What to Wear to a 70s Party for the Grooviest Look

You too can be a Rhinestone Cowboy or Dancing Queen with these 70s costumes that you can source from your closet!

Updated November 6, 2023
Young woman wearing sunglasses, smiling, close-up

You don't have to drain your wallet or stress yourself out deciding what to wear to a 70s party. The 70s were all about the grooviest clothes and accessories, and you can make costumes from the disco decade with simple items found around the house. Shop your closet and maybe a thrift store to build the perfect 70s look. We guarantee your costume is going to be far out!

Tips for What to Wear to a 70s Party

It's not hard to resurrect fashion from the 1970s, given that many of the clothing items worn back in the era of flamboyance are still readily available today. It's all still around (or some version of it definitely is). If you can't find the following items in your closet or attic, then head to a local thrift shop. Most second-hand shops carry a wide variety of 70s-inspired fashion staples.

Start by Going Hippie or Disco

When you're deciding what to wear to a 70s party, you can choose from one of two major fashion themes for the decade: hippie or disco. Clothing styles in the early 1970s were not much different than the 1960s when the hippie look ruled. From 1970 to 1974, the emphasis of mainstream fashion included bell-bottom pants, floral shirts, and tie-dyed apparel.

In the late 70s, disco took over. Psychedelic and geometric prints were replaced with wide ties, leisure suits, and maxi dresses. In the late 70s, polyester was king, and Afros were hot accessories.

Collect Some 70s Fashion Staples

Fashionable woman in beige suit, 70s style

To fit in perfectly at a 1970s-themed party, you need a few basic fashion staples. You don't need everything on this list, but it's fun to choose from the following clothing options:

  • Bell-bottom jeans
  • Polyester leisure suits
  • Shirts and jackets with wide lapels
  • Ponchos
  • Tie-dyed shirts or jackets
  • Peasant blouses or skirts
  • Halter tops
  • Army jackets
  • Maxi dresses
  • Tight mini skirts
  • Tight corduroy slacks
  • Gaucho pants
  • Hip-huggers
  • Hot pants
  • Jumpsuits
Quick Tip

Lacking inspiration? Relax, man. Stream some 1970s TV shows for great looks from this decade, including All in the Family, Three's Company, Sanford & Son, and The Partridge Family.

Get the Grooviest Hair

Family sitting on sofa, smiling, portrait

Clothes are one thing, but no 70s look is complete without the groovy hair to match. There are a ton of looks to try, but we love these for any 70s party.

  • Feathers and wings - People identifying as women can feather their locks a la Farrah Fawcett, while men (or anyone who wants to rock a masculine hairstyle) can use Andy Gibb or David Cassidy's winged look for inspiration.
  • Long and straight - If you are going with the hippie look, then wear your hair long and straight like Marcia Brady. Back then, people used to iron their hair with a clothes iron, but today, you can get the same look (and less chance of smoking strands) by breaking out your flat iron.
  • Shag, Afro, and Mullet - The shag cut, Afro, and mullet hairstyles were also popular back in the 1970s. If your current hair can't be styled into an Afro or mullet, then consider purchasing a cheap wig from any costume store.
  • Sideburns and perms - To cap off your 70s costume, men can consider sporting long sideburns, and women could perm their hair for fun.

Break Out the 70s-Inspired Costume Accessories

Bling Retro Mustache Man on Phone

No costume is totally out of sight without the perfect accessories. If you're attending a 70s-themed party, funky and fab accessories can make or break a prize-winning ensemble.

  • Boots and shoes - Knee-high boots were hot in the 1970s, as were platform shoes. Both look especially retro when paired with gaucho pants or a hot micro-mini skirt. Men also rocked platform shoes in the 70s, as well as canvas shoes with long white socks.
  • Peace sign jewelry - If you want to embellish your 70s hippie costume, then wear a pair of peace symbol earrings and maybe even a matching peace symbol necklace.
  • Beads - Beads were also popular for both genders in the 1970s, so wearing a beaded choker or long strands of beads is something else to consider.
  • Scarves - Psychedelic patterns were huge in 70s, and it's easy to find vintage scarves in these trippy prints. You could also tie a colorful scarf around your neck to enhance your 70s-inspired costume.
  • Sunglasses - Don't forget to add some groovy sunglasses, too! Think aviator frames, oversized sunglasses, and funky-colored lenses.
  • Hats and headbands - You might also consider adding a colorful headband if you are going with a hippie look. Men and women can top off their homemade costumes with large, wide-brimmed floppy hats (they look hilariously awesome paired with tiny track shorts).

Get Your Groove On at a 70s Party

Knowing what to wear for that 70s look is all about pairing the perfect funky threads with the accessories that will create a truly stellar look. Once you've got that ensemble figured out, you can concentrate on getting your groove on at the party.

What to Wear to a 70s Party for the Grooviest Look