Fashion is mysterious, as a rule. Why are blue jeans a classic? You just hit on something that happens to be timeless and right.-Diane von Furstenberg
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Like much in the fashion world, denim has at times been a bit sexist. For much of their early existence, jeans were something worn exclusively by men. Most early jeans manufacturers didn’t even make clothes with women in mind. The relatively few women who wore jeans had to adapt men’s styles and cuts. For a high fashion perspective, denim was such a low, working class fabric that it was considered too rough to be next to a woman’s delicate skin. Denim was a man’s material.
World War II did a lot to change women’s wardrobes as they took to the floors of assembly lines and machine shops to do the jobs of men who had gone off to fight. The loose skirts and dresses women were accustomed to wearing were inappropriate around heavy exposed machinery. Jeans and its even heavier cousin, denim dungarees, needed to be worn by women and they needed something that would better fit her frame and shape. Slowly, manufacturers took notice and women’s jeans started working their way onto store shelves.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that “jeans for her” really became stylish, and much of that is due to Anderson Cooper’s mom, Gloria Vanderbilt. Tighter, designed more specifically to fit and hug a woman’s body, Vanderbilt’s jeans raised denim from farm wear to Fifth Avenue. Then, when 16-year-old Brooke Shields appeared topless, lying on her stomach, in an ad that read, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” sales of women’s blue jeans skyrocketed.
Today, the average woman has seven pairs of blue jeans in her closet, while men are only likely to have five. Styles of his and her jeans are more similar than not, with men being just as likely to wear tight-fitting, butt-hugging denim as do women. Almost everyone knows someone who lives in their jeans, wouldn’t consider wearing anything else. I know at least one bride (and I’m sure there are more) who wore jeans to her wedding. No longer sexist and low-class, jeans are a fundamental staple for both him and her.[/one_half_last]