Terrible 1970s Trends We Hope Never Come Back
There are many things to love about the 1970s: the Bee Gees, roller-skating, Farrah Fawcett, skateboarding, Wonder Woman and gay rights, to name a few. But not everything was a hit.
While the decade wasn't as over-the-top funky as the '60s or as responsible for horrible fashion crimes as the '80s, some ideas failed. From vinyl jumpsuits to waterbeds, these are the 1970s trends we hope never make a comeback.
30. Saying 'Peace, Love and Granola'
We get it. People in the 1970s were still riding on the high of the Summer of Love in '67, but this is just too crunchy.
Maybe the "peace and love" part would've been OK, but did the "granola" have to be included?
29. Or 'Jeepers Creepers'
People who grew up watching "Scooby-Doo" after the 1970s think the characters say "jeepers creepers" to be funny. But those who used the term unironically know all too well the term was once actually cool. Kids in the 1970s also used to say "freaky deaky" when something was weird.
That being said, there are some sayings of the '70s we wish had survived. We'd love to tell people to "stop dipping in our Kool-Aid" when they're being nosey.
28. The AMC Pacer
Known as one of the ugliest and least popular cars in history, the AMC Pacer looked like a half fishbowl. We'll give it points for trying to do something different, but it's also an example of how original isn't always better.
The reason this horrid car doesn't place higher on the list is that the 1973 oil crisis didn't leave people with much of a choice. They were forced to buy smaller cars, even if they were this ugly.
27. Shagged, Feathered Hair
As Farrah Fawcett proves, feathered hair can look gorgeous. The problem isn't so much the style itself, but that it doesn't suit everyone. Many people in the '70s did not realize this until hindsight gave them clarity.
Even members of the legendary band, Queen, were victims of this fashion mishap.
26. Leisure Suits
Men — and, increasingly, women — in the 1970s hardly ever left the house without a fashionable suit on. Since disco was all the rage and going out to dance was the thing to do, suits became multifaceted pieces that could be used for work and leisure.
The idea isn't bad and leisure suits aren't the worst thing to be invented in fashion history, but they also didn't age too well. Bright colors and funky patterns might have had a lot to do with this.
As with feathered hair, there's nothing wrong with vests per se. Styled correctly, they can look very good.
But the 1970s went a bit too hard with things, and vests became so common, we're sure people had to have nightmares about giant vests running after them in the streets.
If the decade had just dialed it down a tiny bit, vests might've been one of the best things of the 1970s.
24. Double Denim
This highly controversial fashion choice refuses to die, coming back in the early 2000s and in the early 2020s (as proof that style is cyclical).
Still, we'll stick to our opinion, even if the fashionably challenged aren't happy to hear it. Double denim has never been, nor will it ever be, a good idea.
The only exception is if you're wearing black denim, not regular denim. Then we'll give you the green light.
23. Studded Belts
Another 1970s style that teens copied in the 2000s was studded belts, and they show you don't have to conform to the norm.
Maybe when they originally came out they actually made a statement, but, today, they just give off the air of whiny teenagers who like to pretend they are misunderstood. If it was once sold in Hot Topic, we'll tell you right now it isn't edgy.
22. Head to Toe Stripes
Once again, the 1970s took a good thing and did not know where to stop.
Stripes are a cute style that will never fully go out of style. They also help to visually elongate or widen the body, so they have practical uses.
But that does not mean we need stripes upon stripes upon stripes. Some people wore striped jumpsuits that made them look like candy canes. Others wore different types of stripes on every piece of clothing. The result was a visual attack on the senses that was bad enough to give you a headache.
21. Plaid Everything
The same goes with plaid, a timeless pattern that has survived the test of time for its versatility.
But don't wear a plaid shirt under a plaid jacket and combine it with plaid pants and a plaid hat. If we ever manage to send messages back in time, let's make sure we write one to the seventies with a single word: "Enough."
20. Belted Knit Sweaters
There is a variation of this style that has a loose-knit belt you can tie around a sweater. This is the cute style that has survived until now, becoming an expected part of cardigans.
