'70s Fads That Are Back
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19 Far-Out '70s Fads That Have Made a Comeback

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'70s Fads That Are Back
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RETRO? NOT REALLY

Many would argue that the '70s, in all of their feathered-hair, polyester-clad glory, haven't aged as well as other decades. Though we often clamor for the return of our favorite old foods and childhood cereals, no one is exactly calling for the return of leisure suits and pet rocks. Still, plenty of the biggest trends of the '70s haven't exactly faded away – here are 19 hallmarks of the decade that have had surprising staying power.

Related: Tech Flops of the 1970's and 80's That Were Ahead of Their Time

Fondue
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Fondue

Everyone seemed to own a fondue set in the '70s, but it's not exactly on the top of everyone's list for a must-have appliance these days. But that doesn't mean fondue has gone the way of the dodo. You can still indulge at The Melting Pot, a nationwide restaurant chain that has at least 120 locations where guests down more than 700,000 pounds of melted cheese every year. And Eater outlines the resurgence of raclette, a close cousin of fondue that is taking newer restaurants by storm.

Related: 26 Foods We Miss From the '70s and '80s

'Star Wars'
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'Star Wars'

Calling "Star Wars" a fad is a disservice — after the original movie's release, it became a cultural touchstone. Still, the fact that the latest installments in the franchise could gross anything close to the originals proves that 40 years later, it's still Luke Skywalker's world — we're just living in it. Adjusted for inflation, 1977's "A New Hope" pulled in a crazy $2.7 billion at the box office, but hot on its heels was 2015's "The Force Awakens," with more than $2 billion.

Clogs
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Clogs

The clunky clogs of the '70s were a decidedly Scandinavian import, often worn with bell bottoms and peasant tops. Today you can spot plenty of clogs with leather tops and chunky wood soles that look exactly like their throwback cousins, but don't ignore the biggest clog-related trend to rock the footwear world: Crocs. The ubiquitous foam clogs have been around since the early 2000s, when they simultaneously drew raves for comfort and rants about their somewhat homely looks.

Jogging
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Jogging

We may have traded the tracksuits and tube socks for compression leggings and fitness trackers, but there's no doubt: Jogging is alive and well in 2019 (though most devotees would much rather you use the term "running" these days). Whatever you call it, it's gone mainstream since the '70s, when some of the first major road races got their start. For instance, even the venerable Boston Marathon had fewer than 1,000 participants until the end of the '60s, according to Runner's World; close to 30,000 competed in 2018.

Related: The 50 Biggest Diet and Exercise Fads of the Past Century

Aviator Glasses
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Waterbeds
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Waterbeds

The 1970s witnessed the rise of the waterbed, and as The Atlantic puts it, the sloshy vinyl mattresses even became somewhat of an icon of the sexual revolution. The trend eventually crashed and burned in the mid-'80s, and today has been supplanted by simpler foam bed-in-a-box mattresses. But waterbeds may be poised for a comeback, led by none other than their original inventor. The modern-day waterbed also uses memory foam, offers temperature control, and aims for a marketing strategy that is much less about sex and more about comfort.

Disco
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Disco

Chances are high that your images of the '70s include a man in a leisure suit showcasing his sweetest disco moves. Little is more closely associated with the decade than disco, but any real music fan will tell you that reports of the genre's death have been greatly overblown. House and club music still borrow heavily from disco, and you can feel its groove in hits as big as Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body." And don't forget the recent ABBA worship with big-cinema remakes of "Mamma Mia."

Shag Rugs
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Shag Rugs

One of the most-maligned interior design trends of the '70s is undoubtedly shag carpeting, which threatened to topple even the most skilled high-heel wearers or clog the strongest of vacuums. Despite its less-than-practical qualities, shag is back – big time. As House Beautiful notes, the shag of today is more likely to creep into your home as an area rug than a room of long-fibered, wall-to-wall splendor. Even Costco has several options, including the ultimate '70s throwback rug: sheepskin.

Nerf
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Nerf

There was a time in the early '70s when Nerf sold just one product: a squishy 4-inch foam ball. It sold like hotcakes despite the fact that it didn't bounce; a couple of years later, the Nerf football followed with great success. But what really kept Nerf from being a fad-like blip on the toy radar came in the '90s, with the invention of the company's first foam-dart blaster. Today, there's a new must-have blaster practically every Christmas, including fully motorized models meant for teens and grown-ups.

