Nothing spells “casual wear” than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. We have accustomed so much with our denim jeans, but we are less knowledgeable about their history and influence throughout time. Their simplicity and sex-appeal is what that charms us. Jeans were not initially recognized as a symbol of universal comfort. It took time until they become appreciated and revolutionized fashion.
Jeans were invented almost two hundred years ago, by the famous Levi Strauss. Although the first pairs of jeans were invented back in the 1860s, it would take some more years before they were officially registered. In 20th May 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained the patent for manufacturing blue jeans.
The first jeans were made of denim, the traditional fabric for men’s work-wear. The new style was an instant success. The style was influenced by the Genoese sailors, in which the flared bottom fits over the boots. Did you know that the fabric used by Levi was known as Serge de Nîmes, a very popular fabric in France. This is from where the term ‘denim’ comes. The pants were dyed with indigo and this is why they were named ‘blue jeans’. Levi jeans became popular among the working class. Miners, cowboys, lumberjacks, factory workers, farmers or plant workers all loved jeans because they were both durable and comfortable.
By the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, 2 major jean companies were trying to capitalize the market. These were the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company, established in Kansas, USA in 1898, and the Western Garment Company (GWG), founded in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1911. They both expanded over time and by the 1960’s both were also producing casual clothing. In 1963 Levi Strauss & Co bought 65% of GWG.
Jeans brought more equality between sexes than you can imagine. In the 1870s women who worked side by side with men at ranches or plants also decided to wear jeans. Rodeo women stars or cowgirls were also pictured in jeans. In 1930, the Vogue magazine ran an advertisement with 2 society ladies wearing jeans, describing the style as the ‘Western chic’. Jeans were also seen as symbol for the fight against sexual differences.
Jeans became a symbol of the youth rebellion in the 1950-60 decade. Inspired by Hollywood stars portraying rebellious characters wearing jeans, youngsters have begun adopting this fashion. After the 1960, jeans became more popular among teens and less popular among adults. But a new explosion of styles ensured that this comfy clothing is here to stay.