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Fun Fashion Fact Friday: The Blue Jean

Posted by Natali on Aug 22nd 2014

We all have that go-to pair of jeans in our closet. Jeans are such a versatile part of the modern woman’s closet, able to be easily dressed up or down for a variety of occasions. But where did these popular pants come from?

A Vintage Denim Ad

A Vintage Denim Ad

Jeans originated in Genoa, Italy. They were named after the Genoan sailors who commonly wore the material that could comfortably withstand their hard days of work. The word “denim” came from the French material called “serge de nimes”, meaning material from Nimes (a small town in France). But how did jeans make their way into America?

In 1848, the Gold Rush began in California. Gold miners wanted to wear a fabric that was strong, but comfortable. Levi Strauss saw this need as a business opportunity and started a wholesale business in San Francisco in 1853. His Levi’s were sold for about $6 worth of gold dust at the time.

James Dean as the ultimate 1950's Rebel

James Dean as the ultimate 1950’s Rebel

Jeans gained popularity in the 1930s, when Hollywood made so many western movies featuring cowboys dressed in denim. In the 1950s, the denim look became even more popular among young people as a symbol of teenage rebellion.

In the 1960s, jeans were often worn by college students and soon became adopted by the hippie movement. Jeans were given the designer treatment in the 1980s, with designers creating their own style of jeans with their labels attached.

Today, jeans are still a popular pant option for more casual affairs. They’re worn by both the young and old. Jeans are symbolic of the American culture, both past and present.

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