Jeans Through the Years

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  • Topic: Jeans, Bell-bottoms, Trousers and shorts
  • Pages : 5 (1677 words )
  • Download(s) : 2570
  • Published : October 13, 2008
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Bell-bottoms came and went, came back and then left again. Top hats had their time to shine and platform shoes had an intense, yet short, life. Polyester made a brief appearance and at one time, sailor suits could be seen everywhere, but not anymore. Yet jeans seem to have survived. Jeans achieved one task that is nearly impossible: staying a major trend from the eighteenth century to the present day. Popularity usually comes with an expiration date, but apparently not for jeans. Who ever thought that jeans would be such a fashion statement and change with each decade? As I look back, I remember falling at the playground and being so heartbroken because I had gotten a hole in my jeans. These days, people are spending a lot of money on clothes that actually have tears in them. Holes are now part of the fashion statement. Jeans have changed over drastically over the years from the style, the people who wear each kind, to the brand names. In relation to Pozner’s article “The Unreal World”, which stereotypes how women are portrayed on reality television, jeans are portrayed in a sense of stereotypical denims. Before jeans were seen as leisure wear, they were seen as work attire. Film stars throughout the 1950s made jeans become very popular. The 1950s youth were the first to embrace jeans as a symbol of their generation. It was the symbol of the teenage rebel in television programs and movies such as James Dean in the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause. Some schools in the United States were actually banning students from wearing denim, which caused them to be more popular throughout the students. No matter what the stars were wearing, they would make the jeans catchy enough for teenagers to want to go and buy that exact same style. Once pop and film stars like Elvis Presley and James Dean were seen wearing them, they then became desirable internationally in the 1950s and were associated with rock and roll and pop music. At this point in time, jeans were just becoming popular and seen on almost every American teenager in the 1950s. During the Hippie era, or the 1960s, the jean fashions continued to skyrocket. Many university and college students wore jeans. They were the uniform of the anti-war movement and seen throughout the cold war (Fashionera). As in Pozner’s stereotypes of women, the stereotypical jeans of the 1950s were fixed to suit the fashion of the decade; psychedelic colors, embroidery and cut-offs all became new and essential features of the popular clothing. Jeans then changed into bell-bottom and stonewashed styles that allowed the denim trousers to carry their popularity into the 1970s. Increasing world trade allowed more jeans to be made and sold at lower prices than before, positively affecting sales. In a lot of non-Western countries, jeans became a symbol of Western decadence and were very hard to find. The 1970s were also a time of the Disco era. In this time, disco was the carrier for bringing flashy styles to the fashion industry. The stereotypical disco person of this decade would be seen wearing the skinny jeans. Every hem line, pants leg width, and shoe height became accepted along with a casual and sexy dressing including jogging suits, sneakers, message shirts and hot pants (Resources). In this era, clothes, especially jeans were now being studded with silver studs of many shapes and sizes. Skinny jeans, which are said to make anyone look thinner, were denim jeans that were squeezing in bigger thighs to look smaller. Mostly women of this decade wanted to look thin because thin was “in”. Frighteningly underweight girls were praised for their gangly physiques, while standard-sized contestants were derided as “plus-sized” at 5 foot 8 inches and 130 pounds (Pozner 446). Here, Pozner proves the point that thin was the ideal look of this decade as well. These jeans also were straight legged and tight to the ankle. They were very popular in this era and were worn by rock bands such as the Rolling Stones....
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