I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes. -Yves Saint-Laurent
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Ah, denim. From such humble, working-class beginnings, this simple cotton twill fabric has become the staple of most wardrobes, it’s styles and name brands often envied, and grows in value the more it is destroyed. There’s nothing quite like a good pair of jeans, and there’s no denying the appeal of the look. Despite its working class beginnings, the exact same fabric can be so exclusive as to be affordable only by the super-rich. So, this week we’re focusing on denim, mostly in blue jean form, and all the sexiness and expressiveness that it brings to our lives.
Of course, first we have to get past the basic understanding of what denim is. Originally of Italian construct, the fabric quickly made its way to France where it became a standard in working men’s clothes, primarily trousers. It’s unique cotton twill is composed of one white thread running over/under two blue-dyed threads at a time. This gives the twill sufficient strength without making it too stiff. The indigo dye commonly used fades with washing, providing denim with it’s classic, relaxed and comfortable look.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Levi Strauss is, of course, the name most Americans associate with denim.It was Strauss who introduced the fabric to the United States in 1853, during the California Gold Rush, and pioneered the use of metal rivets at the stress points so that the jeans would be less likely to tear. For the next hundred years, denim jeans would be the uniform of the American working man, from riding the range to working in the factory. When denim shirts were introduced, the term “blue collar” entered the lexicon for most anyone who didn’t work in an office.
Today, one would be hard pressed to find any denim constructed as sturdy as those original trousers were. Instead, we prefer our jeans pre-washed, distressed, cut-up, ripped, and in a condition our ancestors would not have even considered wearable. Yet, when they’re carrying the right fashion label on the waistband, denim can cost several hundred, even thousands of dollars. All from the same, simple, working class fabric. It’s going to be a fun week. We hope you’ll not miss a day![/one_half_last]