Here goes my final post for 2019….
I finished up the year with 114 wearings of spandex disco pants, by far a record year for me since I started wearing them in 2012. Once I started to entertain the thought of getting one hundred wearings this year sometime in mid to late summer, I had no idea I’d really do it. But not just that—I had no idea I would far surpass the goal of one hundred. And while I can easily sit here and declare I will aim to get two hundred wearings in 2020, I am not going to do that. Forcing myself to set some of these personal milestones can at times take away from the fun and excitement of wearing disco pants. Not that pushing yourself to do so in some ways is not good. But when you just focus on numbers you start to develop a corporate mentality where your current accomplishments are not as important as what the next quarter or next year can bring. I never want to have that mindset. Certainly I don’t want to regress and wear disco pants less in 2020. I also want to wear more of different pairs and colors I have. The numbers talk is solely to satisfy the statistics junkie in me. I’ve been doing this sort of thing ever since I was in my teens. It first started with sneakers then jeans and now disco pants. As peculiar as it may sound to you, though, I still do this with my favorite pairs of sneakers and jeans though I’m not as ardent and passionate as I am about tracking my spandex disco pants.
I finished up the year with two wearings in a row. On the eve of New Year’s Eve I wore my altered pair medium charcoal AA disco pants. And on the actual eve of New Year’s Day I went with a vintage pair of my favorite black Le’Gambi disco pants. The plan was to go to Walmart so I figured I’d go with a pair ever so slightly more conservative than an altered AA. And when I say ‘ever so slightly’ I do really mean it as there is very little difference between this one and my altered black AA. The Le’Gambi is probably just a wee bit looser in the knee and calf—a true straight leg fit or slim as it would be labelled nowadays. (The straight jeans of today are still rather loose in my opinion).
The funny thing is that last year I was really hesitant to wear any of my short puffer jackets with disco pants. I would always go for the slightly longer one or my longer Apt. 9 jacket. However, the slightly longer puffer has no pocket for my sunglasses and the Apt. 9 is not appropriate for colder weather. It was in the upper twenties here on New Year’s Eve. But this year I can’t imagine not wearing the shorter puffer jackets with my disco pants. I love the pairing. I did last year as well. But this year I’m actually pairing them without hesitation. And I have five of these shorter puffer jackets to choose from when I do. Clearly I am progressing.
But speaking of the 114 wearings for 2019, when I think about that I feel impressed. Who would have thought that I’d be wearing such an ‘out there’ item of clothing almost a third of the days of the year? (31% to be precise). And who would have known that I’d still be wearing them after my first year in 2012, especially after what I thought was going to be the end of my disco-pant-wearing days? But I also feel a bit disappointed when I think about the record year I had, and it really has nothing to do with disco pants. It’s actually because I think back to my high school days and how I allowed my fear of what others would think and say keep me from wearing my favorite pair of jeans. I know, I wrote about it before. Many times. I had this awesome pair of light blue faded Levi’s that were handed down to me. I was a skinny kid in high school and regardless of that this size 29 pair of jeans was a rather tight fit on me. But I like them. I loved them in fact. And this pair of jeans was actually my very first pair of tight pants that I had the option of wearing anywhere I wanted. Or I could just wear them at home. It was my very first pair of Levi’s jeans.
The person who I got these jeans from was a guy older than I. And I used to get a bunch of jeans from him. Whatever he couldn’t fit into anymore were given to me. And I love pre-owned jeans because they have all the natural fading and wear that factory ‘worn’ jeans never do. But it was only this pair and a pair from the Gap that I liked due to how they looked and fit me. The Gap jeans were a sort of light acid wash and at a 28 waist fit even tighter than the Levi’s. I know for sure I never wore the Gap jeans to school if anywhere else except home. But the Levi’s had quickly become my favorite pair of jeans that I wanted to be in all the time.
So I remember wearing those Levi’s initially a lot at home to begin with. But I’d also wear them to go clean my elderly neighbor’s home a couple houses away. I didn’t do that too often because I started liking these jeans very much and I didn’t want to get them dirty. For that reason as well I stopped wearing them at home. See, ever since I was a teen (and maybe earlier) I have always had my home clothes and my street clothes. I’d never use one for the other. Never. At first since the Levi’s were nothing more than hand-me-downs I didn’t care about using them at home. They were just some better pants to wear at home instead of the crappier ones I already had.
