There was a lot of ethnic style clothing throughout the 70s and smocks or smock tops were especially popular with women of all ages. There was a fashion for getting back to nature and smocks looked like something that Barbara in the Good Life would run up on the home sewing machine.
Smock tops came in two basic styles. The long smock top that was ruched at the bustline and was a wide garment that came down to thigh length and the version that was more tightly fitting and finished at the waistline , usually elasticated or with ties.
The long smock could be teamed with a pair of trousers and was often worn with a jumper underneath. In 1975, it often looked as if all the girls had a bun in the oven! The smock was comfortable and easy to wear and although it was very fashionable – it was not a sexy look. You could not see anything of the body beneath!
The home dressmaking craze probably helped the popularity of the smock. Smocks were easy to make yourself and there was no shame in admitting your smock was homemade. The 70s was a decade where people could express their individuality and stay firmly in fashion at the same time.
If you look at old episodes of Top of the Pops, you will see many of the girls dancing in that peculiar stiff 1970s dance wearing smocks, sometimes accessorised by a wide brim floppy hat. Why it was considered to look good by dressing as an 18th century shepherd is anyone’s guess.
By contrast, the short smock top had more allure for the guys, Flimsy embroidered material, with an elasticated or tied waistband – these tops could look sexy and attractive. You could leave the top fastening slightly open to reveal a bit of cleavage too.