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.