An ode to the fabric that defined a nation
It’s a cool February morning. You wake up, roll out of bed, and look in the mirror to see if the last night’s sleep has transformed you in any way. Nope. The same brown eyes, acne-riddled skin and frizzy hair you have come to inherit over the past 20 years stare back. You feel like a cheap, old, tired out piece of furniture that no one wanted, left on the side of the road to gather dust. Glancing into the left corner of the mirror you see your favorite pair of jeans lying in a heap on the wooden floor. Mentally deciding on a matching t-shirt, you pick up the jeans, shimmy them on and in an instant BAM! You feel like a million bucks. In this way, denim has the power to transform. This single item of clothing is a constant in the lives of millions: past, present, and future. Denim is America’s backbone. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the history.
Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss created the first pair of jeans in 1873. This duo made an entire industry based solely on the creation of one fabric. Over the years, this new form of pants was adapted into the stories of many different types of people who all made the basic concept of “the jean” their own. Rockstars made their jeans skinny and added some holes. Bikers turned their jeans into vests, adding patches and pins. Little girls pranced around in denim jumpers and dresses. Mothers made their jeans super high-waisted. Pop stars created the low-rise jean, enhancing the concept of the “wardrobe malfunction”. Disco divas flared their denim and hippies wore their denim until it frayed. Painters developed the overall jean and the 90s came to create the denim skirt. The 80s coined the coveted denim jacket and also gave a foundation to the style of acid wash denim. Hipsters started wearing the denim shirt and who could forget the all encompassing denim ensemble worn by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake? Today, we have added the trend of denim culottes and boyfriend jeans. I could go on and on (I think that I already have) but you get the point. There is nothing like your favorite denim. Our country was built on it. That notable, faded shade of blue is stitched into the fabric of this land, holding together a nation and reminding us all that even though we are different, we are also one in the same.
My favorite denim piece below:
Photos taken by: Alexis Powell
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