Wrangler : About the Label

January 7, 2017 by  
Filed under About the Label, News & Information, Resourcful, Wrangler

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Wrangler is another classic vintage label

Wrangler is known for their classic vintage denim jeans along with their classic vintage denim jackets. The look and feel of vintage wrangler pieces seams to surpass time in it’s style and vintage authenticity. Because of this many modern fashion designers are continuing to knock off great vintage Wrangler pieces from the past for today’s collections.

Wrangler was started with its roots in the Hudson Overalls Company of Greensboro, NC. Founded, in 1904, it was renamed Blue Bell in 1908. For years they manufactured work clothing for men, and during WWII, they manufactured clothing for military use. After the war, in an attempt to compete with the jeans makers Levi Strauss and Lee, they decided to develop a brand name they had acquired in 1943 when they bought the Casey Jones Company. This brand was Wrangler.

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In 1947 Blue Bell hired a renowned rodeo tailor, Ben Lichtenstein, or Rodeo Ben, to develop a line of jeans under the Wrangler name. The line was successful, and so the Wrangler name was also used for other denim clothing, including that for women and children.

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In 1986, Blue Bell and Wrangler were bought by the VF Corporation.

True Colors – the Vintage Denim Jean Jacket

Jean Jackets

This month we are disusing the influence of denim on our culture. It is hard to talk about denim without talking about the denim jacket. The denim jacket has been a wardrobe staple for workers since the early 1900’s when the first jean jacket was produced by the Levi Strauss Co. Their main invention the “Blue Jeans” found great success among the ranchers and miners and it didn’t take long for Strauss to realize that the new pants needed a jacket to go along with them.

Rumor has it that the first jean jacket was invented back in 1873 but did they not go into mass production until 1905 and it became an instant classic.

A few years ago Levi’s had a competition to locate the earliest denim jacket produces by the company in the Unites States. Apparently the winner turned in a jacket that was created in 1910 at a Levi’s factory in San Francisco, California. The jacket sold for $2,000 to vintage clothing collectors that were keen to make the article part of their collection.

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Some of the newer jackets from the “First Edition” series created in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s can still be located or purchased for anywhere between $200-$500.

Other denim companies like LEE Mercantile and Wrangler also came out with their version of the Jean Jacket.  Some of the older railroad denim jackets created by LEE that were used by railroad workers can be found at various vintage clothing shops or on ebay auctions.

Jean Jackets in Pop-culture

Levi Jackets in Style

I am sure that there are not very many wardrobes that a jean jacket has not been part of at one time or another. From the 1950’s through the 1980’s the jean jacket was used to show the rebellious side of ones nature.

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Every subculture has found away to adapt denim jackets to their genre, from punkers to prep’s and cowboys to hippies, jean jackets are used to represent one’s true colors.

Today, teeny-bopper stars in Hollywood rock their jean jackets as much as the metal head on sunset strip.

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The popularity of denim jackets fades in an out over the decades but it seems the trend is coming back again stronger than ever.

Celebrities and rock-stars alike have their pictures taken everyday wearing some variety of a jean jacket in it’s entirety or with the sleeves cut off turning into a vest.  A vintage blue jean jacket is very much in demand now, with many buyers for vintage clothing store stocking their shelves with a range of sizes and styles. This clothing is not only worn by metal heads now, but is now very much in favor by fashion conscious people as well.

Now I leave you with a girl and her jacket…

Vintage Denim – It’s a Cultural Thing

 

When I think of vintage clothing I think of Chanel for vintage dresses, Screen Stars for vintage t-shirts and Levi’s for vintage jeans. Although vintage Chanel dresses are very rare and getting harder and harder to find, while Screen Star t-shirts are slowly disintegrating into old whipping rags or bed time tees, vintage Levi’s are still around – tried and true.

Denim has been an American favorite since the gold miners would wear through their old canvas trousers back in the late 1800’s. That is when denim manufactures like Levi Strauss first came on the scene in San Fransisco, CA back in 1847.

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Historically, denim jeans were worn by the miners and farmers as essential work wear items due to their hard wearing and rugged nature. Through the ages denim became more popular and fashionable, production increased at such a high pace that some classic fits were lost in the process. However, by means of utilizing this 150+ years of denim experience, vintage collectors recycle, reuse and refurbish Levis and other durable labels for continuous use.

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Levis in Pop Culture

Denim is in the lime-lite today as much as ever. Everyone from celebrity models, rock stars, movie stars and television starts can be seen rocking their favorite vintage jeans just about everywhere they go.

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Vintage denim has been a used in Hollywood over the years to portray a tough guy image, much like the tough jean. From western flicks to biker flicks including any gang boy flicks  or tough guy flicks – actors will be scene wearing some denim, if not all denim.

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There are three things that stand out when someone wheres a pair of vintage jeans.

 

  1. The way that they look

  2. The way that they fit

  3. The way that make you feel

 Vintage Levi’s Look

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Vintage Levis have an authentic look that contemporary designers are always trying to mimic. Weather it be the natural way that the denim has evolved over the years of wear, or the subtle whisker fade in the old indigo died jeans, vintage denim begins to take on an identity of it’s very own. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this one-of-a-kind look ignites personal bond with the owner, giving them a sense of individualism and freedom.

 

The Way the Vintage Levis Fit

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Sometimes the jeans are more loose fitting, othertimes they are fitted, the style will depend upon what fit you prefer. A good pair of jeans is in the eye of the beholder.  If you are the one that wore the jeans down from the first day you put them on, then the denim will mold to your body over the years. If you are looking to find a good pair at a vintage shop you may have to try on over a 100 pair of jeans before you can find one pair that will fit you perfectly, but when it does you know that you have found a keeper. Sometimes you can just take them from a boyfriend that spent years wearing them in – hence the term “boyfriend jeans”

 

The Way They Make You Feel

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A good pair of vintage Levis makes the owner feel more confident, this may be from the years of breaking in or developed from the bond that the have with his  one-of-a-kind pair of jeans. Those who wear jeans almost everyday say that they have a hard time wearing something other than denim. The durability and comfort often make you feel more protected from things that may normally affect you.

This month at Dust Factory fashion & Recycling we are going to focus on vintage denim and how it has become part of our culture. Check back for some more updates