Jonden Spandex Disco Pants

Today I want to write a little bit about my Jonden spandex disco jeans, in particular the most recent one I added to my collection, the purple one. I’ve written about how the back of this pair doesn’t quite fit right on me. It doesn’t go up as high as I feel it should and it tends to sag after a while. It seems to have a particularly low back rise and there’s really nothing that can be done about that.

All my Jonden pants seem to have a lower back rise, but on my other pairs the back does pull up to where it should be. Here is a photo of me wearing the purple pair so you can see what I’m talking about.

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See what I mean? It sits too low and and this is confirmed even by a disco pants expert that I talked with. While the front looks great this backside is worthy of being fully covered up. Could be a manufacturing defect. The pockets may look a bit low set but the truth is that all the Jonden disco jeans I have also feature this characteristic. The other big brands, e.g. Le Gambi, Bojeangles, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Michi, all have their pockets placed higher up which I like. But I also like the pockets being lower because they tend to be more noticeable if you’re wearing a shirt or jacket that’s a little longer. But this look here is not good. Some people might suggest that perhaps these are too small for me. I would counter by saying that I have worn smaller ones by the other brands and they never fit like this!

Now allow me to show you how my other four pairs of Jonden fit on the back.

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There they are. That’s how the purple should fit but for whatever reason it does not. The blue pair, which was my first ever pair of Jonden’s, also tends to sag a bit in the rear after a while of use. But nothing awful like the purple one.

Jonden disco pants are extremely hard to find. It was one of the later brands which came about in 1981. I’m a huge fan of this brand’s pants because they clearly have a unique look and feel to them. As I already mentioned, I like how the back pockets are placed lower. The design of the pockets is also somewhat different from the other big brands. Typically, the other brands have pockets that are round on the bottom (as does American Apparel’s). Jonden has pockets that come to a point at the bottom. It’s harder to see on the black pants but believe me it’s true. Another aspect of Jonden’s disco pants that I like is that some of them seem to be extra shiny and smooth, almost like silk. This is true especially of the white, red and purple ones. The blue and black not so much. Clearly there were some manufacturing differences. I prefer the really shiny and smooth ones, but they are all awesome to me.

In addition to those aspects I love the fact that Jonden pants are so comfortable on the waist. The blue one is, the red one is, the black one is. All due to their very stretch waistband. The white one is such a skintight pair that it is the exception in this case. The zipper has broken once or twice already. So it isn’t such a comfortable pair but when I’m in them it is a great feeling. They are the shiniest and silkiest pair of white disco pants I own.

Finally, Jonden disco jeans appear to have a longer zipper flap compared to the other brands. I like this feature because again if you are wearing a longer shirt or wearing an untucked shirt, that zipper flap still shows and people will see that you are wearing pants, not tights or leggings. On the other brands the zipper flap is not as long or low-reaching, so that along with the high pockets can all be obscured by a long shirt or jacket.

All those wonderful praises being sung, I have to mention two critiques of this brand of disco pants. First, the nylon zipper. While I have had 7 pairs of Jonden pants and only one has had a zipper break, I still feel that that their zippers feel a bit flimsy and are just waiting to snap apart. However, being plastic they do have smoother movement up and down as opposed to the brass ones. But they do feel weak and whenever I am zipping a pair up I finding myself saying, “Please don’t break!”

Second, on my four favorite pairs–the blue, black, white & red–they have varying degrees of damage to them. Some already came with damage due to being pre-worn, but they developed even more after I’ve worn them. The black pair was a brand new one that I bought and after only a few gentle wearings they are showing the signs of damage. Thus, it appears that Jonden used a weaker or more delicate fabric for their pants. The standard for most disco pants is a 90/10 nylon/spandex blend, but on a few Jondens I’ve seen 87/13. Not sure if that is a reason for the tendency to get damaged quicker. I’m no expert on the material ratios that would give the best look, fit and longevity. But I do suspect that the more shiny nylon/lycra material is more susceptible to earlier damage.

So those are my only two gripes about Jonden spandex disco pants. Even with those issues though I am a huge fan of them and wish I had more. Better yet I wish Jonden would start making them again and fill in the void left by American Apparel. The Jonden brand name is still around and still in the clothing business. I have entertained the thought of writing to them and asking if they might consider starting up the production lines on spandex jeans once again. Perhaps I will.

Last summer-through-fall there was about 4 pairs available on ebay. But I was broke then and couldn’t buy more than one. That’s when I got the purple. But there was also navy, green & silver. I really wish I had the silver one.

I’ll end this post with some photos of people wearing Jonden disco jeans.

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About Spandex Disco Jeans

This blog is mostly about spandex disco pants from the 70s, 80s and now!
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