Originally, the denim style spread around the world as clothing worn by workers. At that time, the image of it as work clothes was strong, and it may have been a casual look that felt somewhat earthy to blend in with the cityscape of the city.
However, after fashion icons of various genres, such as Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, wore jeans on a daily basis and began to establish their own denim styles, the number of people who followed those styles increased. It has become loved all over the world as a basic item.
Britain still has a strong dress culture. Even in such a country, denim fabric has taken root as a fashion item and is loved by all generations. In a country with a class society, how was the recognition of workers' clothing broken down and how did it take root as fashionable?
Looking back at the history of denim, it usually begins in the 1800s when cowboys and workers began to wear it in the United States, but when did denim become popular in England?
It all started in the 1900s, when the famous newspaper Daily Express introduced the denim style as an introduction to foreign culture, citing black people wearing straw hats, frock coats, calico shirts, and denim pants. Introduced to England. In the United States, it was mainly worn by workers, and among factory workers, denim coveralls, and carpenters and plumbers, overalls were a particularly popular style.
In the late 1930s, the British army adopted khaki denim fabric for uniforms, and the sturdiness and heavy feeling of the fabric began to gain popularity. Denim pants were introduced as recommended clothes for women who were being harassed.
Denim first became popular as a fashion item in the 1940s. Denim pants and a large sweater are very popular among British women. In those days, denim pants were mostly worn above the waist.
In the 1950s, after the end of the war, young people in England began to take in American culture, and young people called Teddy Boys appeared who were influenced by all aspects of their hairstyles, clothes, and music.
Also, at that time, the length was only sold in one size, and the excess leg length was rolled up and worn, and even today, roll-ups are standard when dressing in the style of the 50s.
I will write a separate article on Teddy Boys in detail.
For British people, however, denim was just a fashion item that favored the cutting edge and overseas culture, and was not part of mainstream fashion. However, in the latter half of the 1950s, an advertisement using Sean Connery wearing denim pants as a model was used on Carnaby Street, the center of London fashion, and it quickly spread to young people all over the UK.
About Carnaby Street
In 1957, the UK's first denim brand "Lee Cooper" appeared, making it more popular as a fashion item. It seems that tapered pants were mainly sold at that time.
In the 1960s, major American denim brands such as Levi's and Wrangler landed. In the mid-1960s, it became a fashion item that was accepted by all generations. In addition, as young people called mods adopted their style, mod bands started wearing jeans, and The Rolling Stones signed a sponsorship with Lee Cooper, which is one of the reasons why denim style was sent to the mainstream. It goes without saying that we became one.
A separate article on rock and denim
Since then, denim styles have changed with the times, such as damaged jeans in the 70s, chemical wash in the 80s, loved as second-hand clothes in the 90s, and low-rise fashion in the 00s. It is one of the standard fashion items that are handled.