Blue Jeans as a Fashion Statement
A young man and woman, wearing rolled up jeans, smile while washing the car in a driveway in the 1950's. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)
Blue jeans have been around for 200 plus years, since the late 1800s. All things considered, it seems like it should be longer. While 200 years is definitely a long time, it seems like blue jeans have been around much longer than that. Blue jeans are just one of those things that we take for granted and don’t really give much thought to; other than to decide what to wear with them.
Prior to the 1970s, blue jeans were primarily worn as work clothes.
The fabric is sturdy and can take a lot of punishment. Men (and women) everywhere would pull on a pair of “dungarees” to tackle yard work or some other messy job. A person would have no sooner thought of wearing blue jeans out in public then they would have to wear their pajamas.
As with many other things associated with the counterculture movement in the United States, all bets were off when it came to doing what felt good. And let’s face it… the right pair of blue jeans just feel good!
Before long, blue jeans became popular with the young hippie population. They sported them proudly almost like a uniform of some kind. The widespread fad of blue jeans had taken on a life of its own and really never quit.
Farmers were (and are) well known to wear denim overalls out in the fields or to take care of their livestock. Overalls are practical for the work of a farmer; pants and suspenders all in one! Little did farmers know that they had become trend setters.
It became fashionable to wear the one-piece garment.
Baby Boomers had made it fashionable to wear blue jeans in all forms. Soon new and hip styles were being shown and it became a craze. Styles included bell bottoms, hip huggers, fancy pockets, cut offs and even different shades of blue as well as other colors. The craze was blowing up the fashion magazines!
True blue jeans are made of denim which is 100% cotton. Denim goes through a unique dyeing process to give them that signature look. They are called “blue” because they were typically dyed indigo blue and “jeans” after an Italian word for a type of fabric.
Levi’s blue jeans were the creation of Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis. Strauss was a German immigrant who came to America and fulfilled his version of the American Dream. He started selling dry goods as a means of making a living. In 1873, Strauss and Davis, who was one of his customers, developed and patented what would forever be known as the blue jean.
Levi Strauss first introduced us to the world of blue jeans, but he was not the only one to market and sell the popular article of clothing. Over the years they have made quite an evolution and I don’t think they will be going anywhere anytime soon.
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