Can You Name All of These Fads from the '70s?

By: Khadija Leon
Image: By Joe Haupt from USA via Wikimedia Commons / By Personal Creations (String Art Heart) via Wikimedia Commons / By The c from Wikimedia Commons

About This Quiz

From the beginning of time, there were things that every decade can be characterized by. This led to the creation of the word; fad. Fads are trends that develop in a generation or among a group, where people impulsively and enthusiastically participate in it for a short period of time. Some of the most popular fads throughout history include Angry Birds, cronuts, trucker hats, Betty Boop, tie dye and of course the Beatles. 

 Every decade has its fads, and the 1970s were no different. The decade can be remembered for pet rocks, hot shorts, dashboard hula girls, platform shoes and Mexican jumping beans. It was also the decade where the Vietnam war ended, the decade when there was an oil crisis in the Middle East, the decade where digital technology became accessible to the general public and the decade where Chevy Chase and Bill Murray hosted Saturday Night Live.  And lava lamps! We can't forget lava lamps.

Regardless of whether you were around or not, you should know at least some of these fads, as some of them have made a comeback since that decade. How many of these fads from the 1970s are you able to correctly identify? The only way to find out how well you know them is to take this quiz!

Priscilla curtains existed long before the 1970s but gained popularity after being seen in many television series and movies. Mostly bought by women and young girls, the curtains had hundreds of flowy ruffles which added fullness to the window.

One of the biggest fashion statements of the 1970s, were bellbottoms. The pants, fitted at the waist and hip, which flared far out once they reached the ankle were not only worn by women, but also by men. Some of the bottoms were so extreme that they reached diameters of 26 inches.

From the invention of a dashboard, people have been sticking things onto them, but it wasn’t until a Californian surfer invented the dancing doll that people bought them to stick onto their dashboards. As the car chugged along its merry way, the tiny doll began to swing its hips in a dancing fashion.

Wizzers are toys which were produced by Mattel in 1969 and just a few months later, every child wanted one. It was a modern take on the classic top which worked by spinning while standing. It was also the inspiration for many of the tops that came in later years.

Beside all of the clothing trends of the 1970s, there were also those that didn’t require clothing. This one for instance, was chest hair. Gone were the days when men needed to trim their chest hair because in the '70s men were advised to bare all and the thicker that the hair was, the better it looked.

When the first swimsuit was created, it was almost like a full dress. As the years went on, the modesty decreased and in the 1970s, we went from having full monokinis to cutout monokinis. The new version showed a little more skin and made women feel a little sexier while still being covered.

Waterbeds, sometimes called flotation mattresses or the “pleasure pit”, are as the name says, beds filled with water. Originally intended for medical therapies, the modern version was widely popular in the 1970s and were both very comfortable as well as being a hazard.

The double denim, or denim on denim trend started in the 1960s but exploded during the 1970s. Every major designer featured some variation of the look on the runway, and everyone wanted to be seen with the outfit whether it was denim flared pants, shorts or skirts pained with an oversized jacket or button-down shirt.

After the aviator sunglasses were extremely popular in the 1950s and the 1960s, the world needed a new type of eyewear to obsess over. Along came mirrored sunglasses, which not only looked good in many different frames, but it also allowed the wearer to inconspicuously look at others without their knowledge.

Knee-highs are a type of hosiery that cover the feet and go all the way up to the knee, sometimes covering it. They were popular in the 1960s but when it was paired with the miniskirt, the addition of the socks to many school uniforms, sales skyrocketed in the 1970s.

Invented by a British accountant in the mid-1960s, lava lamps are a decorative novelty item that many people still own today. The lamp consisted of colored wax mixtures inside of a glass structure which when heated by a light bulb causes the wax to move up and down.

Mexican jumping beans are small seed pods where were inhabited by the larvae of the Cydia deshaisiana moth. When heated, it would appear to jump and that was because the heat caused the animals to spasm to try to get to a cooler environment.

Much like the bell-bottoms, wide-legged, flared and palazzo pants were also very popular. They were worn by both men and women, but the women’s wide legged pant was often seen coming up to the waist, above the bellybutton.

Plaid first appeared when the British Army used the material in their military dress uniforms and kilts. Many years later, in the 1970s, designers used varying patterns of the tartan fabric to make all types of clothing, including suits, skirts and shirts. The material was so popular that even couches were made with the print.

Many people take fashion inspiration from actors and actresses, and the 1970s was no exception. When Daisy Duke appeared on television wearing a tied top, almost every clothing company began mass producing this item. The tied tops were often paired with hot shorts and occasionally bellbottoms.

The 1970 was a weird decade for fur, whiles sales peaked in the earlier years, later on, with the rise of animal rights activists, sales severely declined, almost causing the end of the industry. Toward the end of the decade, faux fur and other alternatives saw an increase in production.

