BY CHUKS NWANNE
What manner of a guy are you if you’ve never worn a pair of jeans no matter the style or colour? Well, while you task your mind on that, the truth remains that there will hardly be any guy in this world, whose wardrobe does not have at least one pair of jeans; even a pastor! In fact, it has become one of the most comfortable and most stylish attire of today; liked by one and all, irrespective of the age, size, sex, economic background, and so on.
One major advantage this outfit is the fact that it can go with virtually any top –– T-shirt, shirt (long or short sleeve), polo shirt and even blazer suit, which has become more popular among fashionable men. Just watch out at every celebrity event and see how guys turn out in, with designer blazer suit to match.
Oh yea, days are gone when jeans was seen as a thing for the young and middle class; the case is different today. Hey, don’t be surprise to see even your CEO stroll into the office in a pair of fitted-dirty jeans, especially on a Friday.
History shows that the material called ‘jeans’ was named after sailors from Genoa, Italy, who wore clothes from a material quite similar to the one used today for making jeans. At first, the cloth was made from a mixture of things. However, in the 18th century as trade, slave labour and cotton plantations increased, jean cloth was made completely from cotton.
The working class started favoring the material as it was very strong and did not wear out easily. The material was dyed with indigo, taken from American plants, thus giving the trademark color of ‘blue’ to jeans.
Around mid-19th century, gold was found in California (near San Francisco) and with it, started the famous Gold Rush. Around this time, a German immigrant known as Levi Strauss came to San Francisco, with the purpose of selling dry goods, but discovered that there was much more need for pants, as compared to dry goods. He converted the canvas, which he had brought along, into waist overalls. Though the miners liked the overalls, their single complaint was that it tended to chafe.
To solve the problem of chafing, Levi substituted the canvas for a twilled cotton cloth from France, known as ‘serge de Nimes’, which later came to be known as denim. He later formed the Levi Strauss & Company and started using the pocket stitch design. Later, he and Nevada tailor David Jacobs co-patented the process of putting rivets in pants, for the purpose of making them much more durable. Levi Strauss & Company first used the two-horse brand design, in the year 1886. Later, in 1936, the red tab attached to the left rear pocket came into being.
The popularity of jeans increased with the release of the western movies made in Hollywood, in the 1930s. With the cowboys, the ‘jeans’ worn by them also became popular. However, it was the American soldiers who introduced jeans to the rest of the world, during World War II. After the war, Levi jeans started selling outside American West too. Jeans started becoming popular amongst the teenagers in the 1950s, while the 1960s brought the different styles in jeans - embroidered, painted, psychedelic, and so on. Today, jean has become not only popular, but also a common clothing item, throughout the world.