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1970s Jewellery Trends: A Decade of Free Expression


The 1970s was a decade of huge societal change and increasingly progressive values, especially for women. The third wave of feminism promised women new possibilities of self-expression. Standing on the shoulders of 60s free love, the 70s gave us an incredible decade of fashion freedom and creativity.

The 1970s is one of our favourite decades and where we get lots of inspiration from. And what’s not to love about 70s jewellery?  Both women and men were free to express their personalities and experiment – flamboyance and flair were encouraged. People were free to be creative with fashion, experimenting with shapes and styles that hadn’t been seen before.

The 70s was a decade of fashion extremes, a wild ride through Bohemia, dandyism, modernism, disco sparkle, and eventually punk. The mainstream adoption of colour TV in the 1970s had a huge impact on fashion. Suddenly, everyone could see their heroes in beautiful technicolour – this was the dawn of ASOS culture, where people paid tribute to their favourite rock and film stars through their fashion choices.

Impact of Music on 70s Jewellery and Fashion

The 1970s was an era where music and fashion were inextricably linked, each influencing the other in dynamic and memorable ways. Music in the 70s was not just about the sound but also about the visual spectacle, with artists using their appearances to make bold statements. Genres like Glam Rock, Disco, and Punk were particularly influential.

Glam Rock, spearheaded by icons like David Bowie and Marc Bolan, brought a sense of theatricality and androgyny to fashion. Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, with his glittering costumes and dramatic makeup, inspired an entire generation to embrace flamboyant clothing and bold jewellery. Jewellery pieces included glittery chokers, oversized rings, and statement earrings adorned with rhinestones and sequins, perfectly complementing the glitter-infused outfits and larger-than-life personas of the Glam Rock era.

Disco, epitomised by the likes of Donna Summer and the Bee Gees, brought a different kind of sparkle to fashion. The dance floors of Studio 54 glittered with sequins and metallic fabrics. Jewellery in this scene was designed to catch and reflect the light – think crystal-encrusted pieces, gold and silver mesh, stacking bangles, and sparkly chokers. Disco fashion was all about excess and glamour, with bold geometric shapes and vivid colours.

Punk music, emerging from the gritty streets of London, introduced a raw, rebellious edge to fashion. Bands like the Sex Pistols and The Clash wore ripped clothes, safety pins, and studded leather – a stark contrast to the glitter of disco. Jewellery was equally edgy and defiant, featuring spikes, chains, and DIY accessories that embodied the anti-establishment ethos of punk. Heavy chains and padlock necklaces were also popular, reflecting the movement's anti-establishment attitude.

The folk and singer-songwriter movement, with artists like Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, embraced a more natural, bohemian aesthetic. This translated into jewellery made from organic materials like wood, shells, and beads, often layered to create a relaxed, earthy look. Bohemian jewellery was inspired by natural, organic forms and materials – shells, coral, coconut, amber, and wood. The 70s saw a renewed interest in non-western cultures, which also had a big impact on fashion.

The 1970s also saw a significant amount of jewellery featuring large statement pieces. Pendants and other items were designed to be eye-catching, often layered to enhance their impact. Natural materials like turquoise, wood, and bone were common, reflecting the decade's back-to-nature ethos. Yellow gold was the dominant metal of the 1970s, with gold hoops, gold chains, and gold bangles being ubiquitous.

70s Fashion Trends



The Bohemian or Hippie trend in the 1970s was a continuation of the countercultural movement that began in the 1960s. It was characterised by a rejection of mainstream societal norms, promoting peace, love, and environmental consciousness. The movement was heavily influenced by the free love philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and a desire for a simpler, more natural lifestyle. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Kenzo embraced these bohemian influences in their collections. Celebrities like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin were iconic figures of the bohemian look, often seen in flowing dresses, fringe, and layered jewellery.

Bohemian jewellery was inspired by natural, organic forms and materials – shells, coral, coconut, amber, and wood. The 70s saw a renewed interest in non-western cultures, which also had a big impact on fashion.


Disco fashion emerged alongside the disco music scene, which exploded in the mid-1970s. Disco culture was about nightlife, dance clubs, and the glamorous and extravagant lifestyle associated with it. The fashion reflected the exuberance and energy of the disco era. Designers like Halston and Diane von Fürstenberg epitomised the disco fashion with their use of shimmering fabrics, wrap dresses, and fluid, body-hugging designs. Icons like Bianca Jagger, Donna Summer, and John Travolta were key figures in the disco scene, frequently spotted in dazzling, sequined outfits and platform shoes.