One of the biggest things to come out of the ‘70s and which is still popular today, is the mood ring. It was known to measure the temperature of the wearer and change color which could be interpreted as different emotions. Black meant that the wearer was stressed while green meant that you were calm.

Short shorts, hot pants, Daisy Dukes, booty shorts, whatever you want to call them, these bottoms have been around for some time now, but only got the recognition that they deserved in the 1970s.

A papasan chair, also called moon or bowl chair, is an oversized rounded chair which is adjustable and extremely comfortable. The round bowl sits on a rattan or wooden frame and initially gained popularity during the World War II when the servicemen brought them back from Asia.

Pet rocks were some of the most bizarre toys to have ever been produced, but they were also one of the most successful. For just $4 (at the time), these rocks came in cardboard boxes with instructions of how to care for them.

8-track tapes were invented in the mid-1950s and were extremely popular throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, becoming one of the most sold portable electronic items until the compact cassette took over.

In 1974, there was an oil embargo which forced US citizens to stand in line for hours just to get a tank of gas. At that time, the moped had already been invented but as a result of the crisis and the fact that they could go for over 200 miles on one tank, more than 250,000 were sold by 1977.

Up until the 1970s, platform shoes were something that mostly entertainers wore, but after gaining popularity in the U.K., everyone seemed to want the extra height added by the shoe. It was usually paired with bell bottoms for a truly timeless look.

Throughout the decades, we saw the occasional streaker, but in the 1970s they took the streaking to a new level. In 1973, a streaker ran across the stage of the Oscars while it aired live on television. This act soon died out after people started getting arrested for doing it.

Perhaps the most popular thing that the 1970s were known for is Disco. It was centered around keyboards, drum machines, dance breaks and cool lyrics. With artists such as the BeeGees, Donna Summer and ABBA, it’s no wonder that it took a decade for this type of music to lose popularity.

The Hustle dance, simply called the Hustle, was an extremely popular disco dance in the 1970s. The original Hustle was created by a Puerto Rican teen in 1972 and at the time was a 5-step count dance. It later evolved to incorporate features from other dances including salsa, swing and the mambo.

One of the many fashion trends to come out of the 1970’s was the leisure suit. The casual suit became famous after John Travolta wore one in the film "Saturday Night Fever." They first started out in basic colors but late evolved into bright and vibrant colors.

Clogs are traditional wooden shoes which were used as protective footwear for those who worked in the mines, factories and in agriculture. In the 1970s they became very trendy and almost everyone owned a pair of these shoes. They were even made in the platform shoe style.

The 1970s was a decade of showing as much skin as possible, and one of those items of clothing that allowed people to do so was the tube top. The top, which had an elastic band all through it to keep it supported, was very popular among teens and young adults.

Puka shell necklaces originated in Hawaii and consisted of a central puka shell surrounded by smaller shells. They were mostly worn by surfers, but in the 1970s, everyone and their uncle owned one of these. They were also made into bracelets and anklets.

The egg chair, sometimes called the globe chair, is a small rounded chair made in the shape of an egg. It was invented in the late 1960s by a Danish designer and by the time the 1970s had rolled around, many celebrities were seen posing in the futuristic-looking chair. The popularity didn’t last long, as by the mid-1970s, it had lost its appeal to many people.

Jordache is an American clothing company which was known for manufacturing different types of apparel. The most popular product that it produced was their jeans. In 1979 they produced a television commercial which featured a topless woman wearing the jeans while riding a horse, which only increased the sale of the jeans.

In the late 1960s, Ingersoll Timex began producing several Mickey Mouse watches, many of which were a nod to the ones being produced in previous years. The watches were worn by both adults and children.

Shag carpets existed long before their popularity in the 1970s. They are made from loops of yarn which have been raised up to create a pile soft to the touch. Its long fibers give it a shaggy look which also inspired its name.

Farrah Fawcett was an American actress, artist and model best known for being one of Charlie’s Angels, her red swimsuit pinup poster and her hairstyle. The look was created by using a large barrel curling iron and curling the hair away from the face. There was even a song named after the actress’s famous hairstyle.

String art is a type of art which a person uses string, wool or yarn and hammered nails on a background to create a geometric pattern. In the late 1960s, a company began producing string art kits and by the 1970, almost every family in America were hanging them on their walls.

Roller skating was already popular before the 1970s but with the construction of discotheque where people were able to skate to their favorite disco songs, it seems like people were skating more than walking. The fad continued long into the 1980s and the early 1990s.

Pong is one of the earlies arcade video games to have been produced by Atari. It was released in 1972 and due to its popularity, the company began producing a home version of the game which was exclusively sold at Sears. It was a 2-dimensional sports game very similar to table tennis.

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