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Leisure Suits – America’s Greatest Fashion Faux Pas? [Gallery]

Leisure suit convention

The leisure suit was supposed to be the great fashion go between from office to the night club. Instead it became an icon of the 1970’s and the disco dance craze.

The suit design had been around since the late 1930’s. The combination of jacket, trousers and shirt was originally dubbed “The Hollywood Suit”. The jackets were defined by their unique cut, collars and cuffs. In fact country music’s Nudie Suits were an early forerunner of the the leisure suit.

What really made the suits explode in popularity in the United States was the influence of cheap yet colorful fabrics. Polyester was in and the leisure suit craze was on. The combination of easy care, bright color and cool styling were enough to take the country by storm.

The leisure suit craze came and ended in almost perfect timing with the disco era in popular music. Since the suits and the music had become so ingrained in the culture at the same time it was only fitting that they fade from favor in a similar fashion.

You can still find leisure suits if you really want too. A lot of vintage clothing outlets have them and of course there are online shops such as Oriental Trading and that offer some of the suits we have featured in our gallery.

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