A Tough Material

  in  Fashion History
Who would have thought that a tough material originally from France would, decades later, become one of the most widely worn items of clothing today. Denim - an American version of "serge de Nimes" (a town in France) is that tough material. And so came forth - jeans. Admired by all for their durability and strength. It is said that a certain Levi Strauss developed a pair of jeans to meet the needs of the extreme working conditions endured by the California gold miners in the 19th century. They were held together with rivets (the jeans, not the miners) to strengthen the pockets. Miners were not the only workers to make use of this rugged cotton material. Cowboys, railroad workers, and farmers adopted them for their use also.

The manufacturer of jeans dropped back considerably during WW2, but it seems the world was introduced to them by GI's who wore them when they were off duty. Their popularity really took off after the war when they became a symbol of teenage rebellion. Since those days improvements in material style has bought this humble item of work wear to the forefront of being forever in fashion.