Levi Strauss, a German immigrant with a dry goods store in San Francisco, teamed up with Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno, Nevada,
to make sturdy pants for miners in the 1870s,
Ever Since, America has had a love affair with blue jeans.
Here are five things you may not know about this most democratic of pants.
The Rivets had a Purpose.
It wasn’t just for style that Levi’s jeans have had copper rivets on the pockets since the beginning.
They were originally designed to make the seams of these miners’ pants more durable.
The Small 5th Pocket
The small fifth pocket on a pair of Levi’s, by the way, is called a watch pocket since it was originally meant for placing a pocket watch inside.
In the 1930s, the pockets were sewn to the pants so that the rivets were covered because of complaints that they scratched furniture.
But they were returned to view in 1947.
Blue was the most preferred
The words “jeans” and “denim” come from two European ports that had been making similar fabrics since the Middle Ages.
In Nimes, France, weavers had been trying to reproduce a cotton corduroy made famous in Genoa, Italy.
They instead came up with their own sturdy fabric, called “serge de Nimes,” later shortened to “denim.”
The threads of this fabric were dyed indigo because, unlike most natural dyes, indigo binds to cloth’s threads externally.
Nowadays, synthetic indigo is used.
Hollywood Made “Jeans” Popular
In 1955, James Dean made the classic teen-angst film “Rebel Without a Cause,” telegraphing his rebellious ways with his uniform of blue jeans, white T-shirt and leather jacket.
Marlon Brando wore the same look in the 1953 film “The Wild One” and
Marilyn Monroe popularized the outfit for women in “The Misfits”.
In fact, jeans were banned from schools in the 1950s, seen as a symbol against authority.
Jeans gradually became the DailyWear
Jeans have been closely associated with America and American values.
Nevertheless — or because of this — jeans became firmly associated with youth culture as the 1950s morphed into the ’60s and beyond.
And as these teens became adults, they continued wearing jeans everywhere!
Jeans are banned in North Korea as part of a push to eliminate Western cultural influences from its society. In fact, violators of the ban could end up in a labor camp.