I don’t recall exactly what it was that got me really excited by the fit and look of these Levi’s on my legs that caused me to turn these ‘home’ pants into ‘street’ pants. There are two prominent things that were definite factors:
- I had become really close friends with a guy in 11th grade. We used to go to his house which was conveniently just a few houses away from school to play ping pong in his basement at lunchtime. He’s actually the one who taught me to play and I developed a style that made me a really good player. Anyway, one day at his house we were in the basement just talking and I noticed he was wearing a light blue pair of Levi’s (I believe) jeans. We were sitting and the jeans seemed to be tightly wrapped around his legs. I really liked how it looked. And I thought back to that pair I had at home and felt inspired to wear it because of him. So some time after I wore my pair although my pair was significantly tighter than his. His were looking tight that day because he was sitting in them. Pants always look tighter when you’re sitting down. And when they’re a lighter color that too makes them look tighter. So his weren’t really all that tight, but mine were. I don’t recall wearing them more than once or twice that school year. Perhaps my friend even said something about them that caused me not to wear them again. He was a bit of a finicky dresser and I know for a fact that he didn’t like the clothing I initially wore.
- When I used to wear them at home, I would go down to the basement of where I lived to ride my new bike down there for a little bit. I had just won it from school the year before for perfect attendance. So I used to ride it a little and there was a large mirror against one of the walls and every time I passed that mirror I would look at myself in it and how tightly those jeans were pressed against my legs. It looked really good! In fact, I loved it and I wanted to make better use of them just to just wear them at home.
So while I didn’t wear them much in 11th grade and my friend and I parted ways after that school year ended, during summer break before 12th grade I was becoming more and more obsessed with those Levi’s and planning to wear them once the school year started.
During 12th grade my friend and I hardly ever saw each other or spoke. We didn’t have any common classes. Also, during summer I had started going to church and this guy was of a different faith. This definitely drove a wedge between us but ultimately it was a good thing because I was having an unhealthy desire of wanting to dress, think and be like him. So gawd only knows what he thought to himself when he saw me wearing those skintight, light blue Levi’s once again but now even tighter because it was senior year. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be forever poured into those jeans.
My initial plan at the beginning of 12th grade was to wear these skintight jeans at least once a week and perhaps even twice. I remember even entertaining myself with the idea of wearing them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Imagine that! Strutting around in those tight jeans three days a week! But I would have begrudgingly settled for once a week even though I didn’t have that many good jeans to wear on a weekly basis. I think I had only two or three that I thought were cool enough to wear, not counting the Levi’s. Thus the Levi’s could have realistically filled one or two days each week.
I have to admit I felt very self-conscious in those jeans. Once again, this was during a time when tight jeans were not in for guys. No skinny jeans. No slim jeans. It was all baggy, baggy, baggy. I don’t think even many girls were wearing skintight jeans during this time. So really I was the only guy wearing pants that tight and while I loved being in them I also felt very nervous in them and as though everyone was checking me out. On top of that, soon after I started receiving comments by people who were either just classmates (not friends) or even underclassmen (not friends). I caught some of my friends even staring at my skintight denim clad legs. They didn’t say anything negative to me but there was no doubt they noticed how tight the jeans were. I even asked a friend or two if they thought there was anything wrong with those jeans. And one replied, “No, but you’re so skinny, though” as she put her hand on my leg.
That little history is what makes me disappointed. The fact that I allowed my own insecurity and the stupidity of fellow teenagers keep me from wearing the best pair of jeans I have ever owned more than nine times that school year. I was a senior for crying out loud. I was in charge. I paid my dues. I should have been able to wear what I wanted without concern for what those air-headed teens thought or said. I wasn’t in violation of any school policies. No authority figure called me into their office to say I couldn’t wear those jeans. But it’s a lot harder when you’re a teen, isn’t it? With all the brand and style conscious teens in high school there is definitely a lot more pressure to deal with in terms of how to dress. Levi’s was a great brand back then, too. Even with teens. But ‘my mistake’ was wearing the jeans skintight. Of course, it wasn’t a mistake—just a fashion a fashion faux pas in their tiny little minds.
That could have turned out to be a great year in terms of wearing those skintight jeans. But it didn’t happen. That still haunts me to this day. I guess that’s why I’m now so adamant about my need to wear disco pants as often as possible or as I want. Am I past prime age for wearing disco pants? Probably in most people’s eyes. Am I past prime age for wearing tight jeans? If you go by age as a number alone, again perhaps in most people’s eyes. But it is silly to say things such as
Once you turn 30 you have to stop doing this or wearing that. Up until you were 29 it was perfectly fine. But the day you turn 30 it’s not. Once you turn 40 this or that is no longer appropriate. By the time you hit 50 you can’t do these things anymore.
This is an absolutely silly way to live. These are other people’s guidelines and they don’t have to be yours. Obviously I’d love to tell everyone how to dress. I’d say disco pants or tight jeans for everyone all the time! But that’s just my preference. I don’t try to come up with absurd reasons why you should actually do it my way. Others though are constantly doing this. I personally don’t like baseball caps and would love to outlaw them. NO MORE BASEBALL CAPS FOR ANYONE EXCEPT BASEBALL PLAYERS PLAYING A BASEBALL GAME! And I could write a comprehensive essay about this but I’m not going to because ultimately I don’t care enough about it. If you want to wear a baseball cap everywhere you go, just do it. But wear a pair of disco pants with it and you will look so much the better.
