Select Page


Dirtbags fashion lookbooks and youth culture in the 1970s

Dirtbags is one of many posts about youth movements and fashion from the 1970s with the main focus on style and looks. Earlier posts are biker culture in America, the hippie’s movement, and pioneers of skateboarders in California around 1975 – 1979. Other important movements and happenings were the punk culture, disco and club culture in New York, 1978 and the mod revival in 1979 that will be posted in the following weeks.

In the 1970s at the same time as the skateboarders (Z-Boys from of Santa Monica, California) pushing their limits using the dried-out pools in L.A as the playground, another group of young people from California escaped the city heat and headed for the mountains. These youngsters should soon be named dirtbags. They lived in their cars, tents or next to the campfire and when the money ended they sold whatever they had to focus on one thing climbing. Their lifestyles made them legends in the United States and beyond. Their lives were full of camaraderie, freedom, and nonconformity; they climbed hard and most spectacular routes with the minimal use of gear and revolutionized the climbing sport. Read also from the blog needsupply

1970s Dirtbags Fashion Lookbooks One

Dirtbags and Skateboarders in California

The dirtbags lifestyle made a massive impact on 1970’s youth culture across the world, and in many ways, they have a lot of common to the skateboard culture in California. They lived for the present and were connected unlike young wasted people elsewhere in 70’s. In many ways, they pioneered an alternative way of living in America without nine to five working hours, shopping malls and less focus on materialism. Dirtbags were Stonemasters and groundbreakers of free climbing in Yosemite Valley, California and soon made the impact on European free climbing and generation of French solo climbers with people such as Patrick Edlinger.

1970’s Dirtbags Lookbooks Two

In the 1970s if you were a climber, you were a dirtbag – the lifestyle demanded it. These young hippies surviving on a big sack of corn meal and canned food in order to climb full time, living outside the camps of Yosemite’s or in the wide-open desert of Joshua Tree. Their love and devotion to their sport have many similarities with the pioneering skateboarders; their devotion became more than just the sport. They created a lifestyle of their own, a brand-new set of codes, styles, and fashions to be recognized by alike all over the world; except that, few people know the importance how dirtbags were a large impact to outdoor activities and development of climbing equipment.

1970’s Dirtbags Fashion Lookbooks Three

1970’s Dirtbags DNA

  • Event: Mountains of Yosemite and Joshua Tree
  • Fashion: 1970s Californian youth style, climbing long sun-bleached hair, bandanas, hair band six, shades, cutoff jeans and corduroys climbing gear
  • Transportation: Vans and (big) cars for sleeping
  • Heroes: Mike Graham, Robs Muir, Gib Lewis, Bill Antel, Jim Hoagland, Tobin Sorenson, John Bachar, John Long, Rick Accomazzo, John Yablonski and Richard Harrison
  • Homes: Nature, Vans, camping, outdoor
  • Music: Sound of nature and 1970s rock
  • Place: Yosemite camp, wide-open desert Joshua tree
  • Drugs: Nature and pot smoking
  • Attitude: DIY, free spirit, proud, fearless, outsiders, comrades, open lifestyle, joyful, unity, connected and present

1970’s Dirtbags Fashion Lookbooks Four

Check out the new Dictionary with More than 1000 illustrated terms on Eco Fashion Design

Highly Recommended photo book The Stonemasters: California Rock Climbers in the Seventies (T. Adler Books/Stonemaster Press)
%d bloggers like this: