Jeans Through the Decades



We all know jeans are an ever-changing fashion statement; yet, one thing is constant: their popularity. 

Walking the halls of school it’s more than common to see all the different and interesting styles. While they are a common type of pants, the styles and cuts fluctuate depending on the trend; thus, over the years, different types of jeans have gained popularity.

Jeans first made their appearance back in the mid-1800s. They were inspired by the West and suited for those in need of sturdy and reliable pants, like miners. It wasn’t until many decades later that they became a popular household item. In the 1930s, jeans made their first appearance in the Hollywood scene.

Dating back to the ‘50s, Marlon Brando, an actor, popularized Levi’s “The Wild One” line, introducing the bad boy look. The jeans of the time period were typically cuffed and boxy, but later in the ‘60s and ‘70s flare jeans and bell bottoms made their debut. Later in the ‘70s there was more of a focus on raggy and embellished jeans.

The ‘80s was when jeans made their first appearance on the catwalk. Newer styles came out “baggier and sexier.” Jeans were becoming tighter and some were even acid washed. The well-known styles of ripped and high-waisted straight jeans made their first appearance in this decade. Moving onto the ‘90s, jeans were still baggy as in the previous decade, but bell bottoms had a resurgence in popularity under the name boot-cut trousers. Low-rise jeans also rose to popularity.

With the new millennium came skinny jeans. The 2000s had bedazzled or embellished jeans. As for the 2010s, boyfriend jeans were steadily gaining popularity, as well as frayed cuffs. Around 2015, skinny high-waisted jeans were preferred over the low-rise of the 2000s.

Now taking us to the current time, where 2020 has been a year for all sorts of styles of jeans, many of which are ones that are being brought back from different decades. In 2020, some of the most popular jean styles include high-rise, bootcut, and various throwback washes. Flare jeans and wide legged jeans are also becoming more popular. These styles are coming straight from the ‘70s and ‘80s. 

In the 2010s, boyfriend jeans were gaining popularity, but in recent years, the sales have gone down 2 percent, signaling the beginning of the end. As for wide legs, the stocking went up by 108%, along with straight legs up by 55%, and flares up by 80%. 

Right now we’re seeing relaxed, baggier jeans in high demand, differing largely from it’s 2010 tight skinny counterpart. Some of the more popular styles are focusing on comfort, along with displaying your physique. Many younger shoppers tend to buy tight, skinny jeans, while older shoppers are looking for the opposite. 

As jeans trends change, there are direct correlations to how members of society are shopping. Many shoppers tend to stick to their favorite style, that they’re sure will look good, as opposed to venturing out and trying new jeans. 

So next time you are out shopping, think about where all these styles of jeans have come from, and how the history of jeans dates back many decades. We challenge you to go outside of your comfort zone, and try a style that you might not have considered beforeyou might love it!



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