When it comes to clothing, these are the two words that completely encapsulate everything that is America: blue jeans. 'Dems are the denims that had their tough beginnings as the durable dungarees created specifically for the American working class. After catching up with what may be taken for granted as just the go-to for a comfy, withstanding, lasting and uber cute pair of pants, here's a little history that will lend your outfit new meaning.
America's Pants, Except Before They Were American
If you're someone who equates France with fashion, or who thinks that the world's best runways have certainly made their best trek through Italy, you'll be happy to know that "Blue jeans" actually have their roots in Genoa, Italy. The original term "bleu de G?nes" was how the French referred to the "blue of Genoa," which in turn referred to the color of the cotton trousers worn by Genoan sailors. Once America found these words, the term "blue jeans" was born. There was also a tough little fabric found on the boats leaving the French city of Nimes, as in "du Nimes" as in, denim.What this means is that the textile ancestors of denim/blue jean actually came from the ports of these two cities dating back to the Renaissance, which means Renaissance didn't just give us da Vinci, it gave us du Nimes!
The Forefathers of Our Favorite Fashion
Back in San Fran, 1873, this textile guy and his partner figured out that if you made a pair of work pants out of the insanely durable fabric of denim, and then further reinforced the seams with rivets, you had better put a patent on it, because you just struck a gold mine. And speaking of gold mines, if you worked in one during the late 1800s, guess what kind of pants you'd be wearing: blue jeans (although they originally also came in a delightfully drab shade of "Cotton Duck" brown). The cowboys were soon onboard, either oblivious to fashion or, quite literally, dressed to kill, paving the way for the must-have garb of the Wild West's outlaw-chic. Thanks, Levi Strauss for inspiring the wardrobe department of every spaghetti Western, ever. And more importanly, thanks for leading us to the modern emblems of comfort and fashion and cuteness: Cello Jeans, Flying Monkey, Miss Me and Grace in LA that you can totally find in our store.
The Original Boyfriend Jeans
If you're a woman who loves jeans, you might want to thank your lucky stars and stripes for the ladies who fought for your rights before you. Cowboys and miners may have been strutting it up in jeans, but as for the ladies, no pants allowed. That's right, women didn't vote, and they certainly didn't parade their cute little buts around in blue jeans either. In fact, in 1871—two years before Mr. Strauss put the patent on these pants—one Marie Susie filed a petition requesting that she please, please, be allowed to work in trousers. There were also records of hardworking women who wore pants to work under their dresses, making them quite literally the ones who secretly wore the pants in the family. They didn't get pants of their own either. Their blue jeans came straight from the laundry heap of heir hubbies or male family members—the prototype for boyfriend jeans was born.
Blue Jeans Go to Hollywood
If you were a socialite as the world came out of the Great Depression, you'd be hitting the "dude ranch" as a posh place to go. In fact, The Women,a Joan Crawford film of 1939, showed the ladies hitting the ranch in this brand new look—babes in blue jeans! Once women in jeans hit the silver screen, the fashion world was ready to pull up its pants, so to speak. Grace Kelly, donning denim while flipping the pages of major fashion-rag Bazaarin Hitchcock's Rear Windowdidn't hurt either. Nor did Marilyn Monroe wearing jeans in The Misfits.The cover of Vogue,however, didn't showcase a pair of blue jeans until the 1970s. Until that point, blue jeans in the mid-twentieth century held a certain rebellious, counterculture aesthetic. These were the pants of bad boys and gals. This was the garb of the bad boy's very icon: James Dean. Going for a retro 50's rabble-rausing rebel look? Better get yourself a pair of blue jeans!
Blue Jeans Are Still so Fierce
Once blue jeans hit the fashion main stream, it has been free reign, although we still associate them with many elements of American counterculture: rockers, hippies, easy-riding bikers—and yes, totally Fierce hotties. What this means is that you've got options for eons. Torn at the knees. Tight on the skin. Baggy in the seat. Jean skirts, shorts, vests and jackets. Brightly colored, faded, frayed or fancy. America's Blue Jeans, we take our hats off to you—but never our denim pants.