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.
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.
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.
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.
There are three things that stand out when someone wheres a pair of vintage jeans.
The way that they look
The way that they fit
The way that make you feel
Vintage Levi’s Look
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
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
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