Disco jewellery was high shine – to reflect and sparkle against the light on the dance floor. Think crystals, gold and silver mesh shimmering, stacking bangles, hoop earrings, and sparkly chokers. 70s jewellery was characterised by bold geometric, modernist shapes with simple yet bold lines.

Glam Rock

Glam Rock was a style of rock music developed in the early 1970s, known for its flamboyant and theatrical style. It was marked by glitter, vibrant colours, and androgynous looks, breaking down traditional gender boundaries in fashion. Designers like Kansai Yamamoto and Zandra Rhodes were prominent designers who embraced and influenced the glam rock aesthetic with their bold, colourful, and often avant-garde creations. David Bowie, particularly through his Ziggy Stardust persona, and Marc Bolan of T. Rex, were central figures in the glam rock movement, known for their glittering outfits, platform boots, and dramatic makeup.

Glam Rock jewellery was equally bold and extravagant. Glittery chokers, oversized rings, and sparkling earrings were common. Rhinestones and sequins were often used to add extra sparkle, complementing the overall flamboyant and eye-catching aesthetic of the glam rock style.


The punk movement emerged in the mid to late 1970s as a reaction against the perceived excesses of mainstream rock music and the cultural and economic situation in the UK. It was characterised by a DIY ethic, anti-establishment attitudes, and a raw, rebellious style. Designers like Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren were pioneers of punk fashion, creating provocative, edgy designs that included ripped clothing, safety pins, and leather jackets. Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Debbie Harry of Blondie were among the most prominent punk icons, known for their rebellious style and attitude.

Punk jewellery was bold, unconventional, and often handmade. Studded leather bracelets, spike necklaces, and safety pin earrings were common. Heavy chains and padlock necklaces were also popular, reflecting the movement's anti-establishment attitude. These pieces were often paired with edgy, grunge-inspired outfits.


The 1970s saw the rise of sportswear as a fashion trend, influenced by an increased interest in fitness and health. This trend integrated casual and comfortable athletic wear into everyday fashion. Designers like Adidas and Puma became synonymous with sportswear fashion, introducing tracksuits, sneakers, and other athletic apparel into mainstream fashion. Jane Fonda, with her aerobic workout videos, and Farrah Fawcett were prominent figures who popularised the sportswear trend.

Jewellery was minimal in sportswear fashion, focusing more on practicality. However, neon-coloured plastic bracelets and simple, sporty watches were popular. These accessories added a fun element to workout gear without hindering physical activity.


The folk trend was inspired by traditional crafts and ethnic cultures, reflecting a nostalgia for simpler times and an appreciation for handmade and artisanal goods. Designers like Laura Ashley and Gunne Sax (by Jessica McClintock) were known for their romantic, prairie-style dresses, floral prints, and Victorian-inspired designs. Emmylou Harris and Carly Simon were notable for their folk-inspired fashion, often wearing flowing, embroidered dresses and earthy tones.

Folk jewellery was all about layers and natural materials. Beaded necklaces, wooden bracelets, and feathered earrings were popular. The jewellery often featured earthy colours and handmade designs, complementing the relaxed and free-spirited vibe of folk fashion.


Androgyny in fashion blurred the lines between traditional male and female clothing, reflecting broader changes in societal attitudes towards gender roles and identity. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin were influential in promoting androgynous styles, incorporating tailored suits and unisex designs into their collections. David Bowie and Grace Jones were key figures who embodied androgynous fashion, challenging conventional gender norms with their style.

Androgynous jewellery included simple, sleek designs that could be worn by any gender. Thin gold or silver chains, small stud earrings, and minimalist bracelets were common. The jewellery complemented the simplicity and versatility of androgynous fashion.


The military trend drew inspiration from military uniforms and attire, reflecting a sense of discipline, structure, and utilitarianism. This trend was partly a response to the social and political unrest of the time, including the Vietnam War. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood incorporated military-inspired elements such as brass buttons, epaulettes, and structured silhouettes into their designs. Mick Jagger and Jane Birkin were among those who embraced military-inspired fashion, incorporating structured jackets and combat boots into their wardrobes.

Military-inspired jewellery featured utilitarian and rugged designs. Dog tags, camo-patterned accessories, and pieces with military insignia were popular. These items added a tough, structured element to outfits, reflecting the military influence.

The 1970s was a decade of bold and eclectic jewellery trends, heavily influenced by the cultural shifts and musical movements of the time. From the free-spirited bohemian styles to the dazzling disco jewellery, each trend captured the vibrant energy and creativity of the era. The fashion of the 70s continues to inspire contemporary designers and remains beloved by fashion enthusiasts worldwide. This article provides a richer and more comprehensive overview of 70s jewellery, capturing its diversity and the cultural influences that shaped it.

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