17 Trends From the 70s Only Baby Boomers Will Remember

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By Darryl Henderson

The 1970s was a distinctly unique decade, full of trends and fashions that seem laughable to today’s generations. We’re sure you can remember more than we could possibly list, but here are 17 trends from the ‘70s that only baby boomers will remember.

Pet Rocks

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Keeping a stone as a pet wouldn’t excite the technology-obsessed kids of the 2020s. However, for a brief spell in the ‘70s, pet rocks were all the rage. Gary Dahl, the inventor of the pet rock, claimed to have sold 1.5 million units in the short time they were fashionable, as reported by The Washington Post.

Bell Bottoms

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Bell bottoms were THE fashion item of the 1970s, made extremely popular by the iconic musical duo Sonny and Cher, who frequently wore them for television appearances. The wide-bottomed jeans transcended movements, being popular with hippies as well as disco-goers.

Lava Lamps

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One of the coolest trends of the 1970s was the lava lamp, which, in truth, has never gone out of fashion. Watching a blob of goo perform its transformations while being backlit by a bright color is strangely hypnotic, keeping baby boomers transfixed for hours.

Mood Rings

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Mood rings would change color depending on your mood, with blue indicating you were relaxed, amber meaning you were nervous, and black meaning you were angry. The rings supposedly used body temperature to gauge these emotions, although, in truth, it was all a gimmick. We still loved them, though.

Shag Carpets

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There was very little else that would fill you with more comfort than spreading your bare toes out on a shag carpet. These rugs were in almost every household for the duration of the decade but unfortunately fizzled out by the ‘80s, as they required constant vacuuming to keep them looking in good shape.

8-Track Tapes

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In the generation before CDs and cassette tapes, baby boomers played their favorite tunes on 8-track tapes, which were notoriously unreliable. They would often jump to the next track midway through a song and would often require manual reconfiguration of the tape with the end of a pencil. We can’t say we miss them!

Playing Out

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Some of the best memories for baby boomers involved playing outside with friends, only reluctantly returning home to eat dinner. However, those days seem to be over, with parents fearing for their children’s safety. Save the Children report that children today are 62% less likely to play out than baby boomers!


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Another ‘70s fashion to recently experience a comeback is the mullet, the haircut that screamed business at the front, party at the back. The haircut was rocked by some of the biggest stars of the time, including Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart.

Roller Disco

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Friday nights were never the same again once roller disco fever hit the towns and cities of the U.S. It was a place where people would meet their friends for life and their soul mates, all while clumsily trying to stay on their feet. We’re not sure why they’re no longer popular!

Platform Shoes

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People in the 1970s seemed a bit taller than most today, not because of their natural height but because they were all wearing ridiculous platform shoes. These shoes could raise you up to four inches higher than normal shoes while adding a nervous wobble to your stride!


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In the ‘70s, color was a necessity, with people fitting as many different bright hues into their outfits as they possibly could. This prompted the rise of tie-dye t-shirts, a fashion that really struggled to make it out of the 1970s. You may still see hippies wearing them, though.

Star Wars

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It’s impossible to overstate just how big Star Wars was in the late 1970s; every child wanted one of the various figurines released alongside the movies! According to TIME Magazine, the success of Star Wars was inevitable, as it was full of wholesome stories of good defeating evil.

Circular Sunglasses

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Made popular by the great John Lennon, circular sunglasses were all the rage back in the ‘70s, proving just as popular with intellectuals as they were with the rebellious youth. In fact, it wasn’t only circular shapes that proved popular, as the geometric sunglasses trend also took off within the decade.

Tube Socks

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Tube socks were a must-have fashion item for every ‘70s kid who wanted to dress like their athletic heroes of the time. The only downside was that very few people managed to pull them off with the same level of cool as Walt Frazier.

Colorful Tupperware

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Before Tupperware dulled down its brand and began producing solely see-through plastic products, it had fun with its designs. They produced a multitude of colorful, patterned ranges that were hugely in demand. In fact, bringing your lunch to school in a colorful Tupperware bumped you up the social chain indefinitely!


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Before the silent effectiveness of the modern computer keyboard, people in the ‘70s transferred their ideas to paper via the typewriter. Notoriously noisy and incredibly clunky, the primitive forms of mechanical typing had a lot of charm. Some hipsters are even starting to use them again!


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Last but certainly not least, hitchhiking was a very popular form of cheap travel until the latter half of the 1970s. Unfortunately, concerns for the safety of those trying to hitch a ride arose after the Ted Bundy trial put an end to ‘the golden age of hitchhiking’, as NPR remembers.