Fads, the fleeting fashions that appear at the beginning of each decade, were a major source of amusement in the '70s. These fads characterised the decade not via political setbacks or scientific breakthroughs, but through their ability to bring people together in unusual and amusing ways. The decade's fads gave it life and character, but no one at the time realised how much of an impact they would have.
The Pet Rock was a popular toy back in the '70s. Gary Dahl made this in 1975; the cardboard box had a carry handle and ventilation slots; the wood shavings were placed under the rock. It even had its own instruction booklet on how to care for it, titled The Care and Training of Your Pet Rock. They shot to fame, especially around the holiday season. But its popularity quickly waned, and by 1976 it had all but disappeared.
Joshua Reynolds's 1975 invention of the mood ring quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Made with a liquid crystal within the quartz, the colour of these earrings shifted as the wearer's body temperature did. The seven varied colours shown on the ring each reflected a distinct emotional state. Sadness was symbolised by the colour black, and insecurity by brown. First gained traction as a form of self-expression in the Big Apple. However, its popularity dwindled after two years on the market.
While the Marx Toy Co. created Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots in 1964, the toys' heyday was the 1970s. A red robot and a blue robot boxed it out inside a ring while being controlled by players using joysticks to swing their fists at one other. When both robots are knocked down, the one whose head comes back up first is declared the winner. The fad's simplicity belies the hours of fun it gave in the 1970s, thanks to the fact that players could add whatever they wanted to make the game more interesting.
Another fashion phenomenon of the 1970s was Earth Shoes. Anna Kalso first debuted the shoe in 1970, and it was distinguished by a sole that was thicker in the forefoot than in the heel. Wearing it expanded the foot's natural range of motion. One's posture and respiration might both improve from wearing Earth Shoes. Their success led to the late 1970s decision to pull the plug.
Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific! shampoo was another popular product of that era. The Andrew Jergens Company developed a shampoo that leaves users' hair feeling silky and smelling like flowers. Many commercials for the product included a guy exclaiming to a woman, "Gee, your hair smells terrific!" Magenta shampoo bottle with white writing.
The roller skating craze of the '70s was one of several. They were tall boots with wheels on the bottom. It was common practise for people to stand in line to borrow roller skates before entering a roller rink to do some circling. Skating rinks served as a social hub where individuals could display their talents, mingle with others, and meet possible partners.
The 1970s also saw the rise of the lava lamp. Water and wax were used to create these by Edward Craven Walker. In order for the wax to rise and expand, it must be heated. Lava lamps quickly became trendy house accents because of the intriguing movement of the wax inside. However, the lava lamp's popularity declined starting in the late 1970s.
Another popular motif of the '70s was the use of bright yellow cheerful faces with white teeth. In 1971, Bernard and Murray Spain adapted an existing smiling face and created their own versions. Mugs and t-shirts, among other items, featured the happy face. It found widespread consumption during the dark days of the Vietnam War.
The Rubik's Cube, created by Erno Rubik in 1974, is a puzzle that has the world's population enthralled with its design of 26 separate coloured cubes with the aim of making each side one uniform hue. By 1977, they had entered the mass market, where investments and advertising helped propel them to instant success. Soon, the Rubik's Cube would surpass the craze status of any other toy of the 1970s.
Weebles, which were fashioned like plastic eggs and wobbled, were a ubiquitous toy of the 1970s. Made and directed by Romper Room, their success may be attributed to both their novel form and the large range of characters available, which includes everyone from the Sesame Street gang to cowboys. The Weebles were an instant hit with a new generation of kids when they were first released in 1969.
With hindsight, it's easy to see how the 1970s fads, however fleeting, helped define a generation and provide light on how they engaged in entertainment, consumption, and social interaction. Some of the fads were waning, but some, like the Rubik's Cube, came back in style years later. The sum of their separate legacies is the legacy of the 1970s.
Many people were given the freedom to be themselves in the 1970s because to the emergence and evolution of fashion trends that could be worn everywhere, from a beach to an office.
Leisure suits were a major trend in the world of fashion. Matching shorts and jackets were part of the leisure outfit. Common attire for men was casual suits. Polyester was used to create the suit, which was often produced in a vivid colour or plaid pattern. Women wore platform shoes and gold chains with their leisure suits. Nonetheless, it gradually lost favour in the latter 1970s.
Women and men alike wore platform shoes often during the 1970s. The high heel of the shoe frequently displayed blinking LEDs. Famous people, like Elton John, wore them, too, which boosted their profile. However, platform shoes followed the disco trend into obscurity.
In addition, "hot pants" were a staple of the 1970s fashion scene. These shorts were so short that they barely covered a person's belly button. They went well with a long pair of boots and some colourful tights. Fabrics like denim and velvet were frequently used for their vivid hues. The roller rink and disco parties were two of the few places where this aesthetic could still be seen after it had peaked in 1971.
Pants known as "bell-bottoms" widened below the knee and were a fashion staple of the 1960s and 1970s. Bell-bottom pants are characterised by their flared or bell-shaped legs.
Pants were first worn by sailors in the seventeenth century for their practicality. When doing dirty work like washing the decks, the big legs of the pants may be folded up and out of the way. Additionally, the wide legs of bell-bottom trousers might be inflated with air and used as a life preserver if a sailor were to go overboard while wearing them over boots or shoes.
There was a vogue in the 1970s for fringed suede vests worn by both sexes. The majority of the vests were worn over button-down shirts or other forms of loose clothing. The vests' fringed edges, which resembled strings, gave them a western aesthetic.
A common style of the 1970s was the jumpsuit, a dress with pants-like legs and either spaghetti straps or short sleeves. In the 1970s, designers like Norma Kamali and Yves Saint-Laurent popularised a style based on the uniforms worn by Air Force pilots. The loose fit and ease of the jumpsuit attracted a wide range of celebrities of the time. all the way from David Bowie to Audrey Hepburn.
More so, crinkle boots were all the rage back in the '70s. The vinyl used to make the boots was glossy and wrinkled, giving them a unique appearance. They were not silky smooth, but they were wearable all the way up to the knees with no problem.
Even while floppy hats were common in the '60s, they really took off in the '70s. Over time, designers have chosen to give these already extravagant headpieces even more personality by giving them even wider brims and even more dramatic silhouettes. Lighter fabrics were used by designers, and the palette of available hues and simple decorations like ribbons were incorporated into floppy hats. Bianca Jagger and other celebrities popularised the floppy hat by donning it at their weddings.
In addition, the versatility of tracksuits in the 1970s shocked the fashion world; wearers included everyone from mountaineers to casual joggers. Even farther, their impact was felt in
those who didn't engage in strenuous physical activity but nonetheless liked the tracksuit because of its convenience and mobility. Tracksuits quickly gained popularity, inspiring designers to try new fabrics and cuts in an effort to make them as functional as possible while also giving them a distinct look that would set them apart.
The ubiquitous knitting machines of the 1970s gave rise to a new kind of garment that would come to define the style of that decade: the knit sweater. These sweaters, which became popular during an era of revivals and fresh interpretations on classic styles, were simple in design but nevertheless had an endearingly offbeat vibe. As a symbol of their refusal to adapt to social norms, members of the nascent Punk movement of the late 1970s choose to take off their sleeves.
Since the beginning of time, people have used their clothing and accessories as a means of self-expression. People throughout the 1970s understood the importance of expressing their individuality via their clothing, whether it was flared pants or jumpsuits, knit sweaters or floppy hats. Clothing, as bizarre as some of it may seem, was a reflection of the era's emphasis on freedom and development.
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