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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Leisure Suits and Mini Skirts

By Marcy Belson

In the era of men's leisure suits and mini skirts for women, we vacationed in Mexico City.

We had been told by friends about a wonderful restaurant and we made reservations for dinner.

It was located in an outlying area, some distance from our downtown hotel.

A handbook told us about the jitney service in Mexico City, used by the local working people to get from one point to another. After a ride on the underground subway, we thought the jitney was a good alternative to using a taxi.

When the evening came, we dressed for dinner. My husband, Gordon, had a new blue leisure suit he had purchased in San Francisco. Most business men had at least one of these "outfits.”

I chose a mini skirt with matching blouse and my old standby, the faux fur coat, that smelled like dog hair whenever it got wet.

The hotel pointed us to the corner to wait for a jitney to come by and explained that if one was full, the driver wouldn't stop for us. Soon enough, one stopped and agreed he could deliver us to the address of the restaurant.

There were people in the back seat, but it was dark. When Gordon opened the door for me and I got in, he saw there wasn't room for him and he got in the front seat. The car was moving in the traffic, no one in the car said a word, in English or Spanish.

About that time, I think both of us realized we were with a carload of young men laborers. Do you think they were surprised to find themselves with a man in a baby blue leisure suit and a woman wearing a mini skirt, a fake fur coat and too much perfume? I think they probably had a few laughs about it.

After a silent 30 minute drive through residential areas, the driver stopped at the bottom of a steep hill. He shook his head "no" to our request to be taken to the door, so there we were in the dark walking up a hill and hoping the restaurant would be there.

It was a large, former convent very nicely decorated and we were welcomed into the waiting area. The maitre d' quietly told Gordon that coats and ties were required for the dining room.

My husband sadly gave up his new leisure suit jacket and put on the used red jacket and clip on black tie. Not the best combination with his blue trousers.

I don't remember what we ordered for dinner. I'm sure it was excellent. I do remember we ordered a regular taxi to take us back to the hotel!

As a side note: The infamous blue leisure suit made it to the movies. We were amazed to see Randy Quaid in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation dressed for Christmas dinner - in the identical baby blue leisure suit!

It still looked pretty cheesy.

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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Marcy - The image of you in your mini and 'mink', Gordon in his polyester double knit leisure, in a jitney-filled load of young laborers is hilarious!

Somehow, I thankfully missed the leisure suit faze.

This was funny! - Sandy

Like Sandy, somehow my family missed the leisure suit fashion, but I wish you'd included a picture of the two of you and your strange bus ride to the restaurant. Did you ever go back again?

Loved your story. Ahhh polyester ! Thank you,glo

Thanks for your comments. I wore the same outfit in Washington D.C., and a man came up to me and asked if I was from Southern Calif.! I think that tells the whole story! I can only say, we were fearless, or clueless!

LOL! I remember that blue leisure suit craze. Funny thing was, we lived in a part of the world where fashion always happened a year or so later than NY or LA. Imagine how silly those Midwestern guys looked when they flew to Las Vegas or Washington on business only to have people look at them funny at an old, and ridiculous fashion. Great story.

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