Retro Regrets: The Worst Fashion Trends from the 1970s We'd Rather ForgetThe 1970s, an era of bold fashion and unapologetic expression, gifted us with a whirlwind of unique styles that sometimes missed the mark.

From shimmering vinyl jumpsuits to ultra-wide-legged pants, these fashion choices remind us of a time when daring experimentation took center stage.

Imagine the disco dance floors with partygoers decked out in vinyl jumpsuits that looked like they came straight from a sci-fi movie.

Despite their eye-catching allure, these glossy ensembles often left wearers feeling like they were wrapped in a sweaty cocoon.

Strolling through the streets, wide-collar shirts demanded attention with their exaggerated flair. These collars were so expansive they bordered on comical, taking self-expression to a whole new level.

In the quest for bold masculinity, visible chest hair peeking out from unbuttoned shirts became an unexpected accessory.

Heading to the beach, the daring cutout swimsuits promised to elevate swimwear to new heights of chicness. However, their strategic gaps left wearers with unconventional tan lines that turned sunbathing into a geometric art project.

Last but not least, the era’s ultra-wide-legged pants allowed wearers to stride with freedom. However, their roominess gave off more of a moonwalking vibe than practicality.

The 1970s’ fashion choices were undoubtedly audacious, representing an era of fearless experimentation.

While some trends may make us raise an amused eyebrow today, they remain a testament to the vibrant spirit of self-expression that defines the ever-evolving world of style.

Vinyl Jumpsuits

worst fashion trends of the 1970sSure, these looked “futuristic,” but it must’ve made folks feel unbearably warm. And if you had to go to the bathroom? Forget about it.

Vinyl jumpsuits were all the rage, with their slick and futuristic appearance. Unfortunately, wearing one felt like being wrapped in a sauna suit, resulting in more sweaty regrets than style points.


worst fashion trends of the 1970sOh, bellbottoms. While they stayed popular from the 1960s through the 1970s and made another comeback the 1990s, they are nevertheless one of the most controversial fashion trends ever.

Wide-Collar Shirts

worst fashion trends of the 1970sA great suit flatters any physique, but the super-large collars men rocked in the 1970s looked a little more costume-y than chic.

Wide-collar shirts adorned the chests of fashion-forward individuals, but looking back, they seemed better suited for a ’70s-themed costume party than everyday wear.

Chest Hair

worst fashion trends of the 1970sThe wide-collar shirt was only a means to an end: The reveal of chest hair. So much chest hair.

The style was embraced by many male celebrities of the era, but let’s just say it’s an aesthetic best left to the confident hearts of the 1970s.

Cutout Swimsuits

worst fashion trends of the 1970sYes, the 1970s beach scene involved way too much dangerous tanning (and tanning oil, eek!).

It also featured lots of cutout suits that undoubtedly left some, ahem, unconventional tan lines.

Shiny Shirts

worst fashion trends of the 1970sWe’ll always love you, John Travolta, but there just aren’t a whole lot of times when a shiny shirt is a good idea. For example, any time you aren’t figure skating in the Olympics.

Patterned Gowns

worst fashion trends of the 1970sAs pretty as these patterns are, the bell sleeves and full-length hemline can make you look like you’re wearing a giant pillow case.

Double Denim

worst fashion trends of the 1970sA great pair of jeans? Yes. A denim jacket? Absolutely, yes! Double denim? Double nooooo.

The “Canadian tuxedo” (plus a satin shirt revealing tons of chest hair) just isn’t a good look.

Knee-High Socks

worst fashion trends of the 1970sWith the advent of the miniskirt came the rise (literally) of knee-high socks. As cute as the patterns may be, they can nevertheless make you look like a schoolgirl — no matter your age.

Space Dresses

worst fashion trends of the 1970sWhile they weren’t quite as wild as their 1960s counterparts, this type of futuristic garb remained popular in the 1970s, leading to tons of all-white ensembles that undoubtedly required so much bleach.

Studded Belts

worst fashion trends of the 1970sInitially worn by punk rockers of the 1970s and later adopted by Hot Topic-loving teenagers in the 2000s, the studded belt has always been an odd accessory.

Doesn’t it catch on everything? Isn’t it at least a little unpleasant when you put your arms at your sides? We have so many questions.

Ultra Wide-Legged Pants

worst fashion trends of the 1970sThe big sister of the bellbottom, these pants looked pretty, but were so very impractical.

All that fabric scraping the ground, collecting dust and dirt as you trip over your feet? No, thank you.

Stripes, Stripes, Stripes

worst fashion trends of the 1970sWe get it, 1970s: You loved stripes. As cute as this pattern can be, the fact that so many folks wore them from head to toe was a little much.

Tied Tops

worst fashion trends of the 1970sAs much as we love Cher, tied tops just look like bikini-shirt hybrids.

Authentic Fur

worst fashion trends of the 1970sAs glamorous as fur looked on the rich and famous in the 1970s, it’s a cruel and outdated practice. Thankfully, nowadays you can wear this trend in faux materials — all with a clear conscience.

(Credit: Sam Escobar via Good Housekeeping / Wikimedia Commons / Pinterest).