The 1970s and denim go hand in hand together like Jimmy Hendrix and a guitar, or Bianca Jagger and a white horse at Studio 54. From flares and double denim to skirts long and short the decade shifted denim from a Counterculture statement to a fast fashion must have. We take a look at some of our favourite 1970s denim fashion moments to help you get the perfect look online and in store.
Flares in any shape and form are synonymous with the 70s, starting life off as Naval bell-bottoms bought by the youth as a distinctive sign of a Counterculture lifestyle. The demand for these recycled Navy uniform trousers outweighed supply and those who wanted the look started to get creative by cutting open the side seams of straight legged jeans and adding extra panels of contrasting fabric.
Manufactures and stores quickly caught on to the DIY flared jeans, and it wasn’t long before a flared jean could be seen in every High Street window. From Farrah Fawcett to the teenagers on the street, flared jeans were the staple of 1970s denim fashion.
The Wrangler Jacket
Denim jackets can be attached to many eras but for the 70s must have it was the Wrangler Blue Bell 11MJ. Made famous by John Lennon it is near impossible to find a photo of Lennon in the 70s without his favourite piece of Wrangler denim.
The Denim Skirt
The denim skirt was born in the 70s as a way to recycle damaged denim in the awakening of the environmentally conscious consumer. They came in all lengths from a take on the 60s mini to the longer bohemian cut with raw hems, centre front o-ring zips and the humble patchwork.
Originally the staple of Cowboys and Miners of Gold Rush California, double denim much like the flare became a popular 70s trend. One of the many advocates of the double denim look was Sonny and Cher. Sonny, in fact, was the first man on television to ever wear denim. Denim came to symbolise a fresh all – American sexuality so the more denim, the better!
With so many 70s pieces in store and online, it is so easy to recreate your own 1970s denim fashion moment or mix and match with your own style. Perhaps try your own bit of DIY on the unloved denim in the back of your wardrobe to create that patchwork look. If we can recommend one thing though is to try double denim, it may change your life!
Words Hugo Harris
Everyone has a favourite pair of jeans, and the right ones will last you a lifetime. But sometimes you just want a change. We've got some simple DIY hacks to refresh your fave denim staples to give them an even longer life in your wardrobe.
How To Make A Raw Hem
Here’s a great trick for when your latest vintage jeans purchase is slightly too long or if you just want to show off your ankles this Summer, fixing your own hem is actually super simple!
First off, you’ll need:
- Your jeans
- Fabric scissors
- A tape measure
Before this, try on your jeans in the mirror and work out exactly how high you’re going to crop them. Measure the ideal length on one leg, making sure to make note of the number for the other side.
Using your trusty pins, attach both sides of the trouser together so that’s easier to trim. Be sure to make this a straight of a line as possible!
Snip, snip! See ya later excess material. A straight line across should be simple enough. The sharper the scissors, the better. After snipping away the ends of your jeans, you can design your own worn effect using sandpaper. This will give you that very trendy raw hem result.
Frayed Hem Jeans
Instead of cutting horizontally across the pinned line, try snipping vertically upwards to create a fringing effect. Wash on a short cycle on the lowest temperature and they’ll naturally create a super cute fray.
And here’s us thinking women's clothes didn’t have enough pockets. Often the colour underneath will be different from the rest of the jean, giving you a cute little statement zone.
A punk and grunge classic. We take no responsibility for any elders making stupid comments like ‘where are half your jeans gone?’ at family events though. It’s called fashion, look it up.
Find out more on making your denim your own with our guide on how to customize your denim!
Denim has been a staple in everyone’s wardrobes since the 60s! This classic workwear textile has been there with us throughout the fashion decades, resulting in the existence of a favourite pair of jeans, statement denim jacket or accessories such as hats or scrunchies (or if you’re brave - all of the above).
As seemingly everyone in the world is a lover of this comfortably cool material, the tried and tested best way to stand out from the crowd is through customisation. Here at Beyond Retro we love to show off a little creativity and rework a look, so here are a few helpful tips on how to transform your old denim from drab to fab.
Before playing around with your vintage denim, find out about it's story with our ultimate denim guide.
Customise Denim With Patches
Whether you’re into bands, cartoons or merely feel the need to make a statement; patches are one of the easiest ways to get custom images onto your clothes. They’re simple to apply, you just have to iron them on!
How to Acid Wash
To achieve this ultimate 90s effect, you’ll need to dilute some bleach in a spray bottle, squirting the areas you’d like to lighten. You’ll see the results almost immediately but remember to wash the jeans before you wear them!
How to do Embroidery
Maybe try practising on some scrap material first, or better yet, find somebody else to do it. All you need is a needle and embroidery thread and a cute design in mind and you're set to get to work customising your denim!
Inspired but have nothing to DIY yet? Discover some true vintage denim treasures online at Beyond Retro.
Words Hatti Rex