Farmers, hippies, rock stars, rappers, cowboys, miners and fashion icons of all kinds have sported the denim throughout history, all while revolutionizing the overall style and fit.
In 1873, Levi Strauss & Co. patented the blue jean, originally called “XX.” It wasn’t until around the 1950s, however, that jeans were seen in an iconic way, rather than a garment related strictly to mining or farming.
“Denim has evolved over the years by becoming more ideal for comfort,” Schyler Slaven, sophomore in apparel design, said. “For example, we can add stretch to denim to make it more moveable. Also, denim has become more for style instead of just function.”
Designers have recently been developing denim into all forms of clothing for the everyday person to make casual and more stylish. Stella McCartney is one designer that’s not shy of denim. In her spring 2014 collection, she incorporated an “A-line” denim skirt, denim utility dress and variety of jeans with different patterns and deep patch pockets.
Denim can now be incorporated into modern day rompers, skirts, dresses, shirts and even more. Overalls have even been modified to become more fashionable and less farmer by switching the cut from flare to skinny crop or shorts and are made in an assortment of colors.
Remember when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears had double denim overload at the American Music Awards in 2001? Well denim-on-denim, or “double denim,” is now making a new and improved comeback that’s been highly modified since then.
“I think the denim on denim look definitely has potential to come back in a new way, because I believe trends will always resurface and look better than before,” Kara Dold, sophomore in hospitality management, said. “But, if not done right, it could easily look tacky and cheap.”
This year’s double denim calls for a mix of light, dark, cobalt and ombre washes manufactured into denim knits, to make the overall look less extreme and more casual retro. For example, chambray shirts are perfect season transitional pieces, and when put correctly with the right pair of cropped skinny jeans or stretch denim, they can make a denim-on-denim look relaxed. But, what brands carry reliable, durable denim like those made in the ’50s, but updated with the current season? Well, everyone has a preference.
“At this age, and with a college budget, I wouldn’t say that I’m loyal yet with a brand, but if I had to pick a brand, I would say AG,” Carly Cobble, senior in apparel marketing, said. “They’re made in the U.S., which is important. They’re durable, sustainable and fit to size as well as giving that little bit of stretch that all girls look for in a nice pair of denim.”
Some of the best quality denim pieces, however, are hidden treasures found at thrift shops. Urban Outfitter’s “Urban Renewal” line are just old clothes manipulated to have a more trendy-artisan vibe. Although the clothes are quality, going to thrift store and buying an old pair of denim to renew is just as good for a cheaper price. Men’s and women’s jeans and overalls can be found for just $4.99 from Goodwill.
With a utility knife and sandpaper block, denim could be re-created into a distressed or frayed just by some cutting and tugging, all on a college budget. For a lighter wash or ombre look, find some bleach and dye away.
In terms of clothing care, wash denim jeans as little as possible to avoid shrinkage and color fading. It’s recommended to wash them inside out, soak them in cold water and let them dry naturally. Washing denim with other denim is recommended as well to sustain dyes, but also not necessary in all cases. To be completely sure, check all labels and brand websites to confirm the proper care for your denim as procedures may vary.