In the pre-Internet days, TV sitcom stars were fashion trendsetters
Many of us who grew up in the 1970s were heavily influenced by popular TV sitcoms. Keep in mind, that this was before cable, videos, DVR, and anything Internet-related. Television was our chief source of at-home entertainment and, compared with today, our choices were limited. We all watched the same shows at the same time, and when the regular broadcasting season ended we watched them all again in summer reruns.
Mary Tyler Moore was a big early influencer and fashion pioneer. As co-star of the Dick Van Dyke Show, she started a huge fashion craze around capri pants, successfully convincing the producers that pants were a much more realistic choice than dresses for housewives. Women everywhere applauded and stopped pretending that they preferred cooking and cleaning in a dress. Everyone wanted to look like Mary, with her slim capris and ballet flats. (IMBD)
Of course, there are many more classic shows from that era (Ranker.com has a list). Here are a few more that stick in my mind, and that highlight fashion trends of the day.
Girls were in love with Keith’s long feathered mane and Laurie’s long, straight style. Check out the jean jackets, too.
I wanted to look and be like Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery). No only did she always look perfect, she could also fly, become invisible, and generally solve problems at will with a twitch of her nose.
This show had a huge influence on fashion, particularly Fonzi (Henry Winkler) in his standard uniform of white t-shirt, leather jacket, and denim jeans. Girls wanted to date him, guys wanted to be him.
The Brady Bunch is a perfect time capsule of the 70s. All the kids wore bold colors, wide lapels, and bell bottoms with patch pockets. Everyone’s dad had a leisure suit with matching turtle neck.
Three gorgeous models played by Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith cast as private detectives. Girls coveted Farrah’s long feathered waves and teenage boys hung the famous swimsuit poster on their walls. These stars made bell bottoms, turtlenecks, and vests look downright sexy.
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