The best way to characterize fashion in the '70s is expressive. There was no fashion code to follow, so men and women wore clothing that suited their personalities and preferences. According to Sammy Davis Vintage, the counterculture and feminist movements of the 1960s fostered an atmosphere of rebellion and individual expression, which is how miniskirts, bellbottoms and natural hairstyles became so popular in the 1970s.
Women could wear skirts above the knees or down to their ankles. Men had the choice of wearing leisure or traditional suits. Androgyny crept its way into the fashion scene as well, with both sexes wearing such items as platform shoes and jumpsuits. Fashion Era also notes cross-cultural exchange as playing a heavy role in '70s fashion. Women demanded lighter clothing as they traveled abroad, and many travelers introduced exotic and foreign styles from abroad that fell into the mainstream. The hippie culture also borrowed from Asian and Mediterranean clothing that soon became fashionable for many people. For instance, Spanish shawls were all the rage, and loose garb like kimonos became ideal loungewear at home.
There was also somewhat of a fashion dichotomy during this decade. Even though daywear mostly consisted of an all-natural and breezy look, men and women were expected to primp and strut like peacocks when it came to nightlife. The '70s was a decade of fun, and this party mentality was well reflected in the fashion.