Remember when the big gay dance parties were all about looking as much like a two-bit slut as possible?

Aaah, the good old days. Lycra hot- pantage, monster fuck-off boots, cheaply made crotch-tastic honky-tonk trousers: it makes you wonder how we ever deluded ourselves into thinking we were cutting-edge masters of style.

Maybe we were all on drugs.

Our love of outrageous party clothes spawned a minor cottage industry in the 90s, with stores like Aussie Boys, Steel Dingo, OzOn and PileUp packed to the veritables with all manner of garments made out of unnatural stretchy-wetchy fabrics. No look was considered too bizarre, too out there or too immodest in those days: pink sequined chaps, T-shirts made out of a few pieces of string, pants made up mainly of thin air -¦ don’t laugh, I saw them all in the 90s.

And I was caught up in the craze, I’ll admit. For several years running, my prize possession was a pair of black rubber hotpants. I don’t really know how they made me look -“ although I thought they came up a treat when buffed up with Rubba-Glo -“ but the important thing was how they made me feel: like Ginger Spice in the Spice Up Your Life film clip. Seriously! How freakin’ weird is that?

Another garment from those days which still hangs in the deepest darkest recesses of my closet is a tiny blue T-shirt covered in little plastic suction cups. I never actually bought the bloody thing: it was a gift. I wore it to only one dance party -“ even then, it made me feel a little self-conscious -“ but I can’t bring myself to throw it out. It’ll be just the thing to wear to a 90s gay dance party revival night, or, should I ever go completely insane, I could wear it down to the shops.

In years to come, we’ll probably not look back on our contemporary party-wear with the same degree of embarrassment, largely because party-wear these days seems fairly indistinguishable from street-wear -“ and, in my case, the kind of thing I wear to the office (i.e. jeans and a T-shirt).

In fact, my party-wear choices have become so banal of late that at Sleaze Ball, I was accused of looking like I was heading out for a game of backyard cricket.

I wonder if there’s anything behind our contemporary sense of modesty and conservatism. Is it motivated by a new sense of wowserism, or just a creeping tide of good taste?

Fucked if I know, but I’m in favour of the trend.

In the meantime, thousands of gay and lesbian wardrobes across Sydney house distinctly un-classic party garments, while their owners wait in hope for the day when, say, pink sequined chaps become cool again. Like, as if!

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