Who doesn’t own at least one piece of denim in their wardrobes?
Not bad for a piece of material that started out as work wear…
|It’s been used in clothing probably since the 18th century and probably really only started to become a fashion piece in the 50s, when people like James Dean wore them in “Rebel Without a Cause”. This started to give them a rebel status with teenagers.
|Around the mid-60s it became more fashionable to wash jeans to give them a more worn effect, and shrink to fit. There’s a scene in Quadrophenia where Jimmy is trying to get his jeans shrink to fit. Sorry, I can’t resist adding something from one of my favourite films… When I was a mod I used to buy a pair of jeans and then get the sewing machine on them and make them so narrow I could barely get in or out of them – thank goodness I discovered stretch denim otherwise my knees may never have moved again!
|By the 70s, you have flares and bell bottoms and stitching and patching started to become the way to wear them. Standard wear for hippies. Fringing was also pretty popular. I can remember that you could buy different patches, some with slogans or just flowers etc, that you could sew onto your denim.
|The 80s saw some ‘innovative’ uses of denim – stonewash, acid wash, ripped jeans. I remember even seeing denim jeans that were printed with a tartan-like effect. Personally I decided the way to update my ridiculously skinny jeans to match my more scooter girl image was to put them in the bath and do the ‘bleached’ effect. I wasn’t sure it was working so got an old toothbrush to try to spread the bleach – but all the bristles fell out so I just left them there and thought I’d brush them off when I rinsed the jeans. It was a cool effect in the end – all the little bristles left little bleached marks all over the jeans. I also managed to accidentally get a ripped effect at one point when messing around with my Vespa battery!
|Moving to the 90s, jeans were still popular and other styles such as baggy gangsta jeans were around and then the 00s brought us low rise – which to be fair a lot of people shouldn’t have worn as I saw way to much arse-cleavage and builders’ bums! Also that ever popular way middle-aged men started to wear jeans with a shirt and a casual jacket to prove they are still down with the kids (think Simon Cowell).
Jeans are now pretty much standard wear for all sorts of occasions – casual, dressy, clubbing, even work, with the more casual-wear culture in offices.
To celebrate all things denim, we have a whole range of denim and denim-inspired items for sale in our online shop. Here are just a few examples:
Above is just an example of some of the things we have for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!