In the 1950s, Hollywood film stars like James Dean made wearing denim look impossibly cool. Major denim labels like Wrangler, Levi Strauss, and Lee gained immense popularity towards the end of late twentieth century with younger wearers and deeply impacted the fashion industry. Enter Brooke Shields’ infamous denim advertisement for Calvin Klein in 1980, and blue jeans as we knew them would never be the same.
Today, denim has a bigger home in the fashion industry than ever before. Nylon Magazine publishes a “Denim Issue” annually, and Pinterest has pages and pages dedicated to denim styles that people can’t seem to get enough of. Jeans can be found just about anywhere, from department stores, to tiny boutiques, to the runway, and you have the option to purchase jeans for hundreds of dollars from high-end labels like Acne or True Religion, or opt for less expensive styles in retailers like H&M.
And the “Canadian Tuxedo?” When done right, denim can be worn head to toe and still look extremely stylish. Classic blue jeans are no longer the only option in the great world of denim, so pairing multiple denim pieces, like cut-off shorts and stylish tops create new possibilities. There are so many colors, styles, and textures available, it’s easy to mix and match the jeans in your wardrobe to create a casual, chic look. The New York Times often features street style with a denim-on-denim edge, and full denim looks have been found on the covers of fashion magazines like Vogue, as well as on many a runway.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an American woman who doesn’t have a pair of jeans in her wardrobe, be it a classic pair of blue jeans, or an of the moment denim garment. Denim is the great equalizer in fashion. Anyone can rock a pair of jeans, at any time, on any budget.
Photo by Sam Tiegen