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10 Groovy Trends from the Flower Power Decade

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By Olivia Harlow
Some remember the 70s with a sweet nostalgia, in favor of its trending floral prints, flared bell-bottom jeans, and oversized floppy hats. Others look back and cringe, embarrassed by their once overpopulated closet of shoulder pads, tie-dyed T-shirts and paisley-print blouses. Regardless of one’s fondness or lack thereof, the decade was undoubtedly influential. And, of course, groovy. Known primarily for the hippie movement and the birth of glam rock (i.e. David Bowie), the 70s were a time of self-expression, empowerment and peace.

BIG HAIR

Helmet hair, chops, and the Farrah Mane, anyone? How bulgy can you make your head look with those luscious locks? How thick can you grow your sideburns? How voluminous can you get those curls? Remember, in the 70s, bigger was always better.

SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

They were all such a big deal, that the trio is actually a legitimate phrase. Known as a decade of experimentation, this was a time of shameless magic mushroom trips, marijuana overload, promiscuity, and head-banging rock.

THE VW VAN

Every wanderlust soul’s dream car, the Volkswagen “hippie van” was generally parked outside of rock shows and embellished in hundreds of bumper stickers. Whether the drive was road tripping through the West or concert hopping to all of The Beatles’ concerts, they sure knew how to travel in style.

JONI MITCHELL

Even though a person can’t exactly be a “trend”, Joni Mitchell might be the exception. The epitome of hippie chic, Mitchell’s tie-dye blouses, long wavy blond hair, bare feet and delicate tunes made her the ultimate poster girl of the decade.

PEACE SIGN

Protesting war, marching for women’s rights, and defending minority groups? The 70s are celebrated for movement forward. Historically and culturally profound, the peace sign became a common gesture—a symbol of unity and acceptance and a way of fighting for beliefs without violence. “Power to the People.”

DENIM EVERYTHING

Denim bell-bottoms, denim shirts, denim shorts, denim skorts, denim scarves, denim pants, denim jackets, denim headbands, denim EVERYTHING. Want to be extra cool? Sew patches into your jeans, add some dangly fringe from your sleeves, and embroider little butterflies into the stitching.

SHOULDER PADS

Since when did bra-stuffing become shoulder-stuffing? Blame the 70s. (Although, I guess shoulder-stuffing is actually better than bra stuffing, right?) Whatever the intent, poufy Hulk shoulders became a “look” in the 70s. The new go-to became a sequin blazer with shoulder pads, paired with corduroy pants and platforms, of course.

PRINTS

Paisley and flowers and stripes, oh my! Vibrant, asymmetric designs pretty much define the 70s. Whether it was a chevron-striped dress—comprised of horizontal, vertical and diagonal strips—a pile of layered zigzags and squirrely circles, or bright orange and yellow daisies, an outfit dominated with prints was always 10/10. Especially if it was a wrap dress!

BELL-BOTTOMS

Representing the relaxed, easy-going hippie vibe, bell-bottoms ended up the era’s mainstream fashion trend—in demand by both men and women. Men would match polyester bells with checkered suit jackets and electric-hued shirts, while women paired tight-fitting flares with platform shoes and flowing blouses.

TIE-DYE

Unpredictable, eclectic swirls of color compose the tie-dyed shirt. (Unfortunately the ones around today are generally purchased from department stores, not handmade at home. Back in the day, if you wanted tie-dye, you’d twist a plain shirt into a mess of knots and wrap it in rubber bands before dunking it into a soupy bowl of brightly colored dyes.) Throw on your tie-dye, waltz around the grass barefoot, and sing alongside a guitar. Yep, you’re officially a Flower Child. So, there you have it. Are you ready to relive all of your favorite photos and videos from the 70s. It’s time for Mom to show off those beloved rainbow-embroidered bell-bottoms and for Dad to reveal his coveted chops and helmet full of hair!
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