Origins of ordinary things: Jeans

In this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find a young person who does not own a pair of jeans. Jeans are thought to beedgy, stylist and casual. Although they are popular among the young generation, jeans are not new to the clothing market.

According to Idea Finder, a website that promotes science progress, jeans date back to the 1600s. The denim-made pants were originally solely worn for work because of the strength of the material. They were known as waist overalls.

The world’s modern version of jeans, according to Who Invented, an online knowledge platform, were invented by German-American businessman Levi Strauss and Latvian-Jewish cum American immigrant tailor Jacob Davis in 1871 and patented in 1873.

However, Strauss and Davis were not the first to coin the term “jeans” as it had been in use long before they patented their trousers. Previously, all clothing items made from blue denim such as trousers, overalls and coats were referred to as“Blue jeans.”There were popular among cowboys and miners. This is according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

The first Levi Strauss jeans were flared because, according to Yvette Mahe, a historian, the jeans were designed to be worn over work boots. To make the jeans durable, copper rivets were placed on certain parts of the jeans such as pocket corners and at the bottom of the fly to prevent it from ripping. At the time, jeans did not have zippers.

The name change from “Blue Jeans” to just “Jeans” happened when that type of pants became popular among teenagers in the 1950s.

Studies done on the sudden popularity of jeans among teenagers of the 50s indicate that the youngsters were portraying radicalismabout equality and rebellion against the older generation. By 1960s, jeans were thought to be fashionable.

Although they can now be worn by all genders and ages, jeans continue to have the connotation of being casual. As such, they continue to be popular among young adults and teenagers as some conservative adults continue to consider them as childish and even indecent. It is frowned upon to wear jeans to parties.

Something ironic about jeans is that although they were originally designed for doing work, they are now unacceptable in many workplaces. This could be because with industrialization and technology, now a corporate world exists and it clearly wants to disassociate itself with the unsophistication of manual labour of the past centuries.