The 1970s spawned some horrid stuff: 'wet' polyester; plastic pants; "imported polyester" was proudly showcased as different and high quality; fly-away collars; bell bottoms.
And the strange thing is that those styles were popular. Strange that a style that is so ugly yesterday, today and always (like that of the '70s) could have been so popular for a decade.
But at least it was its own style (even if it was bad), more than can be said for today.
There was , however, a revival of Golden Era stying early in the 1970s, often done poorly but sometimes done well. This was brought about in part by movies like "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) and the fantastic "The Sting" (1973) as well as a surge of nostalgia for 'the good ol' days' (which helped make the 1946 boxoffice failure "It's a Wonderful Life" the holiday classic that it is today).
It's no wonder, then, that folks would want to dress like their movie heroes. Belted back jackets and 3-piece suits were the standard in the early 1970s, though often made of that same 'wet' polyester as the trendy leisure suits. But when done well they look very much like true vintage.
Take for example the two jackets below.
While definitely a '70s take on a '30s classic (note the huge lapels with a lot of belly and low button stance)...
...this first jacket has a great back with nice proportions:
Note that the back has similar styling to the garish 1930s suit below:
Next up is this '70s jacket. Conservative looking when viewed from the front...
...with full blown '30s belted and gusseted style going on in the back. Very sleek.
Again, very good proportions on the back of this one as well as the front. Also, the material, while some kind of a poly-blend, looks, feels and drapes like a heavier weight gabardine. This jacket could easily pass for vintage when paired with the right accoutrements.
And to round out our look at the '30s vs. '70s, check out this interesting discussion with illustrations.
If real 1930s clothing cannot be found in your area you *might* be able to find '70s pieces that can fill the hole in your closet. But be discriminating and choose carefully. The '70s gave life to a lot of bad stuff and finding a gem from that period is almost as difficult as finding the real deal from the 1930s.