The best 70s-inspired fashion for everyone obsessed with The Serpent

Obsessed with the BBC One crime drama? These are the 70s-inspired outfits that’ll sartorially transport you to another decade. 

If, like us, you find hunkering down and getting into a new series the highlight of the day, you’ll know about The Serpent. If you don’t, here’s a quick update (without any show spoilers). The eight-part crime series is based on a true story, transporting viewers back to the 70s following the trial of serial killer Charles Sobhraj (nicknamed “The Serpent”). 

Featuring Jenna Coleman as Sobhraj’s girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc, naturally the Doctor Who actor has gained attention. Of course for her acting skills, but also for the 70s-inspired outfits.

Wardrobe stylist Rachel Walsh managed to encapsulate the decade’s hippie style with sleek, tailored styles worn by 70s icon Bianca Jagger and denim loved by Jane Birkin. With the retro decade taking over on the spring/summer 2021 runways at the likes of Christian Dior and Paco Rabanne, it’s no surprise The Serpent has become as talked about for the shocking storyline as it has Marie-Andrée’s (Jenna’s) impeccable style in the show. 

The suit

Bringing the glamour associated with the Studio 54 era, the suit has managed to stand the test of time. Opt for rich, glossy shades and pair with retro floral shirts (tucked in) with supersize shades that’ll end up elevating even the most wintry looks. 

Want to bring it right up to date? Style the suit as separates – wear the blazer with jeans and style the trousers with a roll-neck knit and white trainers. 

  • Mango blazer

    Mango blazer

    Try it out with an oversized collar top underneath and let the collar hang out over the blazer. 

    Shop essential structured blazer at Mango, £25.99 (previously £39.99


  • Mango trousers

    Mango trousers

    Switch 70s-style platforms in favour of trainers or chunky boots to bring this teal shade straight into 2021.

    Shop suit slim-fit trousers at Mango, £12.99 (previously £29.99)


  • Aje

    Aje floral blouse

    Add any billowing blouse to a pair of tailored trousers and you get an instant 70s vibe. Tuck it in to get the full effect. 

    Shop Aje Impact floral-print linen blouse at Matches, £280


  • Victoria Beckham sunglasses

    Victoria Beckham sunglasses

    A 70s-inspired round-up wouldn’t be complete without a pair of Victoria Beckham oversized shades. 

    Shop Milled Navigator sunglasses in caramel pearl at Victoria Beckham, £245


The jumpsuit

Easy to style outfits have taken the lead this year and ‘throw on’ looks have been deemed the go-to. Elevate this easy look by opting for the humble jumpsuit. By going for a wide-leg style in a bright shade, it’ll take you in the right direction of summer. Try it out with a maxi kaftan or longline cardigan to make it work for winter. 

The belted silhouette is what makes it feel more 70s – go for an iteration with a belt already attached for minimal effort and maximum impact. 

  • A.L.C. jumpsuit

    A.L.C. jumpsuit

    Yellow is the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2021 and it’s here to brighten up every outfit. 

    Shop A.L.C. x Petra Flannery Cyprus belted linen-blend jumpsuit at Net-a-Porter, £725


  • Brother Vellies shoes

    Brother Vellies shoes

    Platform, court or sandal – if you opt for a woven style they’ll instantly give you a retro edge. 

    Shop Olivia woven pump at Brother Vellies, £581


The jeans

The instant way to add a 70s spin to your existing wardrobe is by incorporating flared jeans. Go for a deep indigo pair to style with colourful shirts, pussybow blouses and high-neck tops. 

Adding accessories is also an easy way to channel the decade without going OTT. Opt for a scarf worn as a headband, classic buckled belts and wear sunglasses across all seasons. 

  • Oliver Bonas scarf

    Oliver Bonas scarf

    Use a scarf around your head as a headband, through your jean loopholes or around a bag handle. 

    Shop Striped print scarf at Oliver Bonas, £19.50


  • 7 For All Mankind flared jeans

    7 For All Mankind flared jeans

    A pair of flared jeans is the iconic denim style that’ll give your wardrobe and instant retro hit. 

    Shop 7 For All Kind Modern Dojo high-rise flared jeans at Mytheresa, £230


The high-neck top

Whether it’s a fitted, printed shirt, a billowing pussybow blouse or a halterneck top, the 70s wasn’t a time to shy away from bold styles. Make like The Serpent’s Marie-Andrée (only in the outfit department) and go for a scarf print iteration. 

How do you wear it for winter? Go for the nice top and jeans fail-safe combo and team with square-toe boots and a cosy teddy coat. 

  • Reiss top

    Reiss top

    A halterneck top is a throwback that’ll make you feel nostalgic from the 90s, too. Wear this Reiss style with a fluffy coat and dark denim. 

    Shop Joanna halterneck top at Reiss, £40 (previously £125)


The kaftan

Spotted on the beach in a white crochet kaftan, Jenna Coleman’s character shows how to do a summer look in serious style. Granted, we’re a few months away from beach strolls but with clever layering you can wear a summery style already. 

Try it over a cami top and jeans with chunks boots now, for spring with lace-up the leg sandals and come high summer you’ll wear it with nothing but a crochet bikini to keep the 70s look. 

  • Melissa Odabash kaftan

    Melissa Odabash kaftan

    Dream of summer strolls in this maxi kaftan. For now, layer it over jeans and boots and a cami top for a hint of warmer days. 

    Shop Melissa Odabash Yasmin belted crochet-lace maxi kaftan at Matches, £288


Opening image: BBC

Other images: BBC and Instagram

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