Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 16 April |
home iconFor Her
line break icon

Where did blue jeans come from?

CC

Adriana Bello - published on 05/11/17

The backstory of a garment that changed the history of fashion.

The designer Yves Saint Laurent once said, “I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant.  They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.”




Read more:
5 Fashion trends from childhood that are back in style

Undoubtedly, jeans are one of the most versatile pieces of our closet. We can use them in any season and for different occasions. In addition, they are made of as strong and durable a material as their history would suggest.

Their origin dates back to 1873, when two Jewish immigrants – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis – obtained a US patent to begin manufacturing denim pants (which were already popular at the time for the working class). The novelty was that they incorporated brass rivets at the greatest stress points to make them stronger, as they were intended for miners in San Francisco, a city ​​where both lived and had noticed that workers’ garments tore easily.

Wikipedia

Of course, the first denim pants did not have the same design of today’s jeans, nor were they called “jeans.” In fact, they were called “waist overalls” and they had one back pocket with a curved embroidering, an additional pocket for the watch, buttons for suspenders, a zipper, and a copper rivet at the crotch. According to the official website of what is now the Levi brand, the term “jeans” came into use in 1960 with the baby boomers.




Read more:
Catholic “Style”? Seriously?

The year 1890 saw the creation of the famous 501 model, which practically became the uniform of western cowboys, reinforcing the garment’s reputation for strength. In 1901, they created the first model with two pockets, and in 1922 they added the belt loops.

A curious fact about the Levi’s company is that in 1936 they had to add a little red tab to the right pocket of the coveralls (a tag that remains to this day) to differentiate their pants as other companies began to copy them, thanks to the boom in Hollywood westerns.

LEVI JEANS
Wikipedia

The 1950s made jeans even more popular because fashion icons like James Dean began using them with the equally famous Converse sneakers, creating a sexy and rebellious look that youth wanted to imitate.

Even today, companies are still making adjustments to jeans. Now they are available in a range of washes and in different silhouettes: skinny, flared, cropped, distressed and destroyed… and then there are the unfortunate jeggings, which are leggings trying to be denim.

And as Saint Laurent also said, “A good design can withstand ten years of fashion.” Well, in this case, 144.

Translated from the Spanish edition of Aleteia.

Tags:
Style
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
7
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.