Disco Pants Running Out & Lee Jeans

First of all, I didn’t think American Apparel would be closing this soon or quickly. Secondly, I didn’t think there would be a run on their disco pant. When all the talk started surfacing of AA’s bankruptcy, many were already lamenting the demise of the store. But according to my research I usually found reliable information claiming that AA was just going to restructing their finances. Then all of a sudden it hit like a storm that AA would no longer be. And I had intentions of picking up at least one more pair of black in medium. Unfortunately, there are no sizes larger than small available at the moment. Only midnight navy is availabe in medium. But I wanted black in medium. And now they are starting to pop up on ebay at the full price of $85. And I haven’t found anymore in thrift stores. I guess that’s it then. But I have all my traditional-fitting spandex disco jeans so I not terribly troubled by this.

There’s really nothing more to say about AA disco pants at this time so I will talk about something else for a little bit. Last week I found an old pair of Lee jeans at a thrift store. I don’t particularly care for Lee’s but this pair struck me because they had the exact same color as those awesome Levi’s jeans I wore in high school and college. A perfectly faded, light blue patina with minor wear areas here and there. Most likely washed and worn very, very often. The tag inside is completed faded so no size info is available and there is no way to tell if they are American made. But clearly they are from the 1990’s or earlier.

Their fit as compared to my Levi’s were definitely looser and could probably be called ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ jeans. Waist was tight but they loosened up in the thighs and legs. Similar to my Levi’s they were also a bit short, probably even a wee bit shorter. When I did try them on I almost could not fasten them and I started thinking they would be of no use to me. But after persisting I finally got them buttoned and zipped. They were marginally tight on the crotch, pretty tight on the bum and too loose on the legs. They were as loose as anything I would consider wearing at this point. And my philosophy is that if you’re going to wear something that is that tight on the waist it had better be tight everywhere else, too.

So while I was not pleased with the fit and the length of these Lee jeans, the facts that I was able to fasten them, that they were tight on the bum and their color similarity gave them incredible potential. So the very next day I took them to the cleaners to have them taken in. I brought along a pair of my tightest 100% cotton Levi’s 511 skinny jeans to see if they could make the fit similar. I wanted to bring my original Levi’s but they’re in pretty bad shape. I picked them up today and the seamstress did a really great job. They are very much tighter than before and look and feel awesome. She could have gone even tighter in the legs though. Had I brought my original pair she could have made them precisely the same! The only thing she could not have was make them a little longer. I imagine they must have shrunk from all that washing.

There is no way I can wear these Lee jeans with low top sneakers of any kind. I tried them on with some high top Chuck Taylors and the look is acceptable but not ideal. Also tried them with my vintage Reebok high tops. Again, not all that great of a look. I have a few other pairs of sneakers I want to try them with. And I also have a few pairs of boots I can tuck them into. The hems are not as narrow as on my original Levi’s which is fine because, even though I have and wear that kind, I prefer my jeans being tight from the knees on up and looser on the calves and ankles. This is also true of my preferred fit for disco pants.

But I’m pretty excited about wearing these jeans. Their patch pockets are really high up as was common on jeans of this era. So if anyone sees me wearing these they will probably know they’re old school jeans. They are so soft and that color is so nice and brings back memories. And the fact that they are 100% cotton means that they will not loosen up after a few hours of wear. I really hope I find another pair like this. As much as I am partial to Levi’s jeans these Lee’s turned out to be pretty great and I would be pleased with another. The next one I will have the legs taken in even tighter to match my old Levi’s. After all, even though those Levi’s are no longer wearable my legs still fully fit in them with no slack at all. That’s the fit I’m going for.

I recently bought a pair of 510’s that is supposed to be light blue like the jeans I’ve been talking about. I ordered them online so I was not able to see them in person beforehand. When I received them the color was acceptable–still not the soft, faded, baby blue color I’ve seen on the old, washed & worn pairs–but the fit was disappointing. Too loose in the crotch and bum areas. I sent it back and will probably order one size down. I had also ordered a pair of 519’s which had a better fit in the bum but still too loose in the crotch. I plan to get another one of those in a smaller size as well.

But getting back once more to those Lee jeans–I feel so lucky to have found them last week. When I put them on I feel like I did all those years ago with my old Levi’s. If they were just a little longer they’d be perfect! And if they were Levi’s they’d be absolutely tops!! I put my wallet in my back pocket just to see how it looks. Makes a big bulge in the back. Believe me, it’s not money in there just a lot of other things. And it was very hard pulling it out. Unlike stretch jeans where you can rather easily slip your wallet in and out, this non-stretch pair takes some effort getting it out. And I definitely will not be putting anything in the front pockets. That would be quite the struggle to get it out.



About Spandex Disco Jeans

This blog is mostly about spandex disco pants from the 70s, 80s and now!
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3 Responses to Disco Pants Running Out & Lee Jeans

  1. doriangray says:

    Those of us that work at American Apparel are sad to see it go for many reasons. The re-structuring didn’t quite work out.

  2. doriangray says:

    6 years but only as a part-timer.

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