Jeans are a fashion in their own right. There is nothing like the look of denim to appear distinctive and casual. The wearing of denim is a way of life for so many people. So, let us explore the phenomenon of jeans as a clothing trend that is still with us.
History of Jeans
It will surprise many people to know that the blue jean came into being on 20 May 1873. This was the day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained their US patent that set out the process of putting rivets into men’s work pants. Jacob Davis, a tailor from Nevada, manufactured the jean from denim and that then increased the popularity of the material.
Types of Jeans
There is a multitude of different types of jeans now available. These include straight-leg jeans, skinny jeans, flared jeans, baggy jeans, Mom Jeans, and cropped jeans.
Where jeans are described as straight-leg, the width is the same along the thigh, knee, and legs openings. The leg opening is normally within a width range of between 14 and 17 inches.
Skinny jeans will fit snugly along hips and thighs and have a tapered leg that will open up just 11.5 to 13.5 inches. The hem of these will be around the ankles. Skinny jeans are usually manufactured from stetch denim. I have heard stories of people sitting in baths of water so that the jeans shrink to their exact size.
A flared pair of jeans will be narrower at the knee than at the bottom. The hem will generally be 2.5 to 4 inches wider than the width at the knee, and the leg opening between 20 to 23 inches in width.
The baggy jeans are loose along both hips and thighs and also have a wide opening. So, baggy everywhere.
Mom Jeans are a fashion that is high-waisted and loose-fitting around a person’s hips and crotch.
Crops or Cropped Jeans end between the midcalf and knee or about ¾ of the way down someone’s calf.
Jeans, and all things denim, are typically a target for ripping in the name of fashion. It is now the fashion to have ripped jeans to show off an even more casual look and send out a message that you do not care what people think, even when you perhaps do. It is no doubt seen by many as a rebellion against fashion norms and pretty much anything else, and what is acceptable in polite society. However, the fashion has taken off, which has made it acceptable almost everywhere, except for somewhere you need formal dress wear to enter.
In terms of the longevity of jeans, which will tend to come and go with fashions, ripped jeans have been around since the 1970s. The distressed jean is a part of the thinking that makes ripped jeans a close cousin. The popularity of distressed jeans, or those deliberately made to look well worn, came about with the 70s punk-rock movement. So, it is rebellion-related.
To conclude, jeans have a Victorian history and came about as a rivetted look. It was this patent that popularised denim as a material. Then from just the blue jean we now have many different styles of jeans to choose from. These vary in terms of the thigh, knee, and ankle widths and the combination of these desired. Then, we can have jeans that look distressed, just as we can make paint that way when carrying out a home improvement. This distressed look then progressed from not just different shades in the denim but became holes or rips in jeans. This created a complete casual look and can currently be purchased as part of the design or self-inflicted upon one’s jeans. Who would have thought when jeans were invented that one-day people would be deliberately damaging their jeans in the name of fashion?