The Tony Manero strut was virtually impossible without a slick polyester shirt unbuttoned to your navel, collar splayed out to touch your shoulders. Everything was larger than life in the 70s, and collars were no exception.
Polyester was the miracle material, but you had to be prepared to suffer with the sauna-like quality of the plastic shirt. The reason everyone wore their shirts open to expose their chest was not that they thought it was sexy, but because without a little natural air conditioning, a polyester wearer would suffocate.
Not even the little tykes were set free from the suffocating qualities of polyester. Mothers loved the fabric because no matter what you did to it, you couldn’t hurt it. Polyester never wrinkled, was tough to stain, and didn’t wear out after a summer of running and playing.
If the shirt didn’t button, it zipped, and in the true fashion of the 70s, even the zipper featured a golf-ball-size zipper ring. Really, it was probably better to help to ground the shirt, because, with the wingspan of the collars of the 70s, it’s a wonder these babies didn’t take off into the horizon.