Disco Pants on ‘The Rockford Files’

Today on television I was watching an episode of “The Rockford Files” when all of a sudden a young blonde woman appeared wearing black spandex disco pants! Immediately I had to find out what year that episode was from and who the actress was. The episode was from 1979–the height of disco pants era–and the actress was Jillian Kesner, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 58. It was a very short segment that she appeared in with her disco pants and probably altogether less than 10 seconds worth of any solid footage of her pants. And unfortunately, she was playing the part of a hooker named Lily. Apparently it became more and more common over the years in the entertainment industry to portray “sex workers” wearing disco pants, which probably led to the end of the popularity and the ultimate demise of such a wonderful article of clothing. What a shame indeed. But thankfully, the music group Menudo continued to wear disco pants well into the mid 1980’s. Their clean-cut, good-boy image helped give an innocence and wholesomeness to disco pants and served to show that the pants were a still cool item and that boys/guys could wear them, too.

Speaking of Menudo, recently I found a video of them performing “Footloose” which features all of them wearing very shiny black disco pants.

What a thrill it must have been to perform under those bright lights wearing skintight disco pants! And not only that but to have the footage preserved for posterity. Imagine how great it must be for Ricky Martin, for example, to go back and watch all that footage of himself performing live in front of thousands of fans wearing shiny spandex disco pants! All those guys were so lucky.

In this video they are each wearing different color tops but all are wearing black disco pants along with black boots. The song Footloose is originally from 1984. Thus this video must be from 1984 or later which again is great because it shows they were still sporting disco pants into the mid-80s. That places the halcyon days of disco pants from 1978-1985, a good run but definitely at a point when I was too young to be able enjoy wearing them myself. So I make up for it now.

Recently I’ve been thinking how very glad I am that I actually wore disco pants in public. Not in the very open public but among people I know. The fact that I wore them so many times around these people means that to them I will always be that guy who wore ‘spandex pants’, as I am sure most if not all of them have no idea what these pants are actually called. Years from now they will actually say to me, “Remember how you used to wear those _______ pants?” (Fill in the blank with whatever they would call them). And I would say, “Yes,” and it would be great that they actually remembered and that I actually had the courage to wear them. As far as what they would call them–well, I’ve heard leather pants, yoga pants, tight pants, shiny pants, tights, flash pants & spandex. Some names were completely off. Others were pretty close. I definitely look forward to wearing them some more. It took a while to eliminate the novelty effect of wearing such an item and I don’t want to go through that again. But it is going on 3 months since I have worn these pants and I don’t wish to prolong this drought.

Finally, I am looking at the possibility of acquiring 2 additional pairs of vintage disco pants. A much needed white pair by one of my favorite brands and a red pair by another of my favorite brands. We’ll see how that goes.

About Spandex Disco Jeans

This blog is mostly about spandex disco pants from the 70s, 80s and now!
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13 Responses to Disco Pants on ‘The Rockford Files’

  1. Russ says:

    Hey there. I did it. I bought several pairs of spandex disco pants from American Apparel that have the printed styles such as the watercolor giraffe print, the Aztec-like abstract print, and the 3-tone striped sides to name a few. They remind me of Dallas Cowboys football pants. And I love them all. They look, feel, and fit wonderfully. They make me feel a little like a rock star when I wear them. I am so hooked on SDJ’s that I am trying to get 1 of every color and print that I can find that fits me. Yep, I’m an addict, and I don’t care who likes it or not.
    On a more technical note, I have a question. How exactly do you wash spandex disco jeans? I know that they are not supposed to be machine washed, but how or where are they properly maintained? In a tub, a sink? Do you use Woolite, or just plain water? Any advice on proper care is appreciated. I want to make mine last a LONG time.
    Loving your blog posts. Keep up the good spandex work. See you next time.

    • sktL505 says:

      Hey Russ,
      I’m really glad to hear that! And actually now is really a vital time to but some of those because I do suspect the supplies on some of those colors is waning and they will not be making any more! You can see on their website that certain sizes of certain colors are discounted 40% because they only have a few left and then there will be no more. I think this is the first indication that disco pants popularity is waning. Of course, that won’t bother us, but I never minded the popularity of this new disco pants revival that came about. I only saw one person wearing these pants in person. However, the internet has provided enough photos and videos to satisfy anyone, something that was not available when the original disco pants had their heyday.

      As far as how to wash them goes–personally I have never washed any of mine. Seeing as how infrequent I wear them I don’t see a need to wash them. That’s actually the same thing I do with my jeans. If necessary I only spot clean with cold water and then let air dry. If I had to wash them I would either dry clean them or wash in cold water in the bath tub (or a smaller plastic tub) with MILD liquid detergent and then allow to air dry. When air-drying I would try to make sure they don’t get all wrinkly. That is what I would do. But I have never tried so I’m not sure if that advice is worth anything. I think they key points are to use mild detergent–you don’t want anything that is going to eat away at the nylon prematurely–and keep away from any source of heat, i.e. hot water, hot air.

      I do believe the best way to make them last a long time is to keep a rotating pattern in wearing them. And stay away from velcro! Thanks for reading! Always enjoy your comments!!

  2. skippy says:

    I was always afraid to wash mine,But I would think with cold water with woolite and hang dry,I don’t think they go into a dryer.

  3. skippy says:

    Also would love to see the Rockford files episode,And for the longest time was trying to remember a wrestler I used to see on Tv in the 80’s and He always had a girlfriend with him all the time that wore Disco spandex in all colors,Well just yesterday stumbled across Him and her By accident and He is Jimmy Garvin and the girl was Sunshine but he also had another girlfriend named precious,Both were blondes and wore tight Disco spandex.83 was a great year for these pants. Here are some video’s for your pleasure,sorry that the quality is not always great,And You can probably find more if you look.

  4. Russ says:

    Looked to me like he was wearing neon pink disco pants in the first video.Awesome, since I just bought a pair last week. Thanks for the advice on caring for my spandex disco pants. I’ll see if any of it works. I got my wife a pair of SDJ’s for Christmas, and she loves them. She’s REAL big on privacy though, so I don’t think I’ll get pics for you. BTW, how would anyone upload pics to you? I have pics of myself (without face or head shots) in a pair of AA 3-tone SDJ’s. I don’t look like Garvin but I think I look okay enough for perusal, or inspiration, or both. You can determine if you want to use them. How is it done?

    • sktL505 says:

      Hi Russ,
      Regarding photos—Wordpress.com does not allow plugins to be installed, which would allow you to post photos along with your comments. WordPress.org does allow plugins. I would have transfer my blog over. Actually I have been considering moving this whole blog over to blogspot because everything there is so much more effortless. Until then you could email your photos to me.
      I’m really glad to hear both you and your wife enjoy wearing disco pants. That’s really great!

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