Shoes and Accessories Styles in the Seventies

In the 1970s, hippie style and glam rock dominated. Women wore bell-bottom pants, flowing maxi skirts, and lots of fringe. Platform shoes were popular with both men and women; they came in almost every style, from boots to sandals to sneakers. In fact, Vans-the brand that is still famous today for their classic skate shoes-originated in the seventies. And while platforms may not be as popular today as they once were, there are still a few brands out there producing variations on the old themes. In terms of accessories trends in the seventies, you’ll find plenty of paisley prints, fringed bags, and American-Indian inspired accessories like headbands and wristbands. There was also an up-and-coming accessory trend called millinery which has been around for centuries but was made famous again by designers like Stephen Cox and Stephen Jones in this era.

Shoes in the Seventies

The seventies is when we first started seeing a real influx of different types of footwear. In fact, back then the only type of shoe you could find easily was a pair of sneakers. Every other type of footwear (like the moccasin, clog, or sandal) came from the ethnic market and was used mostly by medical professionals and lab workers. But in the seventies, brands like Vans, Adidas, and Nike started designing and mass-producing a whole host of different types of footwear. We saw the advent of the casual sandal, the clog, the hiking boot, the athletic shoe, and the skateboard shoe. Brands like Birkenstock, Dr Martens, Timberland, and the ever-iconic Converse really became household names in this decade. And, in addition to the many brands that were established in the 70s, there were a few iconic shoe designs that were created in the seventies. You might recognize the "Pendleton" sneaker from the 70s, for example, as popularized by the likes of New York Yankees pitcher, Goose Gossage. Or, you might remember the "Ford Mustang" from the 70s, which originated from designer, George J. Dum. These two shoe designs were best-in-class but didn't become popular until the ‘90s.

The seventies were all about the natural look. This was a huge departure from the outrageous look of the sixties, which had been all about glamour and glitz. Women’s fashion in the seventies was all about earth tones and simple silhouettes. Bell-bottom pants and maxi skirts were very popular in the seventies, and they were usually paired with a loose-fitting top. Long hair and natural makeup were also very trendy. Another trend in women’s shoes from the seventies is that the wedge heel was very popular. The more the heel looked like it was constructed from a single block of wood, the better. These wooden wedges were often extremely high, with some models topping out at 10 inches (25 cm) or more.

The seventies were all about “the cleaner the better.” This meant that men’s fashion in the seventies was all about keeping things as simple as possible. Men wore plain, unadorned shirts that were often button-down and were paired with straight-leg pants. Men’s shoes in the seventies were characterized by white, clean-looking tennis shoes. And they often wore a pair of hiking boots or boat shoes, too. A lot of seventies men’s fashion is characterized by its “All American” feel.

Decor and Paisley Prints in the 70s

One of the most iconic design trends in the seventies was the incorporation of paisley prints. Paisley designs have been around since the 16th century, and they were originally used to decorate fabrics. But in the seventies, paisley designs were everywhere: from wallpaper to bedspreads to clothing. Paisley designs were very low-key, with muted colors and a small, intricate pattern. They were a great way to add a subtle, sophisticated design to your home. Paisley designs were particularly popular in the seventies. You could find them in everything from furniture to rugs to tablecloths. Paisley designs were very versatile and were used in a wide range of styles, from rustic to modern.

Fringed Bags in the 70-80s

Fringed bags were a huge trend in the seventies. While most of the seventies fashion trends tended to be woodsy and natural, fringed bags had a very different feel. These bags were often made of leather, and they had a very “Hollywood” look to them. They were usually very ornate and featured an abundance of fringe around the edges.


Throughout the decades, the clothing, footwear, and accessories worn by people have reflected their culture and times. Trends come and go, but many of them make subtle comebacks every now and then. If you’re interested in exploring the history of fashion, you can get started by checking out vintage clothing. Vintage items are often very affordable and make for a great conversation piece. You can also check out vintage magazines to get a feel for how fashion has evolved over the decades.