A Stranger Fling: Our 70s Fashion Obsession

The world’s gone mad for Stranger Things. Meanwhile, corduroy took over the runways of AW17.  So, you may ask, what’s the link between the two?


It’s a strange time for fashion right now: ugly dad trainers are oh so trendy, baker boy hats have risen from their 90s grave, and John Galliano is in a flasher mac catching the number 176 bus from Elephant & Castle. Amidst all this, there has been a revival of what can best be described as the geography teacher look.

There are corduroy trousers, corduroy blazers, cardigans, retro patterned shirts, and plaid everything – all in nostalgic hues of rust reds and calming camels.  It’s a 1970s dream (or maybe a nightmare, depending on your view of things), and we have designers such as Prada and Mulberry to thank. See also Kendall Jenner walking for Marc Jacobs in an all-red cord ensemble balancing a rather strange looking beanie hat on her perfectly sculpted head.


As is so often the case, this season’s hottest trend has begun to infiltrate into the zeitgeist, or perhaps it was from this that the designers’ influence first came. Case in point: Netflix’s astoundingly successful series Stranger Things. The opening episode of the recently released second series was watched by nearly 15.8 million people, and that’s without taking into account mobile or international viewing. Such staggering statistics suggest that it is likely the streaming service’s most popular show to date.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the show begins in 1983, a time where corduroy was modern rather than nostalgic and the high school corridors were awash with double denim. The boys are clad in baggy blue jeans and baseball jackets, their white Nike trainers scuffed and well worn. Nancy Wheeler favours knitted sweaters and shearling coats, whilst her bezzie Barb prefers a ruffled blouse. It’s nerd chic, but not in an ironic 2006 satchel and square-framed glasses kind of way.


Apart from the show’s endearing characters and gripping storylines, it’s its aesthetic that is highly appealing.  Admittedly, it’s set a decade later than our current 70s fashion obsession, but there’s very little to differentiate the two. Google 80s fashion and you’re left scrolling through a page of terrible perms, neon tutus, and matching leg warmers – but it’s clearly a period that deserves more style credit than we give it.  It was a simpler time, where kids cycled home on their own in the dark and people communicated via landlines (or walkie-talkies, in the case of Mike and his crew). The cool boys rock up to Hawkins High School in a Bimmer or a Mustang, and the girls in their flares can’t help but swoon.


Undoubtedly this is one reason behind the popularity of Stranger Things, and perhaps even for the current revival of the style it epitomises. Living in a millennial world of hyper-communication, there’s a nostalgic desire to return to a time where smartphones weren’t commonplace, where people took time out of their day to talk to each other face to face, and where the sound of corduroy trouser legs rubbing against each other filled the streets.


If you too desire to return to these Argyll clad days, here’s four ways you can channel the Stranger Things vibe:


Zara Thick Corduroy Trousers £39.99


Topshop Cropped Cable Knit Jumper £34


Nobody’s Child Seersucker Shirt £22 



Mango Corduroy Blazer £99.99




Words: Saskia Hume


Hashtags: #1970s #strangerthings #neftlix #corduroy #retro


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