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Wednesday, 06 July 2022
The History of Jeans: A Detailed Look at Denim Over the Decades


The History of Jeans: A Detailed Look at Denim Over the Decades

July 6, 2022

There's no agnosticism about it: Denims are the best able account blind in our closet. No amount aback you abrasion them, area you abrasion them, or how you abrasion them, there are a brace of denims to fit about each affection and occasion. It's no wonder, then, that denim is advised a accoutrement essential.

Since the late-19th century, denims accept long past from asperous workwear to fashion accoutrement that we may able-bodied not alive after (or at atomic would not appetite to, anyway). Social, political, and pop ability accept all performed a position in denim's evolution, and the tendencies that accept appear and gone—and appear aback again—throughout its about 150-year history.

From adequate bellbottoms to low-rise hip-huggers, accumulate account to apprentice about the historical past of denims and the best accepted denim types over the decades.

01 of 10

May 20, 1873: The Bearing of Denims

Back in the day—the mid-1800s to be exact—dungarees a.k.a. "waist overalls" accept been all the rage. And not as a aftereffect of they accept been stylish, but rather, practical. The abstraction of agent Levi Strauss and clothier Jacob Davis, blue jeans accumulated metallic rivets to denim trousers to actualize a abiding compatible that stood up to the band-aid assignment of the 49ers (the Gold Rush miners, not the soccer team). Workwear as we knew it had been revolutionized and would by no means be the same.

02 of 10

Nineteen Twenties to 1930s: Wild, Wild, Western

Jeans as workwear connected right through the Nineteen Twenties and 1930s, abnormally in the American West amid miners, cowboys, and laborers. But it wasn't till Hollywood took this trend to the argent awning with its Western movies that denims entered boilerplate culture. On the fashion front, Levi's® turned the aboriginal account of accouterment to accept a designer characterization (its signature red tab) on the outside. And Vogue featured its aboriginal archetypal in denim on the awning in the '30s, hinting that denims may able-bodied conceivably be a fashion account and not aloof alive accouterment for alive folk.

03 of 10

1950s: Air-conditioned Dejected

Jeans turned a attribute of "cool" in the 1950s. Pop ability bad boys like James Dean and Marlon Brando affected cuffed, boxlike types of denim as they befuddled up the squares in their films. Unsurprisingly, alienated adolescence took authority of this contemporary attribute adjoin the cachet quo. What adopted was a backfire from some academy forums that banned acceptance from cutting jeans—they accept been too "anti-establishment"—to which we say (er, sing): "Down with the ethical majority!"

04 of 10

1960s: Flower Power


Peace, love, and bellbottoms turned the counterculture canticle of the 1960s. The youthful, free-love motion accepted the accidental dejected jean (bellbottoms and low-rise hip-huggers, especially), which represented abandon from added structured accouterment whereas additionally confined as a anatomy of artistic self-expression. Double denim and jean jackets additionally fabricated their aboriginal absolute actualization as a fashion trend throughout this time. You got added adequate credibility if you busy your denim. Embroidery and patches accept been accepted choices.

05 of 10

1970s: Americana

The break-with-tradition spirit of the '60s agitated into the '70s, a decade which got here to betoken a fresh, wholesome, all-American sexuality. This was embodied by cool-girls of the times, such as Charlie's Angels extra Farrah Fawcett and archetypal Lauren Hutton. Silhouettes started to attending smaller, with slim-fitting, straighter leg denims and denim skirts and vests acceptable in-vogue fashion items. And who can balloon the iconic Daisy Dukes? Inspired by Catherine Bach's appearance in the accepted TV alternation The Dukes of Hazzard, barely-there absolute shorts turned a above fashion trend at the end of the decade and into the next.

06 of 10

1980s: Artist Denim

The Nineteen Eighties is aback artist denim was absolutely born. A 15-year-old Brooke Shields starred in a Calvin Klein bartering saying, “Nothing comes amid me and my Calvins,” bringing denim to the beginning of each fashion designer’s mind. Artist denims turned a accurate cachet attribute in pop culture, and manufacturers adding Calvin Klein, Jordache, and Gloria Vanderbilt accept been amid the best coveted by the air-conditioned kids. Stonewash, acerbic wash, ripped jeans, and skinnier leg cuts that accept been cone-shaped at the abate accept been cool in.

07 of 10

1990s: Big and Baggy

Denim fashion afflicted afresh in the '90s, acknowledgment to the acceleration of grunge and hip-hop. Straight-legged jeans, occasionally ripped, added occasions not, stored issues accidental and Cobainesque. "Mom jeans" a.k.a. high-waisted denims with a added airy fit accept been additionally actual fashionable—and accept afresh made a comeback. Another style that bent on was all about drowning in denim (JNCO jeans, anyone?). The bigger and baggier, the better. Carpenter jeans, with assorted wallet and tabs, and head-to-toe denim ensembles, accept been cool trendy, as able-bodied as denim overalls and shortalls.

08 of 10

2000s: Get Low

In the aboriginal aughts, Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera affected the extremely low-rise jean. Sure, angle and sitting after aflame your behind turned hardly added complicated, but hey, who anytime stated battling your admired popstar would be easy? Flare and bootcut types accept been on-trend, too, whereas awakening Capri denims begin a improvement in the mid-to-late 2000s. Interest in premium denim soared at the alpha of the twenty first century, with manufacturers like 7 for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, and Hudson Denims aback acceptable boilerplate domiciliary names.

09 of 10

2010s: Angular Denims

Around 2010, music festivals started increasing in popularity. What was already a approved vacation spot for song lovers turned the abode to be apparent for fashion it-folk. This about-face in pop ability gave way to the bearing of anniversary wear. Vintage-inspired jean tendencies (think: denim overalls, jumpsuits, and rompers) turned must-have fashion goods and live performance attire. But conceivably the best excellent trend to appear in the aftermost decade is the angular jean. As a aftereffect of improvements in denim amplitude technology, angular denims turned the go-to style to abrasion throughout the workweek, on the weekend, and out for date night.

10 of 10

Present Day: Cropped, Culotte, Abundance

While denim fashion is branch toward variety, skinnier types administration absolute as a aftereffect of of their versatility to gown up or down. Still, there is a allure against a looser fit, area abundance does not appear at the amount of fashion (and carnality versa). Medium to high-waisted denims with both a beeline or cossack cut are on-trend, a able-bodied as wider-legged styles—sometimes cropped, added occasions not. And let's not balloon the avant-garde motion against shopping regionally and sustainably, opting for smaller, independent denim brands—including eco-friendly denim lines. We are deeming it the feel-good, look-good era of fashion.