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The 1970s is undoubtedly one of the most iconically stylish decades of all time. But even the flares and bell bottoms, prints and unabashed color pairings, and the louder styles of the time shy in the face of Parisian elegance. Despite the lack of denim, cropped shorts and tops, and other especially Western 70s styles seen in Paris, the French maintained their fashion relevance and influence at the time with nearly the complete opposite approach.
This is not to say that miniskirts didn't have their moment in Paris in the 70s. If anything, miniskirts became synonymous with the young Parisian woman at that time: free and beaming aplomb. But another few style trends indicative of these same traits swept over Paris that decade, styles that are omnipresent today.
Menswear as a worldwide trend took its first steps in Paris in this decade. This particular influence comes to a head in the 80s, but its roots can be seen in nearly every major style at the time. Suits and trench coats, as well as low heels and oxfords, are now feminine staples.
Related: A Fashion-lover's Guide to Paris
Billowing skirts, heeled boots, and cape-like outerwear lead another Parisian trend in the 70s. Like today's French fashion, these looks may have offered more coverage than other Western trends, but they still maintained a certain inexplicable, elegant appeal. Confidence, of course, has always been the most necessary of all Parisian accessories, but these looks certainly have the power to inspire confidence should any be lacking.
Fashion icons, some of the most relevant today, like Brigitte Bardot and Francoise Hardy thrived in this era. Bardot's bombshell appeal, voluminous hair, and tight, "dancer" looks met Hardy's natural elegance, thick fringe, and understated, menswear-inspired wardrobe, creating the fusion of classic French styles seen today.
Here, we pay homage to the iconic style of Paris in the 1970s.