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History of Women's Jeans (1920's - 2020)

August 16, 2019 3 min read

Can you believe that in the past women weren't allowed to wear jeans? I know, crazy, right? Jean, sweats, and joggers  are such a staple that I can't imagine not being able to wear. Going back, all the way back to the 1800’s when the first pair of denim jeans were created. Originally called “waist overalls” made for working men. These were sought out to be perfect for rough and tumble workwear. 

How It All Started

It wasn't until the early 1920-30’s men started to regularly wear jeans. It was this sturdy material that was durable and didn't rip or break as easily as cotton did. Denim jeans were very practical for the average working man and still is today. As denim blue jeans became more and more trendy, it wasn't until young boys started to wear them to school in the late 1950s to look tougher. This spiked a fast-spreading fashion trend that made young boys embrace the “bad boy” look. In earlier films, you can see James Dean and Marlon Brandon wearing denim jeans made by popular brands such as Levis, Lee Cooper, and Wrangler jeans. Hollywood movies used jeans as a fashionable symbol of rebellion and this led to blue jeans being banned in some public schools in America for being too provocative.

Jeans in 1920s


Blue Jeans in the 1960's

James Dean JeansOn came the 60s and 70s, the early hippie years, where the free-spirited thrived! This popular movement helped more women embrace the casual blue jean making it more acceptable to wear. In this age personalizing one's jeans with various colors and patches was seen as the ideal trend. Women would often decorate their blue jeans with paint or even patches of other material to stand out. Jeans were designed with a high waist and a wide flared out leg, making women's legs appear thin and elongated.



Blue Jeans in the 1970's

Denim Jeans 1960sThe 80s was the age of designer jeans. Blue jeans were starting to be manufactured with a darker denim wash and a thinner leg making it the new high fashion trend of the decade. Calvin Klein's very famous ad campaign with Brooke Shields inspired every fashion designer’s mind bringing denim to the forefront of modern society.  Designer jeans became a true symbol in popular culture brands including Calvin Klein, Jordache, and much much more.


Blue Jeans Mass Adoption in 1990's

Moving on to the 90s where the grungy punk rocker was the new hit look. In this fashion era, it became more about sloppy loose clothing rather than clean-cut jeans you can dress up. The 90s grunge was a lazy easy-going look teen punks would wear. 90s jeans were loose-fitting and designed with a low waist. In the early 2000s popular stars like Brittany Spears and Christina Aguilera, all wore low rise jeans. Light washed boot cut jeans were most popular until the late 2000s when a result of innovation in denim stretch technology provided a new jean called skinny jeans.The hot new look, everyone was wearing skinny style jeans to work on the weekend and for date nights.

Jeans Evolution Into 2000's

Kylie Jenner Jeans2010 to current, there is a variety of jeans from different wash and fit. Although skinnier styles for women remain the most popular by a margin. Straight leg jeans are another popular denim trend for women and men that have risen in the past years. Thanks to the influence of fashion bloggers, high waisted jeans are another popular throwback trend of recent years that women enjoy. This style is especially flattering to all figures and has been adopted by many celebrities like Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner.

Another trending jean is boyfriend/mom jeans these are a relaxed fit and compliment most figures. Joggers are another relaxed fit that is popular in both men and women's clothing. Today’s modern movement in fashion is affected by mainstream media and celebrities. I believe the most important part of fashion is being able to express yourself freely by dressing as one pleases. 

Click here to shop Raikago's designer Jeans and Joggers

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