Was there ever another decade more closely associated with a fabric than the seventies and polyester? I have a book featuring Sears clothing from the early 1970s, and it is simply amazing how many of the clothes are made from it—pants, shirts, dresses, sweaters, coats, and suits. At the Whittier Museum, I even saw two long evening gowns made from this sturdy synthetic.
My tastes run to natural fibers, and sometimes I think I would get along just fine with only cotton and silk. Still, I can imagine the initial appeal of polyester. Since most of the fabric came in knit form, it made movement easy. It was sold under many different brand names—Dacron, Fortrel, Kodel and Trevira—giving the illusion of variety. A big selling point was that it was truly wash-and-wear, not needing even the touch of an iron. It came in a huge range of colors that never faded. No wonder that men, women, and children embraced this miracle fiber.
Perhaps today we might turn up our noses at this trio of women in their polyester outfits, so carefully color coordinated. At the time, though, they fit right in. That long (probably polyester) scarf with the Pucci-esque print worn by the woman in the middle is another seventies touch.