spring 2011 70s trend

Disco-worthy looks, from left, at Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Photos: Fernanda Calfat, Getty Images; Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images; Chris Moore, Catwalking/Getty Images

We love the nightlife, we got to boogie, so, yes, we're digging the disco trend this time 'round.

Designers have a serious case of Saturday Night spring fever, sending '70s styles down their runways and into stores. But these aren't the white John Travolta jumpsuits or gold lame hotpants of Studio 54 lore. (OK, so maybe there were a few gold hotpants -- and jumpsuits -- on the runways).

"There were a lot of beautiful, chic clothes from the 1970s, and a lot of people forget that" Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director, tells StyleList. "There was a great feeling of luxury, and a little bit of decadence, but it was more about a lifestyle than the way you dress."

Plus,as celebrity stylist and fashion commentator Mary Alice Stephenson says, it feels good to look good.

"(Today's) '70s-inspired fashion is vibrant, fun, colorful, flashy, sexy and happy," she tells StyleList. "Designers and retailers need to sell clothes, so they are banking on all that dazzle to capture the consumer's attention. The clothes in the stores this spring will say look at me and, hopefully, that will resonate with the buyer."

He says today's '70s silhouettes are about volume and feminine fluidity.

"It's the natural cycle of fashion," Andrews says. "Fashion got extremely sexy, it got very tight, we were showing a lot of skin. The rise on pants went about as low as it can possibly go. Fashion has to start to cycle back around to the other direction to keep it new and fresh."

So, what, exactly will make you look fresh, and not like an extra from "That '70s Show" this spring? We went to Stephenson and Andrews for a disco-dressing lessons on the season's must-have pieces.

Wide-legged pants
"The wide-legged pant is really going to freshen a woman's wardrobe," Andrews says. "It can be extremely flattering. One thing women need to realize is, when the leg on that pant gets wider, it's going to balance out and give proportion to a wider hipline. The waistline is moving up more toward a natural waist, so that gives you a great long-legged look. When we were in this time when pants were more tapered at the bottom, that was accentuating the width of a woman's hips. The wider pant leg is now balancing the width of a woman's hip."

The key, he says is to wear it with a high-heel.

"You can't wear them with your little ballet flats," Andrews says. "And you need to somehow make sure the waist is defined by either tucking in a top or wearing a boxy top or jacket that hits right at the hip bone, leaving the waist open so you still have this shape. If you wear a tunic top over wide-legged pants, you just become this enormous rectangle."

Something colorful
"Bold, bright colorful clothes in orange, purple and turquoise that scream disco diva are all the rage from designers like Marc Jacobs and Gucci,' Stephenson says. "The trend is to mix all those brights together in one outfit and you've got the classic '70s rainbow confection that feels so right for now."

The pantsuit
"We've been talking a lot about ensembles the past few seasons, like the skirt suit," Andrews says. "Now, the pantsuit looks extremely chic. You can wear it with a simple top or you can wear it with a bow blouse underneath."

The maxi hemline
"There was a whole Bohemian trend going on in the 1970s, and the new maxi lengths, whether a dress or a skirt, really speak to that," Andrews says. "The great thing about the maxi-length dresses is they can go from casual daytime with a pair of flat sandals to a higher wedge or platform and worn into the evening."



Printed material
"Mixing prints also raged in the '70s, and the same outrageous mix has cropped up from every designer at every price point," Stephenson says. "Break the rules and mix all your prints together... ie: leopard with plaid. There's nothing subtle about it and it's fashion full of personality."

Bow blouses
"They're soft, they're fluid, and a way of adding a touch of femininity without being overly girlie," Andrews says. "One of the most chic things about the '70s was that there was this very subtle play of masculine and feminine worn together. So, that soft, feminine blouse worn with a trouser-inspired pant made a woman look feminine, but there was still that strength from the man-tailored piece."

The jumpsuit
"The easiest-to-wear jumpsuits are the ones that are more loose-fitting and relaxed; they have a drawstring-kind of wait to them," Andrews says. "When you get into the very tailored styles, they can be a little bit harder to wear, but the relaxed styles are really fun and chic. And I think they're for fun fashion, maybe for a night out -- I don't think you need to fill your closet with jumpsuits."

White at night
"In the '70s, white was a very subtle way to speak to the idea of luxury and decadence," Andrews says. "White, especially in evening, looks extremely chic."

Accessories
"For shoes, It's the wedge," Stephenson says. "Whether sexy and strappy or preppy and pretty, the platform wedge is the shoe of summer and oh, so groovy. Flower power is another big accessory trend right now. Wear your flowers on your shoes, jewelry, bags or even in the hair. Pendant necklaces and scarves wrapped in your hair are also '70s throwbacks that are big for spring."

Another accessory to look for, Andrews adds, is gold jewelry.

"(It) speaks to the 1970s, and it can be something as simple as a bold cuff or a stack of mismatched gold bracelets," he says. "We're starting to see large statement earrings again - chandeliers and cascades."

Seeking more spring style tips? Here's what to wear if you're pear-shaped.