'70s Fashion Is All Over My Mood Board for Fall 2023

Clogs, leather pants, and fringe, oh my!

model wearing 70s fashion
(Image credit: Future)

I’ve typically leaned toward minimalist, ‘90s-inspired pieces, but I’ve been pulling from an earlier decade as of late—the ‘70s—and I’m not alone. Fashion from the 1970s has been popping up on television by way of Daisy Jones & The Six, as well as on the runways for Fall/Winter 2023. But it’s not all groovy prints and shaggy coats. So many of Fall 2023's fashion trends have to do with the softer, sweeter side of '70s fashion, and I'm obsessed. 

“The 1970s was one of the most radical eras in fashion history for a number of reasons,” says fashion historian and curator Michelle Tolini Finamore of the decade and its sartorial roots. “Although we like to think about history in decades, the seeds were sown in the 1960s for a cultural transformation that continued into the 1970s. The early 1970s styles were a bit of a holdover from the 1960s trends and in the later 1970s, minimalism and early disco started to take hold.” 

The flow from ‘60s minimalist style into the high-glam looks of the latter half of the decade made for an eclectic mix of pieces, many of which are trending now. Crochet and sheer lace pieces, both of which were popular during the early and mid-seventies, dominated during the spring and summer 2023 seasons. This sweeter appeal was also encapsulated in the modern rise of Cottagecore and romantic aesthetics. 

The softer side of '70s fashion is defined by feminine silhouettes and was referenced on the runways at Etro and Isabel Marant. Think: bohemian dresses paired with oversized cardigans with edgier boots. Boho dresses in particular have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few months on resale platforms. “Boho dresses have seen a tremendous 138 percent increase in searches since the start of the year,” says Steve Dool, Brand and Marketing Director at Depop. Similar rises have been seen with classically-1970s accessories like clogs, which Dool says have “have spiked 111 percent across the same timeframe,” as well as platform boots, which have increased in search by “14 percent n Q2 with a continuing trend upwards."

The fall and winter seasons also mark the apex of trendy denim. Luckily, many of the styles which have been popular this year—like low-rise jeans and flared jeans—are continuing to maintain their viral status for the fall and winter seasons. “Searches for “Bell bottom jeans” have increased by 71 percent and “low rise jeans” has increased by 53 percent,” Dool says. 

Ahead, we broke down our favorite ‘70s-inspired pieces by category. And take it from me, a self-proclaimed minimalist: These pieces are bound to work in any wardrobe. 

'70s-Inspired Pants and Skirts

I never realized how many of my pants and skirts are secretly '70s-inspired—I love leather pants and leather skirts, as well as flared jeans. Buy yours in neutral colors like latte brown—one of the fall's trendiest shades—for maximum wearability. 

'70s-Inspired Tops and Jackets

The onset of fall weather means that it's officially layering season. This time around, look for cropped cardigans, velvet fall jackets that have some major Sgt. Pepper flair, and tie-dyed tops for an extra-groovy edge. 

'70s-Inspired Dresses

When I think about '70s fashion, I think of glamorous silk halter dresses alongside bold prints with maximalist details like fringe. Channel iconic '70s designers like Halston this season by following suit on both fronts. 

'70s-Inspired Accessories

Look to textures like suede or leather if you're interested in incorporating something '70s-inspired into your fall wardrobe. Crossbody bags and woven bags were especially popular during the early and mid-'70s, for instance, and they've been wardrobe staples ever since. 

'70s-Inspired Shoes

Shoes during the '70s were eclectic, from the red and white sneakers that Farrah Fawcett made famous on her skateboard to a now-trendy clog (which looks very cute work with socks). Also popular were Western-inspired cowboy boots and heavy-duty moto boots, like ones from Frye often styled with more feminine dresses. 

Meet the Experts

Steve Dool, Brand and Marketing Director at Depop
Steve Dool

Steve Dool is Brand + Marketing Director at Depop, the peer-to-peer social marketplace specializing in fashion resale. In this role, Steve has been a part of Depop's efforts to encourage circularity and more responsible consumption, often in partnership with brands like Amex, Ralph Lauren, adidas, Netflix, HBO Max, Samsung, Ganni, Richard Quinn, Rodarte, PayPal, The BRIT Awards, Christopher Raeburn and Anna Sui, and with Depop's first large scale celebrity campaign partner, Megan Thee Stallion. Prior to joining Depop, Steve worked as a writer and editor, contributing to publications like T: The New York Times Style Magazine, GQ, Fashionista.com, Vanity Fair, Garage and CNN Style, among others. Steve was also the Style Editor at Complex, and is the author of How To Shine a Shoe: A Gentleman's Guide to Choosing, Wearing, and Caring for Top Shelf Styles (Penguin Random House, 2019). Steve has a BA in Communication from Boston College and a Master's of Science in Marketing from the London School of Economics. Hailing from New York, Steve currently resides in London.

Michelle Tolini Finamore
Michelle Tolini Finamore

Michelle Tolini Finamore, Ph.D., is Salem, Massachusetts-based fashion curator and historian who has curated exhibitions ranging from Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour (2022-3), Gender Bending Fashion (2019), #techstyle (2016), Think Pink (2014) and taught fashion, film and design history. She has lectured widely and written for both the scholarly and popular press and has a special interest in fashion in film. 

Julia Marzovilla
E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.