Old Frederick’s Catalog From 1996

I was a bit disappointed the last few days because I was expecting to have my 2-tone AA disco pants by now. When I called in on Wednesday to pick it up I was told I’d have to wait till Saturday. That’s bad in itself but had I not called in and just went there I would have wasted a trip and walked out empty-handed. So tomorrow it is. Hopefully.

Today I got in my fifth wearing for this month of March. The weather is in full cooperative mode and we are now officially in spring. I just don’t want it to get too hot too soon. Let’s keep it right around 60°, weather gods. Most of my jackets that fall under the category of 60°+ cool weather are short and I’m not quite ready to consistently pair the short jackets with spandex disco jeans. Though ultimately that is my goal. I want to wear shiny spandex jeans in the 70-80° of summer only with t-shirts. Beyond those temps, well, it’s back to disco pant shorts. For now, however, let’s just keep it cool enough that I can comfortably wear spandex disco pants yet warm enough that I can wear my canvas Converse sneakers without getting cold feet.

Check out this really cool photo:


This is from a Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog from 1996. 1996! I had no idea you could still purchase these pants in 1996. Yet there they are, still being sold and made at that time. If you look carefully at them you will see some differences between these and the ones Frederick’s sold in the late 70s. These have more of a tapered leg. That is the biggest significant difference. Gone were the original straight leg fit version. And it’s also quite surprising because baggy and loose fit were in their prime in 1996. Tight, tapered jeans were a thing of the past.

Also of note in this photo is the term Frederick’s used for these pants. Mind you, this is their item. They can call it whatever they want. But the name they gave it was nylon/spandex jeans which I find 100% appropriate. I know I have written about this before, but it bears repeating. These composition of these pants was always a majority of nylon with a much smaller percentage of lycra spandex. We’re talking about 9 to 1. So why do we leave out the nylon when we refer to these pants? I really like the nylon/spandex jeans name. I’m going to start using it frequently but I will also continue to use the other terms otherwise some of the younger folks who are interested in these pants might not ever find this blog!

Look at the price back in 1996: $44! Forty-four dollars for these amazing pants! And they came in five colors—silver, white, black, pink and gold. I have a pair of these in silver and I should note that the quality of these is not up to the standard of the originals. They are still great but they are more prone to damage due to overstretching. And these are somewhat shinier as well. Which I love. It’s not written there but on the pair I have it says something to the effect of 85% nylon & 15% spandex. I just wonder when they stopped selling these. And who was wearing these in the mid 90s.

Take a look at another photo, apparently from another catalog from 1996:

s-l1600 - 2019-03-17T181013.746

These are also called nylon/spandex jeans but they look quite different from the others, don’t they? These are severely lacking in shine. They are also only available in four colors vs. the five of the other kind. The product number is the same, though (80572). I would never want a pair of these based on the fit pics. What happened to the shine? They look pretty shiny in the small pic of the four colors but not in the pics of the models wearing them. This is also from a 1996 Frederick’s catalog but I suppose not the same one. Could it be that eventually the shine was really toned down sometime later in the year? You can see how boring these pants become without their traditional shine. They are basically just another pair of jeans.

I thought about picking up some old Frederick’s catalogs on ebay but I don’t want to start collecting these things just for the sake of one item. Would be nice if someone who has the catalogs could just archive them online. That would definitely help better understand the history of this wonderful garment.

How about that price? And still made in the USA at that time. But as I wrote, the price reflects the slightly diminished quality, plastic zipper and different fit. Interesting, too is that they were junior sizes 3-15. I don’t know much about women’s clothing sizes but isn’t a size 15 a bit large for a junior? Based on my knowledge of what sizes fit me best in terms of these pants, a 15 would be rather large for me and I’m not even in the best of shape. The silver one I have is a size 11/12 and it’s a skintight fit.

That’s it for this post. Hoping to get my two-tone tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. And it’s the 22nd of the month and I have five ‘nylon/spandex jeans’ wearings with a whole week-and-then-some to go. I’ve been wrong before but this could really be a record month. Only three more wearings to set a new one! And I’m already doing 44% better this year than last year by this point. I love statistics!

About Spandex Disco Jeans

This blog is mostly about spandex disco pants from the 70s, 80s and now!
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11 Responses to Old Frederick’s Catalog From 1996

  1. Russ says:

    Cool pics. I’m surprised that they are from 1996 myself.

    I’m on my 11th wearing for the year. You have me counting my wearings now. I have on my very first pair of AA disco pants. My red XLs. Since I have lost weight, they fit real loosely, but they go on real easy. They are kind of wrinkly, but they still fit well. I have shorts on underneath to fill in the space, but it isn’t working very well. Looks like it is small through large for me from now on. Ha ha. Maybe I’ll sell them, but they are my first and have kind of a sentimental value too. I have to think about it.

  2. skippy says:

    I always called the Second pants Satin Jeans or pants and there was also parachute pants which was an 80’s thing,very little shine,Nothing beats spandex pants.But the price is around what I remember,$40.00 – $50.00.And I have a pair of Fredericks silver disco pants in a junior size.

    • Spandex Disco Jeans says:

      Very interesting. I agree nothing beats spandex pants. I think the parachute pants can be cool if they’re fitted but at the same time they’re 100% nylon which means they’re not all that comfortable. The ‘satin’ jeans just don’t do anything for me.
      The price sounds more reasonable but as I wrote I believe it’s because the quality diminished somewhat during that later era.

  3. Tom says:

    2 vintage ads for spandex jeans found in the back of rock magazines Hit Parader and Circus from 1988.

    • Spandex Disco Jeans says:

      Thanks, Tom. That is very cool! The price is unbelievable and I would have loved to seen what one of theirs looked like. Lycra was getting very inexpensive by the end of the 80s and as I have often written about, you could get girls’ shiny lycra pants at Venture discount stores for only $7 or $8.

      • skippy says:

        Those ads are cool and I as well would love to see what they were offering,I bet they were better than the Chinese pants. Prob name brands as overstock and phasing out of D.P.I’m gonna do some investigative work and see If I can find out.

      • Spandex Disco Jeans says:

        I would love to know myself! Whatever research you come up with feel free to share here!

  4. Tom says:

    I actually ordered some from one of those ads, Satin Sales. They were known for supplying stage clothing to famous and not so famous music artists and bands, so their material was the best quality around.

  5. Tom says:

    No, I bought mine nearly 30 years ago from them. Got a lot of years of wear out of them, but eventually I wore them out, but they did last a good 20 years though.

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