’70s juniors clothes: Teenage girls spend a mint on fashionable clothing (1973)
Before teenage girls cracked a book last September, they spent a total of more than $3 billion in 60 days.
Their favorite purchases were dresses, pants and footwear, for which they spent more than $330 million each, according to the latest editions of Seventeen Magazine’s annual surveys, “High School Study” and “College Freshman Study,” in August and September — which account for more buying than any other time — their shopping spree included everything from coats ($275.3 million) jackets ($130.7 million) and tops ($299.3 million) to foundations ($113.9 million), hosiery ($111 million) and active sportswear ($81.6 million).
The large percentage increases in money spent on jackets, blouses, sweaters, pants and dresses show that teenage girls’ buying is heavily influenced by what’s new in fashion. Expenditures for shirts and blouses were up 48% to $136.4 million, jackets increased 37% to $130.7 million, sweaters grew 17% to $162.9 million, pants increased 10% to $333.3 million, and dresses were up 8% to $330.9 million.
The figures also show that girls do not live their pants life by blue jeans alone. They buy everything from bellbottoms and straight-legs to knickers and hot pants — and have found a new love: cuffed pants. While in 1971 only 4% of the girls bought cuffed pants, in 1972, 19% of the college freshmen and 27% of the high school girls went for trousers with cuffs.
Juniors fashions for teens from the 1973 JC Penney catalog
Click on any image below to see larger catalog pages, and to start the slideshow!
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Juniors fashions for teens in 1973
The surveys also herald the end of the braless craze. In 1972, teenage girls spent $113.9 million on foundations — an increase of 20% over the year before. This is aside from the $92.5 million spent on, underthings and $84.4 million for sleepwear.
Footwear, on which girls spent $336.2 million, showed a trend away from boots and moccasin-type shoes. The impact of fashion showed up in an increase in dressy shoes with heels rather than flats, and in more sandals, thongs and clogs. College freshman girls showed their sophistication by buying wedges and platforms.
Teenage girls accented their fashion with accessories, to the tune of $131 million. That included everything from belts, handbags and wallets to sunglasses, scarves and costume jewelry.
Both surveys were conducted nationally by Gilbert Youth Research, which personally interviewed 1,713 girls ages 14-17 for the High School Study, and 1,640 college freshman girls from 50 states attending 36 colleges for the College Freshman Study.
The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) – Monday, March 26, 1973