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Q: People who wear jeans ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: People who wear jeans
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: wantstoknow-ga
List Price: $4.19
Posted: 11 Jun 2002 09:28 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2002 09:28 PDT
Question ID: 24340
What is it that jeans are so popular, at least in the United States?
To me, they're the most uncomfortable pants style ever invented.  Why
anyone would willingly wear clothes made of stiff, thick cloth when so
many other options that are more comfortable are available I don't
understand.  Do people wear jeans just to look like everybody else, or
do they really think they're more comfortable or somehow better than
other styles?
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
Answered By: rebeccam-ga on 11 Jun 2002 10:18 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Wantstoknow!

While it's impossible to explain why some people find a given fabric
comfortable vs. uncomfortable, the history of jeans provides ample
explanation for their unparalleled popularity.

There's a great page ( )about the history
of denim (and another fabric called jean, oddly enough), how and why
it came to be used in clothing, and its transition from workwear to
fashion staple.  The following excerpt describes that transition:

"By the 1920s, Levi'sŪ waist overalls were the leading product in
men's work pants in the Western states. In the 1930s, Western movies
as well as the West in general captured the American imagination.
Authentic cowboys wearing Levi'sŪ jeans were elevated to mythic status
and Western clothing became synonymous with a life of independence and
rugged individualism. Denim was now associated less often with
laborers and more with the rugged American now symbolized by John
Wayne, Gary Cooper and others.

During World War II, American GIs took their favorite pairs of denim
pants overseas, guarding them against the inevitable theft of valuable
items. When the war was over, massive changes in society signaled the
end of one era and the beginning of another. Denim pants became less
associated with workwear and more associated with the leisure
activities of prosperous post-war America.

Levi Strauss & Co. began selling its products nationally for the first
time in the 1950s. Easterners and Midwesterners finally got their
first chance to wear real Levi'sŪ jeans. By 1960, the company had
changed the name of its most popular product. Until the 1950s, the
famous copper riveted pants were referred to as "overalls." When you
went into a small clothing store and asked for a pair of overalls, you
were given a pair of Levi'sŪ jeans. After World War II, however, Levi
Strauss & Co.'s customer base changed dramatically from working adult
men to leisure-loving teenage boys and their older college-age
brothers who called the product "jeans." By 1960, Levi Strauss & Co.
decided that it was time to adopt the name, since these new, young
consumers had adopted the product."

It continues: "In 1964 a writer for American Fabrics said, "Throughout
the industrialized world denim has become a symbol of the young,
active, informal, American way of life. It is equally symbolic of
America's achievements in mass production, for denim of uniform
quality and superior performance is turned out by the mile in some of
America's biggest and most modern mills. Moreover, what was once a
fabric only for work clothes, has now also become an important fabric
for play clothes, for sportswear of all types." By the next decade,
the trade papers made comments such as: "Jeans are more than a make.
They are an established attitude about clothes and lifestyle."

(There is a paper available online, written for a Material Culture
course at the University of Toronto, called 'The Gentrification of
Blue Jeans' that examines jeans' rise to popularity more closely...
But it's a little hard to read, the background is denim :) )

I hope this answers your question.  If you'd like any clarification or
further information, let me know!


I searched:

history of jeans ( ://

jeans popularity ( ://

Clarification of Answer by rebeccam-ga on 11 Jun 2002 10:29 PDT
Here's an additional interesting tidbit from :

"The popularity of the Levi's jeans grew to such an extent that during
World War II the government declared them an essential commodity, and
sales were restricted only to defense workers. Demand and price

(Nothing makes people want something faster than telling them they
can't have it!)
wantstoknow-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Well-done answer.

Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: authorshelper-ga on 11 Jun 2002 10:52 PDT
I don't wear jeans ALL the time, but here are a few practical reasons
why people wear them:

1) You never have to worry about what to wear with them...just about
everything goes with a great pair of jeans.

2) They come in a wide range of sizes, including lengths, which make
them fairly reliable for people with long legs.

3) They're durable and dust off easily if you've been working in them.

4) The basic design hasn't changed much over the years, and *is still
available* so even if I can't find any of this season's "fashion"
pants that fit or look good, I can always find a new pair of jeans.

5) Habit!  They were the uniform for many of us who came of age in the
70's, and some of us never completely outgrew the habit, even though
new fabrics and styles have come along that admittedly improve upon
those old denims.
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: tfederman-ga on 11 Jun 2002 11:21 PDT
For what it's worth, I don't consider jeans uncomfortable at all. Shrug.
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: seedy-ga on 11 Jun 2002 16:13 PDT
Well Wantstoknow:

I'm a little offbeat in my reasons to wear jeans.  Jeans fit tight in
the crotch which makes them feel like your wearing a tight,
conforming, sort of jockey short....with long legs.  I wonder if brief
men wear jeans more than boxer men?? Now perhaps I should ask a
question of that sort to confirm my own feeling.  When jeans fit well,
they are rootin, tootin, walk with a swagger kind of pants.  All teh
other kinds of pants have that extra fabric in the crotch that doesn't
give you that rootin, tootin, kind of feeling.

Now, I know my comment is not supported by any links or any survey
information...and it may not feel the same way to everyone who wears
them, but I just had to add my two cents to the answer because I was
facinated by your question and the comment came to me instantly...

Thanks for asking
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: robertw-ga on 13 Jun 2002 07:07 PDT
Being from Oklahoma, It isn't socially acceptable to wear you cowboy
boots without a pair of jeans. So if you like boots...
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: dlpm-ga on 18 Jun 2002 14:03 PDT
> clothes made of stiff, thick cloth 

New jeans may start out a bit stiff, but after they've been worn and
washed once or twice, the fabric becomes much softer. The density of
the fabric makes them hard to tear, they are slow to absorb most
stains, and they "breathe" so that your legs stay warm in a draft but
don't get overly warm during energetic work or play.

The kids in my area don't have required school uniforms but they all
wear one anyway -- jeans and a Tshirt: always in fashion and no chance
of wearing the "wrong" thing.
Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: ia-ga on 25 Aug 2002 02:05 PDT
Girls do look very sexy in tightly fitting jeans.

Different people choose clothes for different reasons.
There are people who mostly choose their wear clothes for 
look, attractivity & fashion. There are different sort of people
who care only about comfort of clothes, less about look.

I know that jeans have appeal for both these kinds of people.
Subject: Some People Claim That I'm Being "EGOTISTICAL"
From: sergeantshultz-ga on 16 Jul 2003 16:20 PDT
Hell I don't even know what that means....


Subject: Re: People who wear jeans
From: agga-ga on 30 Sep 2003 23:54 PDT
When I was a kid I absolutely hated those shrink-to-fit jeans because
they were so stiff.  Wore shorts literally every day to 7th grade;
living in San Diego made this possible.  Then I transferred to a
private school that mandated pants, and it was back to those
unconfortable-as-anything 501s.  Then Levi's introduced Silver Tab
jeans, the first big name baggy jean, in the early 90s, and I found
them so much more comfortable; I wore them until I got to college, at
which point it was back to shorts with baggy jeans worn in the

The point is, I agree with your assessment of old-fashioned, 501 type
jeans, but not of baggier styles.

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