How the Political Landscape Changed Fashion in the 1970s

The 1970s were a time of upheaval, change and increased freedoms for many. The sexual revolution, Vietnam War protests and women’s rights movements all had an impact on fashion in the 1970s. These changes are reflected in the fashion of the decade, from bell-bottom jeans to punk rock style and also led to some changes in the way that fashion was produced and marketed. If you love the fashion of the ’70s, you’ll want to read this article. It explains how the political landscape affected who wore what, where they bought clothes and which designers were influential at that time. So put on your best disco outfit and continue reading to discover more about how social changes shaped fashion in the ’70s.

What was the political climate in the 1970s?

The ’70s were a decade of many political changes. People were fed up with the corruption and war in Vietnam, which had lasted almost 10 years by the end of the decade. Protests were common, and even celebrities such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono supported the anti-war movement. The Women’s Rights Movement gained momentum during the ’70s, with many women fighting for equality in the workplace. As divorce rates increased, single mothers were often forced to take on full-time jobs to make ends meet. This meant that many women were forced to bring their children along to work with them. Employers responded to these protests by offering on-site child care.

Vietnam War Protests

The Vietnam War protests began in the late 1950s and continued throughout the ’70s. This war was controversial, and many people were angry about the large amount of money being spent on it and the high number of soldiers who were being killed. These protests often took the form of marches, many of which were organized by students. Most students were against the war, and many took part in the protests. These demonstrations often involved dressing in black, wearing certain symbols and carrying posters and signs with anti-war messages written on them. These protests had an influence on fashion in the ’70s.

The Sexual Revolution

The sexual revolution began in the 1960s, but it continued into the ’70s. During this time, there was a growing acceptance of premarital sex, a rise in the consumption of pornography, and an increase in the number of divorces. This was reflected in ’70s fashion. Women’s clothing was becoming increasingly revealing. Many people also started to experiment in the bedroom. Swinging became more common during this decade. The sexual revolution had an impact on fashion in the ’70s as well. There was a growing interest in fetish fashion, and many designers began to create clothing that fulfilled certain sexual fantasies.

Punk Rock and New Wave Music

Punk Rock and New Wave subcultures were popular in the ’70s, with the two scenes often overlapping. In the early days of punk rock, many of the most famous bands were British, and many of these groups had anarchist or anti-capitalist views. These bands often wore torn or ripped clothing, and they often had angry slogans written on their t-shirts or scrawled on their guitar cases. Many punk rockers also wore piercings in their ears, lips and noses. Punk rockers often wore black clothing with bright-colored accessories. New Wave music was influenced by ’60s retro. This created a different style that was more glamorous than punk rock. During this decade, many people who were interested in New Wave music began to dress in a retro or vintage style. This retro fashion trend was reflected in everything from the clothing worn to the hair that was popular at the time.

Changes to How We Buy Clothing

As the Women’s Rights Movement gained momentum, many people began to criticize the way in which clothing was being marketed. They thought that advertisements were emphasizing the wrong attributes and that many companies were exploiting women. Women’s Liberation groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) began to organize boycotts against companies that they felt were sexist. They demanded that companies stop using images that objectified women, such as the famous picture of a woman in a swimsuit with the caption “we want legs” written underneath.


The political climate of the 1970s had a great influence on fashion. Many people were fighting for change, and this was reflected in the way that they dressed. These groups often wore clothes that were black, colorful or had angry slogans written on them. These trends were also influenced by the sexual revolution, which was characterized by hedonism and exhibitionism. Fashion also changed as a result of the Women’s Rights Movement. Many people criticized the way that clothing was being marketed, and they organized boycotts against companies that they thought were sexist. As a result of these boycotts, companies started to change the way that they advertised their products.