Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

A Fresh Take on 70s Office Wear

Just yesterday, I was speaking with two young customers about my theory of “fashion echoes”. It goes something like this: I see the  70’s as an echo of the the 30’s  (draped fabrics and body skimming cuts) and the  80’s as an echo the 40’s (peplum waists and shoulder pads).

My customers began to ponder what the current era is echoing.  After some thought (because in troubling times my mind seeks lighter problems to solve), I think I have it.

In many ways, I see the modern era as a parallel to the 1970’s. The dramatic changes women are going through right now bring to mind the major shifts that happened then. So what women wore in the workplace in the 70’s looks fresh and on-point right now.

Here are two films that portray 70’s female trailblazers in the workplace through a modern lens.

First, there’s Dr. Wendy Carr from the Netflix series Mindhunters. I’d wear any of her 70’s chic outfits right now:

1970s fashion style

Silky button down blouses, trim A-line skirts and boots

Let’s see how Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham in The Post does 1970’s office wear:

1970s fashion style

Bow blouses, print dresses, big glasses

What we have here is a recipe for redefining feminine in a way that lets women look fabulous and actually function in the world. If you’re wondering what to wear to work while smashing the patriarchy, here is one template.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  1. An easy to wear print shirt dress or wrap dress
  2. A midi length a-line skirt that lets you take big strides
  3. A structured shoulder bag, not too big
  4. Stylish chunky heeled shoes you can walk in

1970s fashion style

Add in:

  1. A tailored blazer, double breasted or not
  2. A soft blouse,  maybe with a “pussy bow”
  3. High waisted trousers with wide legs
  4. Gold toned hoops

1970s fashion style

Great workwear, equally good in 1978 or 2018.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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