Denim–America’s greatest love affair, besides coffee. The material is a daily go-to for most. No other article of clothing is easier to style. Throw on a basic tee or a statement blouse and you’re ready to go! Denim jeans are everywhere: schools, workplaces, a trip to the grocery store, or a night out. Americans purchase 450 million pairs a year and half are owned by yours, truly.
Denim material existed in other uses before the invention of the blue denim jean. It is said that a similar twill fabric was developed in the 17th century in Nimes, France. Denim started as a material made for laborers, because of its high durability and used for over a century. What we call “jeans” today meant something else in in the 1800s. It was a term thrown around for all types of trousers.
Jacob Davis was a tailor in the late 1800s. A woman who had a husband that was a laborer came to Davis in search of a durable pair of pants. He came up with an idea to use metal rivets at weak points in the trousers. He also needed a strong fabric, denim, from which he bought from a man named Levi Strauss; first name sound familiar? Davis and Strauss decided to partner together and patent the product in 1873, and thus, the blue jean was born–and so were Levi’s.
Blue jeans steadily became more accessible and popular in the 20th century through different subcultures. James Dean helped popularized blue jeans in the 1950s in the movie Rebel Without a Cause and the greaser subculture took notice. In the 1960s, hippies took on the pant. By the 1970s, denim became more common amongst everyone, especially with the younger people.
Today, jeans are a major staple in everyone’s closet. It doesn’t matter whether you categorize yourself as someone who is fashion-forward or not–odds are, you own a pair. Nothing is more modern and classic. All the different washes, colors, and styles make this item a never ending wheel of purchasing excitement.
The fashion world is constantly trying to find a new take on denim. Even if they weren’t, we’d all still be wearing our favorite classic, worn in pair. It can be hard to keep up with current trends. To help, here are this spring and summer's most sought after styles.
This jean trend is too much fun! You can pair these duds with a fun printed shirt or a plain white button down to let the jeans speak for themselves. Flower embroideries are the most popular. If you’re feeling creative, you can always custom make your own pair! Head over to your local craft store and the sky's the limit! Pearls would be a lot of fun. You can also be a glue master with fun patches or different sizes and shapes of flat gems.
Words by Kathryn Warntjes