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Leisure Suits

John Travolta in his stunning white leisure suitAh, the 70's. It was a decade following the most tumultuous social uprisings in the 20th century. There was a real fear of anarchy breaking out from the protests, as well as the continued fear caused by the Cold War.

By the middle of the decade, though, things had settled down to a nice, mellow hum. It was time to boogie!

Polyester clothing was a smash hit in the 70's, and it identified that particular ten-year span as when EVERYONE wore the inexpensive substitute for silk that you could just throw in the washer.

And nothing made the ultimate in a polyester statement like the leisure suit.

Hey, times were too laid back for silly things like neckties. We needed open collars accompanied by shirts that unbuttoned nearly down to the waist, to reveal a shag carpet mat of chest hair that set our gold chains off in high fashion.

Of course, I was too young to have a hairy chest to show off, but I saw plenty of thirty-somethings parading around in gear that they probably hope today that there is no photographic evidence of.

The leisure suit craze found its way into television shows (Starsky and Hutch in particular) and the movies (What would Travolta be without that snow-white beauty?).

Today, leisure suits are viewed with equal parts contempt and ridicule. But hey, they are the exact sort of clothing fad to make an unlikely comeback.

Besides, you can find authentic 70's vintage suits in perfect condition. Polyester lasts forever.

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