Vintage Style #7: Tight Pants for Men

I'm not particularly fond of the hip hugger style of today - it's the rare body that can pull off the look. More often than not, it's just plain unsightly. The late 1970's had its share of ugly denim fashion - the uber tight "spray on" jeans and slacks for men were borderline pornographic. I think even women will agree that, generally, a man doesn't look good in a pair of slacks so tight you can tell what religion he is (to quote Robin Williams).  In 1978, there was a very fine line between a pair of jeans and a bodystocking.  This is not a good look for most men.

Back the 1970s, girls would soak their jeans in a bath tub and then put them on wet so that they would dry up to look and feel like a second skin. Somehow, this was an attractive look for women IMHO.  However, the sight of a gaberdine wedgie on a man is just horribly, horribly wrong.

I'm sure Robert Plant looked just great in his painted-on jeans, but he's a rock star and the rules don't apply like they do for everyday schmoes.  I mean, spandex pants were the rage for hairbands in the 80's, but that didn't mean guys had a license to walk around in spandex (thank God). The rule of thumb in the late 70's was the tighter the better. Read the ad above: "... The fit is so snug and provocative, you'll even feel sexy wearing them." Evidently, the girls were diggin' it then.


C'mon, ladies. Was the sight of a male camel-toe (i.e. the ca-male toe) attractive? The outline of the male genitalia in his skin tight disco pants was pretty bad, and I think it goes without saying these guys were going commando.  But you've also have to give a little respect to those guys back then - they were putting it out there and they didn't give a damn.  The chicks were liking it, and that's what mattered. It was macho and perfectly reflected the sexual revolution.  Truth be told, I'd rather see a comeback of the tight pants for men than the ultra baggy look that was real popular not too long ago. 


  1. First: Girls in the 50s soaked in tubs, not girls in the 70s. We had "Ditto Jeans" in rainbow colors. We also had Jordache...girls in the 50s only had Levi's, so they would sit in the tub trying to shrink them.

    Secondly - men looked really great in Angel Flights - the pants of the the Disco Era. Most didn't wear them in strangulation sizes - just your local Tony the Dancer would. Guys dressed up then, (compared to now) and they looked pretty good!!

    They had to stay away from open flames though...that polyester melted pretty fast.

  2. I don't know about anyone else, but I wear *exactly* the same outfit that the bloke in the second photo is wearing.

    Just like Einstein had 10 suits all the same so he didn't need to worry about what to wear, I have ten jump suits, medallions and all, so that I can just get up and go every day.

    Where ever I go, everyone is wowed!

  3. barbara- The whole soaking in the tub thing has always been an urban legend of sorts - I've never known anyone to do it, just heard of it being done. Thanks for the clarification.

    Also, I'm not really slamming the Angel Flight style - it was "the look" for a few years, no denying it. What I'm focusing on here is the trend to wear them so tight that the male anatomy was on full display.

    Richard, that bloke in the second photo is none other than Tony Orlando... and Telma is not doing a good job of being discrete - she's eyeing his goods pretty intensely.

  4. "Lord, I love that lady (not man) wearin' tight fittin' jeans."
    - Conway Twitty

    And if anyone knew about tight fittin' jeans on a woman, it was Conway

  5. My man Conway is indeed the authority on the subject. "...Oh, darlin', how I'd love to lay you down."

  6. Well Gil, the "good boys" wore them with enough slack so their mama's wouldn't complain.

    Of course, we didn't date the "good boys"...

  7. Well, you're assuming these were really for the ladies. Gay men have a slightly different relationship with "the package" than women and straight men. Of course, the 70s was really more about the Clone look (white t-shirt, mustache, jeans) than this polyester stuff.

  8. While I look GREAT in tight pants... I do not prefer them.

  9. I think all men should wear tight pants all the time. I hate the baggy pants that look like they have a load in the back of their pants. I like to see nice, sexy buns.

  10. On the subject of getting those second skin jeans on...they were never soaked! You put them on dry, laid down on your bed, exhaled, and used a pair of pliers to force the zipper up. They did tend to stretch a bit as the day wore on, so they were ok comfort-wise. The high waist meant no "muffin-top" but the camel toe was always visible.

  11. I wish these women's pants were back in style. I'm tired of the skinny jeans trend already.

  12. Ah, the 'women look great in tight clothes but men look bad' double-standard. I suspect if I search enough posts I'll find the 'gay men are icky but lesbians are hot' trope too. Straight man 101.

    For what it's worth, my two oldest sisters soaked their levi's in the tub and wore them wet to shrink to fit. Pre-washed (read: pre-shrunk) were a big deal when they came out.

    And last, after many years of martial arts and other movement forms, I have a great ass and body and I *hate* baggy jeans. Frankly, I don't care if other dudes are intimidated or uncomfortable. Oh yeah, and I wear a kilt, too. :-) My wife approves...

  13. That70sManAugust 31, 2012

    You must be either sexually repressed or plain square. I know plenty of women that love seeing a man in tight pants (as long as he's got the bod LIKE ME!). I know I can pull it off and it doens't matter that I am an "average schmo, which I am NOT! Besides, if a woman can wear tight pants, so can a man. I prefer the 70s look because of its freedom. I will sya that I am not really fond of "painted skin" pants but I love my pants to be form fitting and with bellbottoms. You dig it?!

  14. I can't help but smile. Those pants are hot circa 60's or 70's. Today's fashion sense it dominated with tight pants. lol

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  15. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    If you have the body flaunt it.......i grew up in a time when tight jeans or pants was a nature style,in Jr high
    90% of the guys wore tight jeans/parachute nylon pants which looked very appealing,girls also wore tight or baggy jeans.....the only boys who wore baggy trousers were the boys out of shape a bit chubby,it was not possible for chubby guys to wear the tighter styles.....tighter styles meant you watched your weight

  16. I have to say that by your last paragraph you redeemed yourself! There are no rules when it comes to dress--only what society tries to impose on people. And by society I mean the entertainment industry and the clothing industry. They are the ones that try and do a very good job of dictating what most people will wear. Tradition also plays a part but women seem to be able to break all the molds of tradition when it comes to clothing. Women have arrived at the point of true freedom in the area of clothing, being able to wear anything and everything on both the female and male sides and it is socially acceptable and no one but those living far from civilization question it. Men, on the other hand, have allowed themselves to become repressed when it comes to clothing, and anything new, i.e. skinny jeans (which isn't really new but rather a recycled item from just a few decades back), is rampantly labelled feminine or inappropriate or worse.
    In the 90's I was skinny as hell and I couldn't find anything close to form-fitting pants at the store. Everything was super loose and baggy. I couldn't stand it but I had no choice. Luckily, I was given a hand-me-down pair of Levi's that fit me like a second skin. Of course when I wore them I received stares and some negative comments because in the 90's it was an out-of-this-world experience to see a guy wearing skintight jeans. But there were also some girls who liked seeing my butt in those jeans!
    I now regularly wear skinny jeans, skintight jeans & spandex disco pants because they're fun, they're different and I'm just being myself which can be very challenging at times when the world is trying to run every facet of your life down to what you wear and think. But I'll keep wearing those aforementioned pants even when they go out of fashion. When you find something you like, stick with it!

    1. Couldn't agree more! You are spot on, sir! :)

  17. The ad should read, "Any way you look at it, it's a WIENER!" :)