Spandex: From Disco To Cure For The Midlife Muffin-Top

When you think of spandex, 1970s disco mania may come to mind. Spandex came off the dance floor and into everyone's closet — stretchy leggings, jumpsuits and leg warmers were the rage. But spandex had a life before disco. It was invented by two DuPont chemists. It made its debut in 1959, first used in bras and jockstraps, as well as in workout gear.

But it quickly became known as a "wonder" fiber — it can stretch more than 100 percent and snap right back to shape. It is estimated that of the 20.5 billion pieces of clothing Americans bought last year, 80 percent of those garments had spandex in them.