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Jeans

What does Jeans mean?

A style of pants manufactured by diagonal-weave cotton fabric and usually dyed with indigo. Also known as denim.

Heddels explains Jeans

The term jeans originally derives from “bleu de Genes,” a French phrase used in the nineteenth century to refer to the pants worn by Genoese sailors for chores and duties aboard ship. However, the official birth date of the pants is considered to be May 20, 1873, when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted the US patent for their riveted pants. These first pairs of jeans were sold exclusively as sturdy, reliable garments for workers.

Then, in the 1930s, Hollywood began producing a lot of Western movies, all of which featured cowboys wearing jeans. Dude ranches in places such as Nevada and Wyoming were rediscovered as popular vacation destinations, with Americans living in the east bringing home pairs of denim overalls for friends and family. “Western chic” became a popular look with both men and women. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that jeans really started to become fashionable, especially with teenagers and young adults. Male movie stars such as James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Marlon Brando in The Wild One lent jeans an air of danger and defiance, while female stars like Marilyn Monroe gave jeans a sexy, glamorous vibe. Soon, many college and university students were wearing them. By the 1960s, the hippie movement had adopted bell-bottom jeans as part of their unofficial uniform and jeans had become a fixture in the American wardrobe.

Today, jeans can be found in almost everyone’s wardrobe and come in almost as many styles and fits as there are body types. A pair can be found for a few dollars at a thrift store or several hundred dollars at a designer boutique. Magazines often run articles about finding the “perfect jeans,” and most people have a beloved, well-worn pair of jeans that they wear over and over until they are almost threadbare. Jeans are particularly associated with the United States and many consider jeans to be an American icon.

Additional Resources

Here is an example of various jeans:

Heddels Definitions - Jeans