The History of Jeans: A Timeline

The History of Jeans: A Timeline

We all love our jeans, regardless its color, style and shape. Have you ever wondered the history of this handy and trendy daily wear? Well, the evolution of jeans from a work-wear for the industrial laborers to a modern fashion mainstay is fascinating. After significant ups and downs throughout time, jeans have become the top fashion item for people of all genders and all ages all over the world. In this article we will have a short recap on the history of jeans and its evolution over the decades.

Birth of Jeans

Do we know the exact day of the birth of denim? The answer is yes. It was on May 20, 1873 a modest tailor named Jacob Davis patented the first pair of denim trousers. Levi Strauss, a businessman, patronized his idea of more durable jeans pants with more pockets and buttons.

Such “waist overalls” were used widely by the male workers in the mills and workshops throughout the 1800s. Thus, the connection between jeans and the industrial revolution is really uncanny.

1920s-1930s –Men’s Western Jeans

In the United States the popularity of the jeans as Western wears continued in the 1920s and 1930s among the miners, cowboys and other heavy toilers. These workers preferred jeans because of its sturdy material and monochrome colors.

Levi Strauss labeled his signature in the back pocket of jeans and introduced the idea of designer clothing in 1936. At the same period, a first female model appeared on the cover of the Vogue magazine wearing denim.

This feature grabbed the attention of its women audiences and inspired them to give it a try.

1950s – Cool Jeans Era

In 1950s, the pop culture was growing throughout the Western world. In the movies, pop icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean displayed their “bad boy” image wearing jeans. Soon enough, the teenagers becameenthusiastic about jeans to express a rebellious nature.

Levi’s, Lee Cooper and Wrangler jeans included among the popular brands. Black cuffed jeans, light wash denims were trendy among men. Women on the other hand, still hesitant to embrace denim until 1960s.

1960s – Hippie/Bohemian Jeans

Each fashion trend is associated with the socio-cultural history of the period. The 1960s are hugely marked for the rise of the hippie culture in the United States. At this decade of youthful, free love movement, casual blue jeans were at the peak of fashion trend.

Cultural experimentalism allowed people to express their creativity through customized jeans. Personalized embroidery, colorful decorative items sewed all over the body of denims were common.

Men and women both loved low-rise hip huggers and bell-bottom flares. Double denims and jean jackets with sew-on decals also made their first entry in the fashion industry. Everyone was eager to break the barrier of traditional clothing styles and hence improvised the trend in numerous ways.

1970s – Americana Jeans!

The 1970s brought fresh lights in the counter-culture fashion trend of denims. The sexual appeal of the famous models such a Farrah Fawcett and Lauren Hutton were spotted wearing denim skirts and denim vests in various occasions. This trademark symbolized a sense of all-American sexuality during the 1970s.

1980s – Era of Designer Jeans

In the next decade, the denim industry observed a remarkable milestone. Designer denim came into the real form. The transformation was embodied with a commercial of Calvin Klein starred by Brooke Shields. His famous statement, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” was just the beginning of the designer denim era.

All the brands including Calvin Klein Jordache and Gloria, Vanderbilt were into the competition to bring into new designs and styles for their status-conscious customers. Ripped jeans, acid washed, stone washed denims with skinner leg cuts with tapered ankles were dominating the branded shops.

1990s – Baggy Jeans

The rise of hip hops in the 1990s let men embrace the baggy jeans, while women, especially teen girls loved to wear the carpenter jeans as well as denim overalls and shortalls. The general fashion trend in the 1990s was in the favor of more casual wears.

2000s – Skinny Jeans Take Over

It is not long ago, the skinny jeans triumphed over all the other denim styles. At the beginning of the new millennium, pop celebrities like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera brought the crazy of super low-rise jeans.

Flare and boot cut were the most popular styles among all genders. Another common item was Boyfriend jeans among the women. The consistency of jeans as fashion mainstay found its place everywhere from the Friday night out with friends to the occasional office wears.

2010 Onwards…..

The innovation in denim stretch technology brought the real revolution in in the recent years. Jeans has become universal than ever before. Skinny jeans are still popular with addition to distressed jeans from light to ultra-shredded denim style.

Categories: Fashion

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