In defense of loud, proud, peacocky disco fashion

This Buzzfeed post highlights a Twitter feed called “Fashion Wankers” and it just goes to show that sexy people are sexy no matter what you put them in!

Although I do pay attention to contemporary fashion and LOOOOOVE high-end design from a spectator/fan POV (not a couture patron yet, sadly), my personal style focuses heavily though not exclusively on mid- 20th century style, both authentic vintage and repro/inspiration. I love 20s and 30s clothes but actually wear mostly silhouettes of the late 50s/early 60s.

That said, I also absolutely adore 70s/disco era fashion. The world was cracking open in every way, and clothes reflected the madness. Ethnic pride/appropriation, afrocentricism and civil rights politics, nightclub culture, women’s liberation and the gay pride movement all influenced the mainstream culture. Practically everyone across the social/economic spectrum was trying to outdo each other with wild colors, new silhouettes, and sexysexness, so you could do ANYTHING! Even conservative guys were rocking a wide palette of color and more flamboyant shapes in ties, shirts, collars, trousers, shoes, accessories.

But to the modern eye, it’s clowny. The problem with disco-era clothes is that they are so hard to wear now, out of context. We all are soooo much more conservative now. That’s not itself so terrible; I’m a fan of good taste. But I do think it’s a little limiting. An authentic vintage fringey flapper dress with modern heels and jewelry can go to dinner or any nightclub around the world tomorrow. But if you throw on a pair of bells and a wild geometric print blouse, you’re likely going to a theme party. Or you are the most confident motherfucker in town.

I do actually find some of those folks and their fashions rather appealing. Everything fits and is so nice and crisp and tailored. I mean, come on — those guys in photo 17 are killers. A lot of the rest, of course, is curated buffoonery — but kind of glorious! and unrestrained! The takeaway for me is really that it’s so sad how men are so constrained in their expression right now.

I think it would actually be great to see more guys owning and living these kinds of garments. And not in the hipster “omg you guys this is so hideous, aren’t I just hilarious and ironic, I look so shitty, but it’s on purpose I think, please give me attention, any attention, please!!” way but in these models’ kind of sexy, thoughtful, vibrant proud peacock way. 

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About amywinns

Semi-snarky, semi-sincere, occasionally ranting, always paying attention. Feminist who can work a skirt and crack a joke. Grammar nerd who is also fun at parties. Mid-career writer/editor with 15 years’ experience in newspapers & magazines who now helps developers at a major media corporation communicate with the suits who write the checks. Pro-women, pro-family, pro-choice, pro-workingclass, pro-entrepreneur, pro-farmer. Like every other bourgeois Brooklynite, I choose local/organic/raw food — mostly vegetables — whenever possible/reasonable/affordable but I’m not a smug asshole about it. Hometown: Atlanta. Weird hobby: lindy hop. No pets, no kids, no thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, History, Random thoughts, Style and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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