Custom Vans
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Custom Vans

Until recently, simply uttering the phrase "custom van" probably conjured images of Fords and Dodges with wildly painted exteriors — flames, anyone? — vinyl seats or bearskin rugs inside, and maybe even a bubble window or two. But as the tiny-living craze takes hold, vans are back in a big way. They've inspired a robust Instagram hashtag (#vanlife) as devotees show off how they live small while taking in some of the world's most dazzling scenery. You won't find many air-brushed flames anymore, but you will find plenty of natural wood interiors and super-clever storage ideas.

Related: DIY RVs and Vans You Have to See to Believe

Macramé
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Macramé

What better to go with those newly shaggy rugs than some macramé? In the '70s, it seemed like everyone had their own lovingly handwoven twine designs hanging on the walls, or better yet, holding some sort of houseplant. The fad largely died out in the '80s, but it has been "Instagrammed back from the dead" by none other than those pesky Millennials. Pieces have even gone as mainstream as store-brand décor from Target.

Platform Shoes
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Platform Shoes

If you spent some of the '70s teetering around in platform shoes, you probably remember how impractical they were — but how cool you felt wearing them. Some platforms drew inspiration from another huge '70s shoe trend, clogs. Others were pure rock 'n' roll, while still others looked like everyday sandals and boots that just happened to have a gargantuan heel underneath. Platforms of all stripes are back in style today, and it's not their first resurgence. In the '90s, they were all the rage, thanks in part to the Spice Girls and the ubiquitous Steve Madden slides with stretchy tops.

Atari
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Atari

Few are ditching their Xbox for an old Atari 2600, but the nostalgia that comes with games like Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede is powerful. The most ubiquitous video-game consoles of the '70s have been revived over the past decade with a series of plug-and-play Flashback consoles, complete with retro joysticks. But Atari isn't content to coast on fuzzy memories: A brand-new console, the VCS, will be released at the year's end. While you'll be able to play the old classics, it also allows web browsing and streaming of modern games and services like Netflix.

Related: 31 Bars With Arcades That Are Worth Your Quarters

Terrariums
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Terrariums

It didn't take much to indulge your green thumb in the '70s: Just combine an empty fish tank and a few houseplants, and voila, you had an oh-so-trendy terrarium that would look right at home among the other greenery dangling from your macramé holders. Today, terrariums may actually be bigger than ever. Glass orbs and cloches filled with succulents are a staple of home décor stores, and entire craft businesses have even sprung up around terrariums, with artists repurposing found objects as part of the designs.

Bold Wallpaper
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Bold Wallpaper

Neutral walls just weren't on trend in the '70s. What was? Bold wallpaper, often in shades of bright yellow, orange, gold and, yes, avocado green. The designs were dizzying, from florals to kaleidoscopic geometric patterns. And while there are still plenty of real estate agents that will try to dissuade you from wallpaper, fewer homeowners are listening these days, in part because they're tired of all those boring neutrals. Today's prints are equally bold, designers say, but many are more whimsical. There's also a bit more restraint, with wallpaper often serving as an accent instead of covering a whole room.

Tennis
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Tennis

If jogging was the iconic exercise of the '70s, tennis was the decade's quintessential spectator sport. Tennis experienced a "boom" back then as icons like John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, and Martina Navratilova drew spectators to newly televised tournaments. Though its popularity has never quite hit those levels since then, tennis has hardly faded away. Big names like Roger Federer and Serena Williams have whetted the public's interest, though some commentators say the lack of an American male megastar like Andre Agassi has kept the sport from peak popularity.

High-Waisted Pants
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High-Waisted Pants

Whether you were rocking bell bottoms or dress pants made of "carefree polyester" in the '70s, chances are they covered your bellybutton with plenty of extra room to spare. Much to the relief of those of us with a little extra fluff around the middle, higher waists and more generous silhouettes are coming back into fashion. We're especially receptive to this '70s throwback after the low-rider epidemic of the late '90s, which, frighteningly, may be getting its own resurgence.

Granola
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Granola

Granola is so mainstream now that it's funny to think it was ever considered more of a hippie food trend, but it wasn't always on the breakfast table. In 1972, the world got its "first corporate granola" in the form of Heartland Nature Cereal. Soon, Quaker Oats and other big hitters followed suit. Today, a taste test of more than a dozen kinds of supermarket granola barely scratches the surface of the market despite persistent criticism that something long sold as health food isn't all that healthy after all.

Roller Skating
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Roller Skating

The '70s were the unquestionable heyday of the roller skating, largely thanks to an assist from disco music that was beat-heavy and rink-friendly. But as disco faded and Americans' purse strings tightened in the '80s, roller rinks started closing. Still, the inline skating fad of the '90s sent some new business their way, and today's industry executives credit roller derby and chart-toppers with a retro vibe with keeping rinks humming today.