heeled thong sandals. Iman even wore hers with a pair of linen pants beneath the dress, which is the ultimate cool factor if you can pull it off.

Add On A Belt

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To be honest, I'm rarely one to wear a belt. But recently, I've been fascinated with how influencers and celebs are styling blazers and jackets with the accessory on top. Now I'm convinced I need to try out the look myself, and plan on starting with Jane Birkin's dress and belt combo above.

Accessories On Top

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According to model Patti Hansen, wearing your accessories over your top is an easy styling trick to try out. I'm not one to wear a watch — however, I have a few simple gold bracelets I can slide on over my spring knits. I also have a cool Coach belt in my closet that I'm now itching to wear over my tops.

Trench Coat Weather

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As a New Yorker, a trench coat is essential to have in my arsenal year-round. To dress up the versatile jacket, I'll couple it with loose khaki or beige trousers and a feminine scarf. I also love the contrast of wearing colorful statement earrings with this outfit.

Cool Kicks

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While I have no intention of ever riding a skateboard (I'm naturally very clumsy), I'm eager to recreate Farrah Fawcett's iconic look. As it happens, I have flared jeans and Nike Cortez just waiting to be styled together. The next step is for me to style my hair to look like Fawcett’s signature feathered-out do.

Learn To Layer

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Layering is ideal when it comes to dressing for unpredictable spring weather. This season, I'm going to try a cool printed jumpsuit under a sleeveless wool jacket like model Deborah Dufour. If it happens to get warm out, you can take off the outerwear and still have a trendy look ready to go.

Suede On Suede

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I'm a huge fan of pairing together two pieces in the same material, such as leather or suede. After coming across this suede jacket and boot duo above, I have my eyes peeled for a pair of brown knee-high suede boots (like Staud's Wally Boot) that I can pair with my suede jacket. They also make for perfect layering pieces as a ‘70s skirt or dress look.

Chic Midi Skirts

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This spring, I'm making it my goal to wear more skirts. Styling-wise, I'm fond of how Shakira Caine paired her midi skirt with luxe leather knee-high boots and a simple ribbed top. It gives an air of sophistication while still remaining casual.

Lean On Cool Accessories

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I'm only 5'2", so I tend not to wear super flowy dresses as I feel they look too overwhelming on my petite frame. However, when belted, I'm confident I can pull off the silhouette. To complete the look, I'll throw on a '70s inspired circular pendant necklace.

Printed Pants

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Prints were a major part of ‘70s fashion. Printed pants, in particular, immediately liven up any look. For a more pared-back take on the funky bottoms, I'll wear a minimal shirt dress with them. And on those days when I'm craving a loud look, I'll opt for a fun patterned blouse.

Halter Top And High-Waisted Flares

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Pairing a cheeky halter crop top with some high-waisted denim flares, like ‘70s girl group The Three Degrees, is very in right now. Looking like the Euphoria girlies, much? When the sun comes out this spring, I’ll go for this look paired with some platform boots or heeled sandals.

Vest Over Flowy Blouse

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This outfit is peak ‘70s boho style in a way that can totally translate to today. I’d emulate it for the springtime by wearing a flowy pilgrim blouse under a vest. For an even more cohesive look, I’d try to match the vest with whatever bottoms I chose to wear, such as a patterned maxi skirt and statement belt.

Additional reporting by Claire Fox.

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