The term “jeans” comes from the French term for Genoan sailors from Italy, who used to wear cotton twill trousers. However, The official birthday of jeans is May 20th, 1873, when Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss first patented the riveted jeans. Jeans have become a staple of American fashion.
Since jeans have become an American statement for everyone from celebrities to factory workers, it is difficult to think of a time when they were not popular. Jeans exist in every style under the sun, ranging from colored jeans, to metallic jeans, studded jeans, rhinestone jeans, glitzy jeans, and printed jeans.
Cotton, the fabric from which jeans are made, is the world’s most popular fiber. Jeans are timeless, and have survived as a fashion statement era after era. Most of us would not be caught dead in the metallic jeans of the 80’s our mothers wore, however there is something to be said about the fact that no matter what the year, jeans have managed to survive as a fashion must have.
Before World War II jeans were only worn in America’s Western states. In the east they were synonymous with romantic notions of the cowboy, with qualities like rugged, independent and American, but at the same time rural and working class. In the 1960’s, jeans had also spread to the American middle class. Protesting college students began wearing them as a token of solidarity with the working class, those most affected by racial discrimination and the war draft. In the 1970’s bright colors and metallic jeans exploded on the scene, representing every youth subculture out there, from hippies and punks.
While metallic jeans are not for everyone, there is something for everyone out there. Jeans are a timeless fashion piece that have only continued to update with the times, changing to reflect the people who are currently wearing them.