How to Dress for a Disco Party

By David Ferris

The disco era lasted roughly between 1974 and 1980 and was a musical outgrowth of funk and soul music. Up-tempo and danceable, disco reigned in the club scene during the waning years of the decade. Far more than just a musical genre, disco was a cultural movement with its own sartorial aesthetic. Though the era has long since ended, its spirit is revived at disco-themed parties. If you are attending such a party, get the look with 1970s clothes and accessories.

The disco era had its own sartorial aesthetic.


Step 1

Don hot pants, mini-skirts, or midi-skirts. Hot pants were actually extremely short, tight shorts. Midi-skirts extended to mid-calf and, on the dance floor, were often narrow with thigh-high side slits. Form-fitting mini-skirts and dresses were frequently made of leather and metallics.

Step 2

Wear bright colors and shiny fabrics -- synthetics such as Lycra and Spandex were popular. Sequins and metallics fit right into the look. Fabric sheen was popular in disco-wear because it caught and reflected the nightclub lights.

Step 3

Apply heavy makeup, especially eye-liner, eye-shadow and false eyelashes. It was an era of big makeup, big hair, and big shoulder pads. Do not be afraid to exaggerate.

Step 4

Accessorize with hats, big glasses, over-sized gold or beaded jewelry, large handbags and platform heels.


Step 5

Wear a tight-fitting, shiny satin or polyester button-down shirt for the quintessential disco look. These shirts were typically worn with the upper few buttons undone.

Step 6

Color-coordinate your shirt, pants and jacket, preferably in white or bright hues. Wear the shirt collar flared-out in a butterfly style. The pants should be bell bottoms, but slim-fitting over the thighs.

Step 7

Don a pair of matching platform shoes.

Step 8

Add flash with a heavy gold chain or medallion prominently displayed at the open collar.