I think about the number of times I could have ended up wearing those jeans during senior year. And the additional memories I could have now. There were blatantly perfect days I could have worn them but didn’t and yet I considered doing so. Those are the hardest ones to deal with. I am glad to report that I did wear those old Levi’s during my college days and also my church days. That brings up an interesting point; I mentioned earlier that during summer break before senior year I had started going to church yet I never wore those jeans there until after high school. I never wore them to church because I felt it was a different environment and worried about what all my loose-jeans-wearing church friends would think of me in skintight jeans (even though a few of them were from the same school and surely saw me wearing them there). But with high school over church was my logical next place to wear those jeans. And so I did. And while I was doing church I started college. But I didn’t wear them at college when I started wearing them at church. And when I parted ways with my church, college was the next logical place to wear them. And so I did. But not very regularly or often. After college the wearings became more random and not limited to any one place. Then I began to wear them to various jobs I had. You have to imagine that by then the pants were even tighter than before. This all took place within a twelve year period. Can you believe wearing a pair of skintight jeans for twelve years going back to your teen year? And even though they are no longer wearable I still keep them because of the memories I have with them and the fact that they were my first ever pair of tight jeans and the catalyst for all the tight jeans I wear to this day and ultimately my disco pants.
Thus while I look back with regret on not wearing those tight jeans nearly enough anywhere that I happened to grace the presence of with them, I have learned that you shouldn’t keep yourself from doing the things you like—I’m not talking about bad things here but rather neutral things, such as wearing clothing that is out of style, or a hairstyle or facial here that isn’t seen as ‘cool’, etc.—out of fear of what others may think of you or, worse yet, what they may say about or to you. I know it’s difficult if you catch someone looking at you and giggling about something different you got going on or if someone pokes fun or even insults you about it. In situations like that you have two options:
- Ignore it. Most likely that is what I would do. I get too worked up if I engage in an in-person argument over something trivial such as what I’m wearing. Let it bounce off you as though you were Teflon.
- If you’re quick-witted (which I am not), spew something back which may either be humorous or sharp-tonged. But you really have to be quick with a solid response. You can’t think it over before coming up with something.
As I said, my preferred response is #1. Let them think I didn’t hear it or I’m deaf or don’t understand the language. That’s immature school kid stuff. Why engage?
Anyway, as far as resolutions for 2020 go, I don’t really have any. Obviously, I want to continue to wear disco pants as often as possible. Starting to wear other colors is a plus. But even that’s not important. I am fully content and excited to exclusively wear black, charcoal and midnight navy. I want to try to wear disco pants with jean jackets in 2020 so I’m really going to shoot for that. And perhaps even my pleather jacket. If I can lose some weight this year summer may be a more conducive time to wear disco pants even though I’m not crazy about the choice in tops when it’s summery hot outside. Let me just enjoy this cold disco pants weather that hopefully doesn’t get any colder. By the way it was only in the upper 20°s and windy on New Year’s Eve and I was not troubled by it in my disco pants and tights underneath.
How about you all? Have any resolutions that involve disco pants? Plan on getting any? Plan on getting your first pair? I wonder how many of you readers out there don’t even have a pair yet.
I don’t know if I’ll be going out on New Year’s Day but if I do I’d like to wear disco pants. It would be great to start the new year with a disco pants wearing. Nearly did it in 2019. Missed it by a day. But yeah, I don’t know. It’s not a big deal. The day after should be a fine day to do so.
The Le’Gambi I wore on New Year’s Eve was a little less kind on my waist than my AA pairs. I think that’s one of the things that has really impressed me about AA disco pants. As tight as the pants fit and as great as they look painted on, they are super comfortable to wear. And last night I tried on my brown pair of Le’Gambi pants which I had reported previously as being really tight on the waist and a bit short. They’re still tight and still short but at least the shortness can be remedied by wearing them with the Dr. Martens Zaniel or even the Mayer boots. So that’s good news and I look forward to wearing them in 2020.
Remember when I had made goals of wearing disco pants two or three times a week and while it seemed feasible it also seemed like a stretch to me? To tell you the truth, it seems so natural now. Three times a week I’d say is absolute minimum. I want to keep it at around three or four wearings per week in 2020. Five may be pushing it and might feel forced. But it depends on whether I’m feeling it or not.
On my next post I’d like to review some of my disco pants accomplishments of 2019. Stay tuned for that. Happy 2020 everyone!