“Best friends are like a favourite pair of blue jeans; they get better with time.” – Jean Lover
There are numerous tales of the history of Jeans. Let’s leave that for the historians. Jeans marked a whole new level of culture of the last 140 years way beyond what its founders, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, visioned in 1873.
Let’s start with what the first pair of Jeans looked like.
1950 – 1953:
During this period, Jeans were Western-inspired and just getting popular. They became more of a fashion trend thanks to actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean who began to wear them on a pretty regular basis. They were primarily worn by men until 1952 when Marilyn Monroe wore a pair in a film “River of No Return”. That was when they became a staple for women.
1954 – 1956:
Boxy jeans were in style, and they were usually cuffed. For the most of the 1950s, jeans weren’t fitted or particularly baggy. They just looked stiffer and were also almost always worn rolled up.
1957 – 1959:
Jeans and a white tee became a trend. The jeans and a white craze didn’t start today. This started back in 1957 when Brigitte Bardot became one of the first women photographed in cropped jeans with a white t-shirt.
This period was when Jeans became more flared, embellished, and fitted. At this period, they became more casual, more hippie-inspired and became and more mainstream.
1964 – 1965:
This was when Jeans became tight at the waist and flared at the bottom. Celebrities like Sonny and Cher, Twiggy, Mick Jagger, and Jimi Hendrix made it all about the flare.
Bootcut jeans ruled this period. This was after Brigitte Bardot was photographed wearing them in 1966.
Our sweet Jeans became lighter after Levi’s ads showed that lighter jeans were coming into style.
Jeans became bolder, more ragged and embellished.
They made bell bottoms look like child’s play. Jeans became more fitted at the waistband and got wider as they went down the leg.
Unfinished hems became the new kid on the block and my! They did rule the hood.
1975 – 1976:
Elephant bells became the new trend. This is basically just extremely wide-leg jeans that got even more flared around the calves.
Slim, straight leg jeans had an added punk-inspired vibes. During this period, Jeans started to become more slim-fitted, with straighter legs rather than flares. These were particularly popular, especially on the music scene.
Jeans became darker and tighter.
This was when Jeans became more than just a pair of pants. The ‘Bum shorts’ was birthed. Catherine Bach wore this very short denim cut-offs in “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV series, and it became extremely trendy.
Welcome to the season of the baggy jeans. Almost every African-American hip-hop artiste featured in baggy jeans.
Jean became sexier slim enough to show the curves.
Jeans became high-waisted and cuffed.
Faded acid-wash jeans took over the game.
Denim-on-denim ruled the red carpets and parties. It became more than just what you wear from the waist down.
Overalls took the place of regular jeans.
Bootcut jeans had a comeback.
These funny-looking yet widely worn jeans were on most fashion lovers. It was all about the “JNCO” jeans.
With the turn of a new millennium came Blinged-out jeans. Shiny stuff mattered then.
Lace-up jeans followed suit.
The back pockets disappeared.
Jeggings showed its pretty look and people accepted it.
Boyfriend jeans came on the scene.
Jeans became bright and in a variety of colours.
2017 and beyond:
Jeans became all sorts of styles. From different colours on a pair to different shades and then the big one – “Distressed jeans- of varying rips.”
…and yes! Bell Bottom Jeans from back in the days are back in 2019!
The latest trends are not the end of our everlasting jeans. One is left to wonder what jeans will look like ten years from now.