Denim Rules the World

Denim Rules the World

Hey Gal, take a moment to think of your favorite outfit at the moment… chances are it includes a pair of jeans! Have you ever considered why denim jeans are a staple in your closet season after season? Denim has come a long way and its roots run deep in American culture. This week we're going to take a deep dive into denim! 

Levi Strauss created the first pair of denim pants that are what we know today as ‘jeans’. Strauss was an immigrant worker in the great American Gold Rush of the mid 1800s. He saw the need for miners to have sturdy, supportive, and durable pants appropriate for the rough terrain of the west. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, only men wore denim. Then in 1934 Levi’s began producing jeans just for women under a line of denim called ‘Lady Levi's’. They were created to allow women the range of motion to work that men had, yet they were designed specifically for the female body. During World War II women were called on to join the war effort and take up factory jobs. ‘Rosie the Riveter’ was a fictional symbol for women of the era, who dressed in denim with her hair tied up in a bandana. Fashion adapted as women in the workforce had more specific performance standards for their outfits. They needed clothing that fit closer to the body to avoid injury on the job, as well as would hold up during intensive labor, so during this time they were expected to wear denim jeans to work. 

Post war denim jeans became highly accepted in American culture. Fast forward to the 1950’s and jeans became a symbol of rebels and bad boys. Thanks to celebrities like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley, who all established a signature look in jeans, a denim ban came about in schools. The risk and reputation of denim jeans only made young people want to wear them even more!

Marilyn Monroe wore jeans in Clash by Night and The Misfits, and it was the first time denim was regarded as ‘sexy’ by association with Monroe. Jeans became a symbol of sexiness, strength and power for women. Leading into the 1960s, the women’s liberation movement mirrored the fashion of the day. At this point, denim diverges into different styles and more fashion choices arrive than the typical blue Levi’s jean. For example, the hippies of the 60s and 70s often wore painted bell bottoms, a symbol of self expression, popularized by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969. The bell bottom also mirrors the wide leg style of today’s trends seen in fashion denim for men and women. After this time designers in the 80’s and 90’s saw a huge chance to capitalize. With Calvin Klein being the first to do so. He changed the way we saw denim, putting supermodels in his denim campaigns making everyone want to be like them. This solidified the need for denim, and made them a lasting staple in everyone's closet. 

In the 21st century, there's no doubt that denim is a necessity to everyone's wardrobe. The variety of denim styles available today is so broad, trends can be overwhelming when choosing a new pair of jeans for the season. The generational debate about skinny jeans versus mom jeans might draw some strong opinions, but I feel like the perfect pair of jeans is the one you feel best in! From wide leg crops and cutoff capris to high rise skinnies and straight leg boyfriend jeans, the denim if you feel comfortable and cute wearing is the one for you, no matter the style. Denim will never go out of style; even low-rise jeans are making a comeback! Although summer is a slower time to shop and consign jeans, Aline always has a great selection of denim. This coming August we’re planning for a gold-rush of jeans in the store! Some of our top brands include: Paige, DL1961, Chicos, AG Jeans& AGOLDE, Joe’s Jeans, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity, and more! Denim is also known for its durability, so why spend a check on a new pair of jeans you have to break in when you can find the perfect pair second hand? Shopping denim secondhand impacts more than just your wallet. To produce a single pair of blue jeans 1,800 gallons of water are needed. When you consider the multitudes of people around the globe who don’t have access to clean water, this is a chilling fact. The denim industry is one of the worst when it comes to pollution in the fashion industry, especially in regards to toxic watersheds in countries of production where environmental laws are lax. Buying your denim second hand makes a big difference even if you don’t get to see the results firsthand because in the long run, it creates a world with better living situations for generations after us. So stop by Aline this season to find your perfect pair of sustainably sourced jeans for the fall! 

To read more about the history of denim jeans click the link!


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