Jeans. They’re made of denim, they have a zipper, and every decade they get reinterpreted. If dissertations have not yet been written about the evolution of denim, those grad students are missing out on some rich historical references.
Here’s a little denim timeline of the 20th Century.
1930’s: Levi’s introduces ladies jeans for the first time. They are mostly worn with Western gear and are not considered particularly fashionable off the ranch.
1940’s: Jeans were worn by women as workwear. The waist was high, the rise was long and the fit was loose. These were utilitarian garments, but they afforded women the level of freedom they needed to take on physical jobs.
1950’s: Jeans were worn as leisure clothing for the first time. They had a light wash, cuffs, and were worn by women and girls as casual pants, not just as workwear.
1960’s: We can look at this decade as two distinct eras. In the first half, jeans sat at the natural waist and were straight. By the second half, they morphed into hip hugger bell bottoms.
1970’s: Neat trouser waist jeans, worn belted with the top tucked in
Here. the seventies neat theme continues:
1980’s: “Designer jeans”, from Gloria Vanderbilt to Sasson in a dark wash. They fit tight in the butt and the bells went away.
1990’s: We had acid washed baggy denim as well has the classic light wash Mom Jeans
2000’s: Loooww waisted bell bottoms were the style.
Since then, we’ve had boyfriend jeans and skinny stretch jeans, but the current trend is (believe it or not) a return to the light wash Mom jeans of 20 years ago.