And then there is its twin style, the one that has been buried deep in the subconscious of people unfortunate enough to see it with their own eyes. It involved knitting multiple looks around the sweater and then looping a permanent belt into it. For some reason, it just doesn't work.
Please enjoy this Twitter thread to see more of this horrible style.
19. Platform Shoes
The most impractical shoe style that refuses to die is one you will always regret wearing.
First of all, no matter what the current trends have brainwashed you to think, platform shoes don't look good. Second of all, they are uncomfortable and make you more prone to accidents.
The clunky, awkward shoes are living through a resurgence in the early 2020s, as they did in the 1990s. We hope this time, the collective hysteria is short-lived.
18. Ultra Wide Bell-Bottoms
Yes, we're going to say it again because it must be said: Why take a good thing to the extreme? Why, 1970s?
Wide-legged pants can definitely look good, but not when it looks like you could find the entire Barnum and Bailey circus underneath it.
17. Funky Patterns
A leftover from the 1960s, patterns in the 1970s were a bit calmer than in the previous decade and would prove to be in much better taste than the ridiculous styles of the 1980s. We'll even admit that some patterns, like the iconic earth-toned swirls, are gorgeous.
Still, many patterns just don't make the mark, especially when people dressed head to toe in them. Maybe if these patterns had been worn just at the top or just at the bottom, it would have been OK, but the 1970s really were not a time about limits.
16. Extra-Wide Collars
Speaking of limits, guess what else got the "bigger is better" treatment? Yes, even collars fell victim to this unnecessary mentality and go elongated to the point of being comical.
Pair the extra-wide collar with extra-wide bell-bottoms, and you got yourself a mix that'll make generations of people say "jeepers creepers."
15. And Extra-Wide Ties
Wow, we're still not done complaining about extra-wide everything. It's not our fault the decade ruined many a good thing like this.
Not happy to have collars and pants and shoes be unnecessarily big, the '70s also widened ties. People happily walked around looking like literal clowns.
The 1970s didn't popularize sideburns, but they did place them on steroids that made even the King of Rock himself look somewhat absurd.
Sideburns grew so much during this time, pictures have people looking like they have a small mouse growing on their face.
It's not a flattering look.
13. Chest Hair on Full Display
Though androgyny was popular in the 1970s as gender norms were being questioned, there were also certain trends that sought to exalt masculinity. One of them was showing off your hairy chest.
There was nothing sexier in this decade than a man who struggled to button his very tight shirt over his hairy chest. We can't say that the fascination has survived, so the trend is not seen in present times with kind eyes.
12. Shaggin' Wagons
The sexual revolution changed how people, especially teens, approached sex. Cars provided a way to experiment away from home, which is cool and all, but did they really have to name them "shaggin' wagons"?
As if the name weren't bad enough, the vans were usually decorated with tacky patterns that gave them the feeling of being a motel on wheels.
Well, we guess that's literally what they were, but did they have to feel like that?
11. Matching Couples Dresses
We love seeing androgeny translate into men and women wearing similar outfits without people batting an eye. What we don't love is that this often meant that people shopped for "his and hers" matching outfits with their partners.
Can you think of something cheesier than walking around the world purposefully matching your partner from head to toe? What a weird way to mark your territory.
10. Shiny Polyester Fabric
Not all that shines is gold and never has this been truer than in the 1970s. Cheap polyester fabric made people shine like the human equivalent of plastic earrings.
We get that this fabric was innovative for its time, but we hope it stayed in the 20th century.
9. Colorful Leggings
Another carryover from the 1960s, this style was very popular in the early '70s, though it became less common in the middle of the decade. Of course, it would later be revived in the 1980s with even brighter neon colors.
We know many people love this, but we simply can't get behind it, especially when it complements a shirt or sweater of the same color.
It's just too much.
8. Pop Tops Clothing
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, which shows that the people of this decade cared greatly about environmental awareness. Sometimes, this goodwill did not have the best results.
Pop toppers became an environmental issue, littering streets and water sources as people threw their cans away. As a solution, a whole movement was started that called for upcycling them by making them into clothes.
We love the idea, but it does not work at all. At best, it looks like a Halloween costume. At worst, it was really uncomfortable.
