Jeans Evolution: 100 Years of Fashion

Guess which wardrobe item is common for women and men, children, adults, and even the elderly? What would you see with equal probability in the wardrobes of a pupil, a poor student, and a Hollywood movie star? Of course, you have already guessed that we are talking about jeans as the most versatile clothing in the world. In this review, you will read how jeans and denim trends have changed over the past 100 years. It will not be boring.

The 1920s-1930s: clothing for farmers and workers

At the dawn of their existence, jeans were exclusively men’s clothing. You could see them mostly on farmers. Jeans became widely popular as comfortable working clothes.

Very soon women began to actively try on “male” jeans. At first, women wore them as a working uniform, so beauties in voluminous overalls could be found everywhere – in factories and plants.

The 1940s: a difficult time

During wartime, one did not care much about jeans. Their production was reduced to a minimum. Men (potential buyers) were in the army or fighting at the frontline. But women began to wear jeans more and more often, which is easy to explain: women’s fashion, for obvious reasons, went through a difficult time and borrowed a lot of male elements.

The 1950s: the “uniform” of rebels

Postwar time coincided with the heyday of denim clothes. From the uniform of the workers, dense denim turns into a favorite thing of the rebels and even Hollywood divas.

The most fashionable jeans of this decade are straight, dense, with a medium rise and inevitably turned up from below. Some women of fashion managed to turn them up almost to the knee. They invented lots of tricks to look cool against the background of their peers.

The 1960s: from pop art to children of flowers

By the 1960s, the children born after the war had grown up, matured and started a lot of interesting things: from sexual revolution to resolute (and passive) renunciation of war and violence. It is natural that fashion immediately reflected all socio-cultural changes.

Women began to feel more confident and boldly emphasized their sexuality, complementing it with bright “doll-like” details.

In the late 1960s, the “children of flowers” blossomed, as well as bright applications on the fundamentally new model of jeans – flared jeans.

The 1970s: the roads go apart

In the 1970s, the jeans army was divided into two halves: one part remained true to flared jeans and bright applications, and the second part resolutely made down the old jeans, dyed them in dark colors, cut on their knees and added various pins. The “punk” style became fashionable.

Jeans became narrower, and fashionable images, in general, turned more aggressive.

The 1980s: acid washed jeans and ripped jeans

This must have been the most contradictory decade (from the point of view of fashion) of the previous century. Emancipation, rebellion, gender equality and other achievements of recent years got mixed. The most fashionable jeans of that time looked the same for both women and men. Trendy jeans were tight on the butt and had a high waistline.

One should not forget about the punk heritage as well – the love of ripped jeans and the famous acid washed coloring.

The 1990s: grunge, hip-hop, and the “Beverly Hills”

Jeans became the main clothing of the 1990s. There were a lot of different models of jeans: high-waisted Mom models, like Kelly’s and Brenda’s jeans in the TV series about the problems of rich teenagers from Beverly Hills; homemade acid washed jeans, baggy Kurt Cobain’s jeans with holes on the knees, and wide jeans of hip-hop fans.

In general, this decade was dominated by a trend that can be described as follows: the wider jeans the better.

Rhinestones and Capri jeans are the symbols of female fashion of the 2000s

The 2000s… It is the 1990s that one frequently calls dashing in terms of style, but looking at these photos, you realize that the past decade turned out to be much richer for disgusting trends. Rhinestones were used everywhere and in huge numbers. There were velour suits, Capri elements even in office clothes, and very low jeans. It is so good that they are out of fashion!

All this “glamor” now looks ridiculous and tasteless. But there is a suspicion that in a couple of years the fashion will make another turn, and jeans with rhinestones will triumphantly return to the streets of big cities and fashionable Instagram accounts.

2010 – present: totally postmodern

Narrow “skinny” jeans have been the most fashionable model of jeans for the last 7-8 years. Especially in a combination with a high waist. Narrow jeans are fully represented even in the men’s wardrobe. As for female models, the popular trends of the recent years include loose boyfriend jeans that seem to be worn by everyone, as well as Mom jeans in the spirit of the 1990s.

Besides, there are models with numerous cuts in the grunge style. Flared jeans are also gaining popularity again… To make the long story short, everything is fashionable now. One just needs the ability to combine things from different fashionable epochs.

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