The alternative to some of the shorter dresses of the 1970s was the long evening dress or maxi dress. Long maxi dresses were commonly worn for evening and day wear in the 1970s dependant on the woman’s mood. Short dress one night, long dress the next. All in one catsuit the night after, skimpy mini dress or hot pants the night after that.
Some of the most popular elements of the early 1970s fashions were the caftan, either full length or as a tunic top; the halter neckline and the peasant girl folkloric effect. The flowing caftan (often called a Kaftan) with generous wide sleeves and covering roominess was almost always trimmed with metallic braid, contrast fabric or gold embroidery.
Folkloric peasant styling was used with traditional Swiss/Austrian style embroidered braid finishing off garment edges. Eyelet laced belts tied up with shoelace fine ties or satin rouleaux drew on folkloric elements found not only in Europe but also in India. All that foreign travel, because of the availability of cheap airfares, was bringing a mixed bag of ethnic ideas into mass market fashion.
This red long dress of 1971 shown right, has a peasant style eyelet and string tie belt. The exotic tropical print was also a very strong fashion fabric of the early 1970s era. Flower power at the most striking level of design.