A Look Back at the Greatest Parisian Street Style Looks of the 1970s

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Francoise Hardy and other Parisian fashion icons of the 1970s show us how it was done.

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.


Left: Brigitte Bardot photographed in 1970. Right: Brigitte Bardot photographed in 1973.

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.

Wide-brim Hats


Left: Models showing Guy Laroche's ready-to-wear fall/winter 1974-75 collection. Right: Woman wearing Adolfo hat with Gucci luggage walking through airport. Getty Images

Plaid


Left: Model in Guy Laroche plaid ensemble in 1971. Right: Model in Jean-Louis Scherrer Wurmer wool jacket photographed in 1971. Getty images

Layered Dresses


Left: Models show 'Les Nymphettes' , a collection by Pierre Cardin for the Prêt-à-Porter spring/summer collection, 1977. Right: A model wears a Jean-Louis Féraud dress from the Prêt-à-Porter spring/summer collection, 1977. Getty Images

Capes and Dark Silhouettes


Left: Francoise Hardy walks on a path in the Bois de Boulogne wearing Yves Saint Laurent. Right: Model Pilar Crespi walking along a Paris street wearing Saint Laurent. Getty Images

Neutral Skirt Suits and Neck Scarves


Left: Claudine Auger flaunts Chanel's spring-summer fashion in 1977. Right: A model displays Christian Dior's 1970 spring/summer couture collection. Getty Images

High Boots and Midi Skirts


Left: Model wearing wool coat photographed in 1970. Right: Woman in brown suede floral dress in 1970. Getty Images

Dark Vests and Light Blouses


Model photographed along the Seine wearing Yves Saint Laurent boots, skirts, and vests layered over a white ascot blouse. Getty Images