When you think of a pair of blue jeans, what do you associate with it? Comfort? Style? Casual living?
No matter what you think of it, denim didn’t always have this positive image behind it. Far from it, actually – it wasn’t until the 1970s that you wouldn’t get shunned for wearing it.
The history of denim in fashion
“Denim” was invented in the 1500s in France. Back then, it was exclusive to sailors, who wore it as a sturdy pair of pants while working. The denim back then wasn’t the same denim that we see today though – it was a lot rougher and much more uncomfortable overall.
Levi Strauss, who we all know and love, reinvented the denim. Instead of using hard fibers, he incorporated cotton twill, which maintained the sturdiness of denim but also made it a little bit more comfortable.
Denim picks up in popularity
Now that denim was a practical choice for comfort and stability, coal miners in California right around the 1950s picked it up. Just like cowboys are associated with cowboy hats, denim is associated with coal miners.
In the 1960s, it started to become mainstream, but as a rebellious act. Remember, back then, people dressed substantially nicer on a daily basis than we do today. Suits and long dresses were the norm, even if you were just going out to dinner. Wearing denim would get you kicked out of clubs and bars, and you’d get nasty glances for wearing it.
In the 1970s, the world couldn’t stop the onslaught of denim. So many people were wearing it that it became a normal thing to wear. And that’s when the trend of denim started on the uptick, all the way to where it is today.
Denim in 2014: yes or no?
All fashion fades in and out, and denim is no exception. That being said, in 2014, it’s certainly at its peak.
A pair of blue jeans is never a bad choice unless you want to get really formal. Make sure you get lighter jeans for the summer and darker jeans for the winter. Aside from that, make sure that the fit of your denim matches your style. Some like baggy denim and some like it a little bit tighter. Some even go for the denim jogger pants, creative and sneaker-friendly.
Other denim apparel like jackets, shorts, and even dresses aren’t as fashionable as they were in the 90s, but they can still work. As a girl, a short pair of jean shorts is a great look, but guys, you want to stray away from the jorts. Denim jackets work for both genders, but doing both a denim jacket and a denim pair of jeans is fashion suicide.
Denim will never fade away completely, but it does morph to different styles, fits, and popularity levels as time progresses. Today, you’ll have no problem going out in a denim pair of jeans; just don’t go overboard unless you want to look like someone straight out of the 90s.