142 Years Of Blue Jeans History Told in 14 Funky Photos

1.1873 – The Original Blue Jeans.

This is what the first ever pair of blue jeans looked like. They came from Levis, and were called the ‘XX’, named after the denim used to make them, which, at the time, was the best denim in the USA.


2. 1910 – ‘Dungarees’.

Around this time, someone had the brilliant idea to give jeans suspender straps, and dungarees were born.


3. 1920s/1930s – Work pants for the farm.

Blue jeans were high-waisted and wide-legged during this time so they’d be comfortable during manual labour. You’d never see women wearing jeans, except for on the farm.

4. 1940s – For the women.

“It wasn’t until women began working in factories, doing traditionally men’s work, that safety reasons required women to start wearing pants,” explains Vintage Dancer. Women had to make do wearing men’s pants to start with, but when the war broke out and an all-women work force started to emerge, companies began making pants for women.


5. 1950s – Jeans became ‘Cool’.

It was the decade of abundance, and jeans went from being work pants to being casual daywear. They became more fitted, narrow, and were often worn rolled up at the cuffs. This is when the denim on denim phenomenon started to emerge too.


6. 1960s – New colors, new cuts.

By the 60s, jeans had become a staple in men’s and women’s fashion. There were different colors, shapes and waistlines instead of the usual one-size-fits-all work pants.

7. 1970s – Bell Bottom Mania.

The style featured high, fitted waists and legs that flared out at the cuff. They worked perfectly with matching fitted jackets and boots.
And of course, when it got too hot, you’d just cut them into short shorts.


8. 1980s – Distressed was in.

By this time, cuffs were coming back in and someone had discovered stone washing. Ripping had become a professional art, and grunge was just around the corner.


9. 1990s – Mom jeans were the hot new look.

In one of the biggest fashion tragedies ever, Mom jeans became the hot thing. They were high-waisted, bunchy, unflattering, and they don’t even look that comfortable. And then JNCOs happened…


10. 2000s – The waistlines dropped down.

Flares came back in, waistlines dropped down to hipster levels, and bling was introduced. Bedazzled pockets were cool, and we even saw the odd bit of glitter.


11. 2010s – How skinny can you go?

Now we’ve welcomed in jeans so tight that it’s pretty much impossible to move. It’s a massive change from the comfy, practical jeans of the 1870s, and we’re not sure it’s for the better.