While we’re no longer in the 70s and 80s where denim clothing was some of the most popular, the material continues to be used across the world. It’s still one of the most frequently used materials, especially in mens jeans for work, as it’s both durable and comfortable. Nowadays, we also come across ultra light weight and flame-resistant jeans which have been adopted at workplaces worldwide.
But how did denim and men’s jeans become popular in the first place?
Below, we detail a brief history of denim and how it continues to be a highly popular material for clothing.
Where Men’s Jeans for Work Started and How Denim Came to Be
You might associate denim as a material that’s American as it has heavily been a part of American popular culture, but the material was actually invented in France in the 1800s and originally named "serge de Nimes." This eventually turned from “de Nimes” to "denim" as we know it today.
But since fabrics can be multiple colours why was blue chosen? It turns out that was the only colour available at the time and the organic indigo dye used to make denim ended up being so popular that it stuck.
While typical workwear pants were used at the time for blue collar jobs, they weren’t nearly as durable as workwear today.
All of that changed when a small company called Levi’s started.
Using Denim As a Part of Workwear
One of the original founders of Levi’s, a man by the name of Jacob W. Davis, was tasked with creating a line of pants specifically designed to endure hard work. He chose denim as a material and made the first pair of jeans reinforced with copper rivets in core stress areas.
While “jeans” eventually became the popular term to use for these pants, they were actually originally known as “waist overalls.”
Because of their rugged nature they quickly became popular with miners in America and started being associated with workwear. Workwear jeans have been known for their toughness and durability since then.
Why Jeans Continue to Be Popular
It actually took a while before jeans caught on as one of the most popular styles of pants though. It was only after World War 2 that the idea of the American dream and the “working cowboy” idea made them explode in popularity.
Major celebrities like Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Marlon Brando also added to the popularity of jeans as well.
Over the years, the continued to retain their popularity and today jeans come in a variety of colours (although blue is still very popular).
How to Make Your Jeans Last LongerIf you happen to own a pair of jeans, or are thinking about getting a new pair, you can make their colour and wash actually last longer using simple home chemicals. Washing your jeans in the washing machine will only wear them out quicker.
Instead, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to a cold-water bath and soak your jeans for about an hour. Then simply hang or lay flat to dry. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell won’t stay with your jeans once they dry.
Both jeans and denim are incredibly durable, and their popularity will likely continue for many years to come.