Jeans and The Blue Denim
In Japan, people have kimono, in China, they have cheongsam as a long dress with a high collar and slit skirt that traditionally worn by Chinese women, and in USA, people have jeans as their fashion identity. Fundamentally, jeans can be described as blue denim and it is very functional, durable, and mainstream in the public. Every facet of American society has worn jeans since 160 years ago. The story of jeans started by Levis Strauss, and recently it has become the most popular fashion style in the American Society. Started from presidents, workers, officers, soldiers till fireman, they wear jeans as their daily outfit. Today, Jeans have become an essential element of fashion in America that has embodied the ideals of vastly different segments of society. Thus, THESIS
Levis Strauss is the pioneer of jeans. Previously in the year 1850s, many gold miners were complaining about the fragile cotton trousers and pockets. Thus, jeans and its durability characteristic are very suitable for gold miners. They wanted clothes that are strong and did not tear easily. Strauss responded to their claims and he decided to create tough and long lasting pants for them. According to the book Blue Jean Book by Tanya Kyi, she said, “Levis Strauss made the best business decision of his life and sell the first pair of jeans” (Kyi 2005:15). He invent jeans originally just for the needs of miner’s clothing. The result was Strauss basically created jeans with a cinch belt for keeping them up in the back and did not have back pockets, and belt loops. As the time goes by, jeans started to be used among other workers besides the gold miners. Kyi said, “In 1860s, Levis Strauss blue jeans become the daily clothing for farmers, cattlemen, and miners” (Kyi 2005:16). At that time, farmers and cattlemen considered that jeans is the most suitable outfit while they were working. Thus, this phenomenon became a sign that Levis Strauss is the pioneer who invented jeans and its purpose that very suitable for field workers. During 19th century, wearing jeans revealed about the social class or the status symbol of the owners. Flashed back during the 1850s, jeans were originally created only for the workers, and this eventually draw jeans to be a common fashion style among the lower class people. According to the book Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon by James Sullivan, Sullivan described “in the American society, wearing jeans drew a line between upper and lower class” (Sullivan 2007:110). Besides its durability, jeans are very affordable for every people in the society. Therefore, proletariats tend to purchase jeans rather than other fabric materials that could be more expensive and fragile, such as wool, cotton, or silk. The bourgeoisie people tend to purchase those expensive, elegant or luxury materials that could reflect their affordability as a rich person. For instance, women used a nightgown dress that was made from silk with a corset tight. Sally Mitchell in her book Daily Life in Victorian England said that “the upper class men focus on his clothing style that consisted of dark and plain colors: a hat (main display of social status), ascot, trousers, jackets, and white collared shirts” (Mitchell 1996:134). Therefore, the existence of jeans reflected the status symbol of the owners during 19th century in the American society. Mitchell, Sally, Prof. "Daily Life in Victorian England." Google Books. Greenwood Publishing Group 1996, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. Buku dari si sulivan cari sendiri. Undoubtedly, in 1950s, there was an evolutionary activity that made jeans conveying as a symbol of rebellion. Fundamentally, there were young American film stars, who rebelled the mainstream culture of wearing jeans. Kyi said, “Marlon Brando and James Dean were people who proclaimed it first and embrace jeans as a symbol of rebellion.” (Kyi 2005:34)....
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