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The ’70s Is Our Ultimate Summer Style Inspo, Here’s Why

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Fashion being the cyclical thing it is, we can’t help returning to style reference points from the past. If we’re splitting the decades into volumes of sartorial 101s, it is probably the ’90s that we tend to dip into most consistently, whether that’s via enduring graphic tees or re-issues like this from Oakley. But as the heat turns up and we shed the layers, we’re convinced that 1970s style will be key this summer.

Yes, we’ve all seen Harry Styles dressed head-to-toe in Gucci and attempting to do his best David Bowie impression. But there’s way more to 1970s style than Alessandro Michele’s muse in a suit.

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The decade’s all-year-round relevancy comes by way of pieces like flared pants — an item often feared, but one that definitely shouldn’t be — and big collar shirts. See Travis Scott showing some extended ankle above and Lakeith Stanfield at the Oscars in a standout, wide-lapel shirt below. Recently, Jeremy O. Harris was seen on the set of Gossip Girl 2.0 in huge shades and a wild suit (pictured in main). These aren’t rare occurrences, either. An increasing number of famous faces are tapping into ’70s styles that have until now been pretty unfamiliar to streetwear, and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to take notice.

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Though big pants and big collar suits are cool, it’s the 1970s summer gear we’re loving most at the moment. From big sunglasses to ’70s-inspired sneakers via the divisive short short, we’ve put together a shoppable list of evidence on why 1970s style works best when the weather is hot.

When it came to dressing, the 1970s was a time for statement-making. A time when the lingering conservatism of the previous decade was questioned more and more. Bold clothing and accessories were everywhere you looked. Quite literally too, as the style literati of the time made big sunglasses a big thing. Starting at the top of this summer’s essentials, frames of the oversized kind are back on the scene, thanks to the likes of ’70s-pusher Gucci and Bottega Veneta.

That Lakeith Stanfield Oscars fit had everyone talking. The Saint Laurent jumpsuit was perfect, but it wouldn’t have been the show-stopping look that it was without the wide lapel shirt that sat underneath it. Shirts like this were the most powerful weapon in the nighttime arsenal of 1970s style, whether in crisp white iterations to add subtle contrast or all-over floral prints for those that hadn’t shaken off the ’60s aesthetic yet.

The inseam debate continues to rage on Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and in the Highsnobiety office. However, if this was the 1970s, then we might not be arguing over short lengths at all. Why? Because everybody in that decade seemed to be vehemently against anything longer than the 5-incher.

On the other end of the ’70s spectrum to short shorts, flared pants are still a rarity in casual fashion. It’s not hard to see why, either. They’re tricky to pull off but you’ll be rewarded if you make the effort — just ask Travis Scott. In the image of the Houston rapper above, he’s wearing the Raf Simons flared pants, which you can shop here.

You can usually measure how good the style of a certain decade was by the rate at which it is still referenced today. You only have to look to the current sneakers market, particularly the much-loved staple silhouettes, to see that 1970s style is going absolutely nowhere.

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