Old Blue Jeans


The Story Of Old Blue Jeans

Jeans aren’t just a trend, they are signs of youth


Rip them, fold them, taper them, dye them, wrinkle them- they look stunning on everyone. The denim or jeans as we so call them, are one of the most comfortable clothes to spend the day in.

‘Denim’ is believed to be the end product of the word- Nimes. Serge de Nimes was a type of cloth containing some wool sold by France and England. It is difficult to pin point the exact origins of this cloth or how it ended up in jeans. Nimes was a french city and thus most historians argue that it is not possible for ‘denim’ to have its origins in Nimes.

Old Blue Jeans
The red location icon is where the city of Nimes is. This city is considered the place where the word ‘denim’ is derived.

At the same time, Italy began using another material called ‘Jean’ to make men’s clothing. This material was also imported by England! Which adds into the complexity.

Phew, what a confusion! 

There was only one difference between Jean and Denim. The two threads used to stitch them were different. This made jeans less sturdy than denims.

A Bavarian by birth and American by citizenship, Levi Struass kicked off his first dry goods business in the Gold Rush of San Francisco. One day, his customer Jacob Davis, a tailor, told him that the miners needed a strong pair of trousers and asked Levi to be a part of the business venture. Over time, they switched to making pure denims and thus, the Levi Struass & Co. we know today was born.

Old Blue Jeans
Levi Strauss

Davis and Strauss got a patent for “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” (the buttons at the end of each pocket that make your jean stronger) and began producing copper riveted “waist overalls” (commonly known as jeans today).

Old Blue Jeans
Miners wearing their strong ‘overalls’

Jeans are available in many different sizes, designs and shapes. We wear them to college, to the market, sometimes to work, to functions and any event that you can think off. What makes jeans so multi-faceted and youthful? And were they always a welcoming sight?

Old Blue Jeans
An old ad trying to show the strength of their jeans

In their span of 150 years, this testament of youth has had its share of anecdotes. The bullies wore them, the rebels wore them. This made ‘jeans’ bad boy clothes. Parents were actually worried that their children might get spoilt by wearing them. It also came to a point that some schools banned denims. Then came a big shock- this morale less fabric was now worn by women in the 1950s!

Old Blue Jeans
Women are wearing jeans! Thats outrageous!!

In 1951, a famous singer Bing Crosby wore jeans to his trip to Vancouver and asked for a hotel reservation there. He was turned down because he wore the ‘bad boy’ clothing! Luckily for him, one of the staff recognised him and let him stay.

Half a decade later and the view to look at jeans hadn’t changed despite various attempts. They were still a sign of rebellion.

When Levis advertised jeans to be ‘right for school’ they got many curt replies telling them off. Most parents forbid their children to wear them since wearing ‘such torusers’ turned their children into hippies.

In this decade, customers began calling what were then still called ‘overalls:’ jeans. Wow, they took almost a decade to get there:)

The 2nd World War and the following years, made jeans more famous when American soldiers carried them along to the war front. The jean wave caught up in Britain and spread to Asia.

1980s and our favourite piece of clothing was now tied to rock bands with long hair-dos: still a sign of rebellion but that was fine. Schools now allowed jeans and everyone came to the agreement that they didn’t spoil innocent hearts.

Fast forward to the 21st century, we love wearing ripped and patterned jeans.

Our favourite old blue jeans have had the most interesting journey, haven’t they?


Share your anecdotes about your favourite pair of trousers: Comment below.

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Post Author: GiGlee Magazine

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