Rhetoric of Blue Jeans

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“Blue Jeans” by Fred Davis talks about denim jeans, their creation about 700 years ago, and how since then this item of apparel has served as a form of expression. Jeans were and still are made from sturdy indigo- dyed cotton cloth. Before the 60’s one did not see blue jeans on everyone, in the 30’s and 40’s painters and artist were the main consumers, and in the 50’s the denim trend spread to hoodlums and motorcyclist. Not until the 60’s did jeans become universally worn, crossing all genders, ages, regions and national boundaries. In the 60’s Jeans also crossed the occupational boundaries; no longer being looked at as a work tool but simply another article of clothing. What is it that makes jeans the one apparel item that has made them the fashion statement that they are today? According to Davis, the idea behind jeans was that they crossed over boundaries and did not look at class or status, jeans were simple and anyone could wear them. For the common man and unpretentious, they stood for the symbol of the American West free spirited and self-reliant. This way of thinking did not stand for a long time, according to Davis, because at the end of the day, social status still counts. Davis states that once Jeans hit the mass marketplace what they stood for changed. Jeans were no longer the same to all people because they became part of fashion, creating many different types and styles. The new message was one of the fashion industry, and if you were not “in fashion” you simply were not up to date.

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