Spoken as someone who spends altogether too much time looking at old catalogs, I'd have to say that 1974 is my favorite year in women's fashion.
That's right - no need to re-read that line; you read it correctly the first time. In the entire history of women's clothing, since Eve first donned a fig leaf, nineteen hundred and seventy four is the best.
It had the best of all possibilities. The mod look was out, and so was the hippy look - let's face it, they were cool, but got old quick. Both these styles morphed into the glorious fashions of '74. The colors weren't neon-LSD anymore, but still had a bold flavors of the mod. Plus, you still had the hippie earth tones. Indeed, this was the year when brown ruled the earth.
Polyester has been a much maligned fabric, but for sheer practicality it cannot be beat. It is wash and wear - no wrinkles to be found. (For those polyester haters, please note that all Underarmour clothing is pure polyester, as is basically all athletic clothing today. Cotton sucks.) As an added bonus, polyester clings to your body like nobody's business, and the clothing in '74 could be quite tight.... making most garments basically a practice in exhibitionism. Gilligan like.
The fashions of the latter half of the seventies were nice; however, much like the mod attire, the gaudy disco styles got tiresome. The clothes of '74 were the perfect balance. You might even say that, if fashions were to stay the same for perpetuity, this is the year I'd choose for them to stall at.
Sadly, women's slacks entered the scene in this year; however, it was a small price to pay for the highest hemlines in history - this was the minis last year of popularity, and it was high, high, high.
So, without further ado, check out some catalog pages from the year that 1974.