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Fashion and Clothing History

Researching the 70s


Sorry, there's no section of the library devoted to 1970s fashion!  

Searching for fashion by a specific decade can be tricky because the same time period can be described several different ways and information about a decade may be found in several different sections of the library.  There is no one phrase that will bring back all the clothing of a decade so try a few different searches to see what works.  Here are some suggestions of searches to start with. Get creative and add some of your own!

1970s     Nineteen seventies     70s     70s fashion    Hippie fashion     Disco fashion

Here are some other tips for researching by a decade:

  • Search by designer, not designer by decade.  For example, if you were to search "Stephen Burrows 70s" you would find zero books.  However if you were to search for just "Stephen Burrows" then look through the many books we have on him, you would find plenty of his designs from the 1970s.  Because a designer's career can span decades, it's difficult to restrict a search to a specific designer AND a specific decade.
  • Search by type of clothing.  Looking for a 1970s wedding dress?  Instead of "1970s wedding dress" search for "wedding dress" then look through some of the books you find for images from the 1970s.  
  • Search by photographer.  Like designers, a photographers work may span many decades.  
  • Search by century.  A book that covers the entire 20th century may have a very good chapter on the 1970s with images you can't find anywhere else.

Recommended Books about 1970s Fashion

Magazines and Store Catalogs from the 1970s


November 1969 (v25 n1)-September 2016 (v71 n11). 11x per year
Incorporating Ebony Man: EM
 Features African-Americans in politics, business and the arts. Earlier issues (1955-2001) available on microfilm

Esquire (1933)

March 1956 (v45 n3)-February 1978 (v89 n2) (with gaps). Monthly Continued by Esquire Fortnightly Men’s magazine covering men’s fashion and clothes, culture and entertainment and advice on money matters

Essence 1970s


May 1970-Current. 10x per year Fashion, beauty, home decorating, food and general features aimed at African-American women

Harper's Bazaar

1930-Current. Monthly microfilm: November 1867-December 1923; January 1975-December 1976 The Harper's Bazaar Archive: November 2, 1867-Current (FIT username and password required for access) (Earlier Issues available in Special Collections) Leading American high fashion magazine.

Vogue [American]

April -June 1927; Jan-Mar 1928; Jan 1933-Current (with gaps). Monthly Vogue Archive: all issues (FIT username and password required for access) (Earlier issues available in Special Collections) Widely-regarded as the most influential American fashion magazine; features articles and images by leading fashion critics, photographers, stylists, illustrators, designers and models


store catalog 1960-Spring/Summer 1993. Semi-annual microfilm: 1888-1993 (Earlier issues available in Special Collections) A chain department store that sells mid-range apparel, accessories, home décor and furnishings, appliances, electronics and more. Catalog now available online only


March 1971 (v30 n3)-December/January 2018/2019 (v77 n5). 5x per year microfilm: January 1967-December 1976 Directed at teenaged girls. Departments in fashion, beauty, entertainment, home furnishings, food and health

Archival Sources from the 1970s

FIT Digital Image Library   Yves Saint Laurent

SPARC Digital   Antonio Lopez 1975

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