The revealing black jumpsuit

Studio 54 courtesy of NYMag

Studio 54 photo, courtesy of NYMag

I have been watching the CNN series about the 70s and Studio 54. Suddenly I was transported back to Glasgow to 1979 when I was 19 years old. My college shared union facilities with another university and I had the opportunity to see Blondie (my heroine), Sting when he was in the Police, Led Zeppelin and many others who were performing at the small universities. Despite having a boyfriend (the beleaguered architect) I was always going with girl friends to college discos and, mostly, not behaving badly. Then we had one of our many breakups; I dyed my hair blonde and bought some sexy new outfits. One of them was a silky black jumpsuit with spaghetti straps. It was very revealing but in those days fancy bras were not available so I just went without one…everything was in the right pert place. I had started going to ‘The’ Club in Glasgow and only was allowed in because I was with my cool friend who was dating the manager’s friend. You had to be 21 but I didn’t even look 19. The doorman would look at the huge queues and pick out good looking girls, rich handsome guys and regulars who were fashion forward. My friend just went straight to the top of the queue – I so enjoyed the envious looks of the long queue. On the evening that I wore the jumpsuit, my uncle came around to visit my mum before I left. He was horrified and said, “You are not letting her go out like that, are you?” My hip single mum thought I look great. She couldn’t wait for me to come home to share glamorous stories. The manager/owner had a Lolita crush on me and took me out for dinner once, until I figured out that he really wasn’t separated from his wife. I developed a taste for Brandy Alexanders – how louche. This was my first exposure to gay relationships and after the club was shut at 2 am, the party really started with drugs being openly traded and mini-orgies.

Anyway… on the night of the black jumpsuit, I hardly sat down with all my suitors wanting to dance very closely. One young man was African and I guessed he was one of the many foreign students that came to Glasgow for engineering, navigation and other heavy industry courses. We ended up dancing in a corner of the totally mirrored dance floor; the walls were mirrored too. During one funky number my spaghetti straps both snapped and the already revealing black jumpsuit slithered to the ground leaving me naked apart from a tiny pair of nude panties. Despite my shock, I burst out laughing both at the circumstance and the look on my dance partner’s face. My body was reflected all over the club with the myriad mirrors. ‘Is this a Scottish custom?’ I imagined him thinking. I gathered up my jumpsuit, holding it in place and rushing to the restrooms with my friend who miraculously tied knots on both straps and it still fitted, if a tad tight around the crotch. As you can imagine, I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid my African suitor who now had a taste of possibilities to come. It was hilarious and I remember saying to my friend, “At least I will never see him again.” The weekend was over and life got back to normal. Makeup was off and I was wearing my sensible college gear – jeans, heavy hooded coat, walking shoes. I went into the college library to borrow a book on industrial psychology (I still remember it) and guess who was standing opposite me? My African suitor! I spent the next year at college politely rejecting his advances and plaintive glances. There is no moral to this tale – that was the best year of my life!
This is the link to the original article http://nymag.com/news/features/31276/

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8 thoughts on “The revealing black jumpsuit

    • Thank you. When I turned 50 I started wearing what I thought were age-appropriate outfits. My wonderful friend from North Dakota, who talks straight, and is 80 told me to wear less frumpy outfits because I would be old soon enough. I cleared out the closet and now wear clothes that show off my good legs (top of the arms are not so good…) I have never had so many propositions from guys!

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