Fashion in the 1970s was about individuality. Popular early 1970s fashions for women included Tie dye shirts, Mexican ‘peasant’ blouses, folk-embroidered Hungarian blouses, ponchos, capes, and military surplusclothing. Bottom attire for women during this time included bell-bottoms, gauchos, frayed jeans, midi skirts, and ankle-length maxi dresses.
In the mid 1970s the fashion was generally informal and laid back. Most men simply wore jeans, sweaters, and T-shirts, which by then were being made with more elaborate designs. Men continued to wear flannel, and the Leisure suit became increasingly popular from 1975 onwards, often worn with gold medallions and oxford shoes. Vintage clothing, khaki chinos, workmens clothes, sweatshirts, leather coats, and all-denim outfits were also desired among young men. Other trends include printed shirts, zip-up cardigans, western shirts marketed to capitalise on the nostalgia for 1950s fashion, Birkenstocks, mood rings, and raincoats.
1980s fashion placed heavy emphasis on expensive clothes and fashion accessories. Apparel tended to be very bright and vivid in appearance. Women expressed an image of wealth and success through shiny costume jewellery, such as large faux-gold earrings, pearl necklaces, and clothing covered with sequins and diamonds. Punk fashion began as a reaction against both the hippie movement of the past decades and the materialist values of the current decade.
The first half of the decade was relatively tame in comparison to the second half, which is when the iconic 1980s color scheme had come into popularity.
In the early 1980s, fashion had moved away from the unkempt hippie look and overdressed disco style of the late 1970s. Athletic clothes were more popular than jeans during this period, as were more subdued colors. Popular colors were black, white, indigo, forest green, burgundy, and different shades of browns, tans, and oranges. Velour, velvet, and polyester were popular fabrics used in clothes, especially button-up and v-neck shirts. Looser pants remained popular during this time, being fairly wide but straight, and tighter shirts were especially popular, sometimes in a cropped athletic style. The general public, at this time, wanted to wear low-maintenance clothing with more basic colors, as the global recession going on at the time kept extravagant clothes out of reach. Also worn were striped tube socks sometimes worn with the top folded over worn with shorts. It was not uncommon to see parents especially fathers wearing these along with their kids.
Information about each decade was found at Wikipedia. Photo credits: unknown.