What are Blue Jeans?

K T Solis

Blue jeans are denim pants that people of all ages wear. Most are made with rivets and contain front and back pockets. They can be worn for casual occasions, more formal outings, or even while working in the yard, depending on the style of the jeans and the accessories worn along with them.

A woman wearing blue jeans.
A woman wearing blue jeans.

The first pair of blue jeans was created in 1873 by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis. These early blue jeans were made to be strong and durable in order to withstand strenuous work. Miners of that time wore blue jeans as dug for gold during the California Gold Rush. At first, the blue jean was sewn by women working in their homes, but eventually the riveted pants were manufactured in a San Francisco factory.

Blue jeans are linked to the California Gold Rush, where miners wore jeans as they dug for gold.
Blue jeans are linked to the California Gold Rush, where miners wore jeans as they dug for gold.

The blue jean grew in popularity as the years passed. In the 1930s, the introduction of the cowboy movie made the rugged pants popular with men of that time. Soldiers during World War II wore jeans in Europe when they were off-duty. This introduced jeans to the rest of the world. In the 1950s, American teens wore jeans during their free time since the blue jeans were forbidden in schools.

Boot cut jeans are a popular style of blue jeans.
Boot cut jeans are a popular style of blue jeans.

In the 1960s, hippies wore jeans in psychedelic colors and jeans that were embroidered. The 1970s brought about the bell-bottom and stonewashed jeans. In the 1980s, people ripped their blue jeans in order to make them look worn out. During this time, jeans began to rise in price as designers made designer jeans the must-have for young people everywhere. In the 1990s, hip-hop artists popularized baggy jeans.

Today, blue jeans can be purchased in a variety of styles. Consumers can buy jeans in several fits, including relaxed, classic, straight leg, and boot cut. A pair of jeans exists to fit every type of personality and body type. Blue jeans are sold in discount stores all the way up to high-end boutiques. Some people like to buy jeans in consignment or thrift stores in hopes of finding jeans at a cheaper price or with a suitably worn appearance.

Jeans are manufactured in every color of the rainbow, including the traditional blue, black, white, and dark blue. They vary in price, but some of the most expensive jeans can cost as much as $4,000 US Dollars. Today's blue jeans are suitable to wear in a variety of places, whether a person is going to the movies or a night on the town. From their humble origins as clothing for 19th century miners, jeans have transformed into stylish apparel that people around the world wear on a daily basis.

Still in fashion today, blue jeans were created in 1873.
Still in fashion today, blue jeans were created in 1873.

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Discussion Comments


@Fa5t3r - I've heard there are some people who take that even further and attempt to customize their jeans as much as possible by buying them "raw" and not washing them for a year. Basically they wear them with the intention of trying to make them develop individual patterns in the fabric, and then brush them down or spray them with disinfectant in order to keep them clean, but don't wash them until enough time has passed that the pattern will stick.

It's a little bit too much effort for my taste, particularly since I don't think the majority of people would even notice it.


@Iluviaporos - I think it's because, as well as being iconic, jeans are quite flattering because of the cloth. It fades in a way that makes people look more slender and blue denim jeans are heavy but malleable in a way that few other fabrics are.

It's one of the reasons denim isn't all that popular in home sewing, even though it's a popular fabric in general. It's actually quite difficult to make it into a good shape, but once it gets there, it stays there.

Which is why it's so easy to fiddle with the basic fabric as well. Dying or acid washing or distressing or even tearing jeans is not going to make them fall apart the way other sorts of pants would.


I don't know why denim blue jeans have become so popular over the years. They are almost a default piece of clothing, that's acceptable for anyone to wear and usually looks good on everyone as well.

When you consider that they were originally made as hard wearing trousers for miners and workmen, it's difficult to see where the popularity came from. It's not like they are all that hard-wearing these days. My jeans wear out just as quickly as anything else I've got to wear.

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