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Leisure suit lovers boogie down

January 8, 1996
Web posted at: 12:15 a.m. EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- In the heart of Iowa a best forgotten fashion statement lives on in the form of the Eighth Annual Leisure Suit Convention.

Once a year, the leisure suit, which went the way of lava lamps and glittering disco balls makes a comeback once a year in Des Moines where hundreds show up to strut their stuff to the sounds of the 70s. (846K QuickTime movie)

Anything goes with the leisure suit, hence the name. It can be any color ( preferably a loud) any shape (wide lapels welcome) or any material as long as its 100 percent genuine polyester.

xxxxxxx Lavalamp Polka dots

Need accessories? No problem. Just add any salad-plate size gold medallion around your neck, put on a slippery shirt (and be sure to leave the top three buttons undone), slip on your white patent leather zip-up boots, and you're ready to "do the hustle."

The convention features a fashion show, a sing-along to "Y-M-C-A" with the hand motions, and awards like "Most Flammable."

founder of convention2

"When you wear a leisure suit you turn into a completely different person."

-- Van Hardin, founder of the convention

"When you wear a leisure suit you turn into a completely different person," explains Van Hardin, founder of the convention. "You don't have the tie to inhibit you. You can eat food, and if you spill, it slides right off."

"You wad 'em up, throw em in the closet, get 'em out the next day, wear 'em to work and hey, you look good!" says another enthusiast.


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