However, the idea did not fail. Today, you'll find that it's evolved into beautiful art pieces that can be used to decorate homes, or as fashion accessories like purses that actually look good.
7. Commercialization of Disco
In the beginning, disco was a subgenre that was inherently nonwhite and counterculture. It became popular first in the Latino and Black clubs, where people enjoyed dancing because they, you know, actually loved life.
Eventually, disco supplanted rock as the favored genre, with a disco craze taking over at the end of the decade. But this rise to popularity ultimately killed a music genre that has been so ridiculed, that not many realize it has many musical gems.
Nothing exemplifies the exploitation and commercialization of disco as much as "Disco Duck," which is exactly what it sounds like. Yes, someone actually recorded a disco album singing like a duck, then had performances on talk shows next to disc jockeys like Rick Dees, whose sins may never be forgiven. Someone in a duck costume would usually come out during these performances and dance to the songs that can only be described as a crime against decency.
After things like this, it's no wonder the genre died and lost respect forever.
6. Extremely Short Shorts
You already know that the 1970s were obsessed with big things, but it was also obsessed with making things absurdly small. This is best exemplified in hot pants, or shorts so short, that they could often better be described as briefs.
We're all for people showing off a little leg, but the combination of tightness and shortness often left things hanging right out that you certainly didn't want to see.
By all accounts, it was an extremely uncomfortable style, both for the wearer and anyone around them.
Waterbeds were the rage in the 1970s. They often signaled to people that you were progressive and "sexually liberated."
Our guess is that their success has to do with them being different at a time when young people craved to separate themselves from everything that had to do with previous generations, even if that meant risking your bed popping and flooding your bedroom.
Though not too common, we are sad to report that this trend hasn't completely died down, despite being completely uncomfortable and impractical.
Just get a normal bed. Your back will thank you.
4. Vinyl Jumpsuits
We love a jumpsuit as much as any disco-dancing person in the '70s did. And we think there are many jumpsuit styles that we hope will come back to stay.
But one that should be left in the archives of cheesy 1970s movies is the vinyl jumpsuit. No one, and we mean no one, looks good while basically dressing up as a giant candy wrapper.
You don't need cheap-looking shiny clothes to shine bright like a diamond.
3. Monochromatic Rooms
We love several things about 1970s fashion (despite what this list may lead you to believe), but we draw a concrete line around home decor trends.
There is nothing even remotely redeemable about anything that was inflicted onto houses during this decade. The monochromatic rooms, with each room having a different color, are enough to make one want to barf, and the wild patterns don't help. Then there is the colored carpet, which often just looks gross.
To make things worse, the colors people used in the '70s were often bright, like lime green, fuchsia and highlighter yellow. If you want a statement piece in those colors, fine, but don't subject your eyes to an entire room full of it, lest you risk your property ending up as one of Zillow's wackiest houses.
2. Carpeted Bathrooms
As if bright, monochromatic rooms with loud wallpaper and carpet weren't horrible enough, people carried this over to their bathrooms. You know, the place that often gets wet and where humidity tends to stay and create mold?
Why on Earth would anyone have ever thought it was a good idea to have a fully carpeted bathroom? And why, oh why, would they do this when they have a jacuzzi?
Yes, people usually dry their feet on a carpet or towel after getting out of the shower, but those are small things you can wash often, a whole carpet retaining moisture seems unhyegenic.
This is truly the stuff of nightmares.
1. Pet Rocks
We've seen some pretty bad things on this list. Bad choices were made, dirty rooms were designed, and sometimes logic was thrown out of the window.
But nothing — in the 1970s and, perhaps, in the history of humanity — has been as absurdly and utterly ridiculous as pet rocks.
The idea came from an evil genius who realized that his fellow Americans were so bored out of their mind and so out of touch with reality that he could sell them rocks as pets.
No, it's not a joke. People actually paid money to have a rock because I guess no one told them they could just go outside and get one from the ground. (The hippies were right, people do need to go back to nature!)
To make things worse, there are still people with such little imagination that they continue to pay about $30 for an "authentic" pet rock.
We take this as a sign that the demise of humanity and civilization may be near.