‘The ’70s was a wild time for fashion, but these groovy items were my favourites’

Dec 05, 2020
Julie reminisces about the fashion moments of days gone by. Source: Getty

Do you remember wearing duffle coats when we were young? It was so much fun. Duffle coats were cosy, woolly and kept away winter chills. Our parents did not appreciate our coats. They thought we were turning into gang girls.

For me it was duffle coats and desert boots for shoes. Flat, comfy, weather proof, and wearable anywhere. Looking back on those days, I recall that I only owned one dress, which I avoided wearing at all costs. My usual attire for my student life was the duffle coat, my favourite blue jeans and desert boots.

I was an impoverished scholarship student and often could not afford the tram to university, so I would set off to walk there from the train station. I had a bag of books and a brain of ideas, seeking the love of learning. Walking was good exercise, despite the ever-present fumes from the cars on the busy city streets.

My duffle coat kept me warm and snug, and the desert boots were ideal for walking. Like the blue jeans, they were symbols of our generation. Really, we had swapped our much-despised school uniforms for duffle coats and desert boots, so we all appeared to look the same.

After my graduation, my path led me to teaching, where I progressed to woollen cardigans for my under-heated classroom. The lads I was teaching were all happy in their duffle coats in winter. Their coats were adorned with an interesting array of football emblems. They had the numbers of their favourite football players and captains. Their duffle coats were a fascinating snapshot of football fanatics, with badges and patches sewn on to their coats. How much insignia could any one boy wear?

Now duffle coats and desert boots seem to have disappeared. We all seem to wear joggers for daily footwear. Hoodies are in vogue now, and they seem to have become more prolific this year. I observe teenagers, older folk, even toddlers, wandering past my window having a ‘hood’ day.

The hoodie is the symbol of today’s young generation, and the grey army wish them all the best in their future. I still own a pair of blue jeans. I am pleased to say that denim has survived the test of time.

What was your favourite thing to wear in the 1970s?

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