What are pants

What are jeans?

Jeans are probably the only item of clothing that never goes out of style. No other pair of pants is available in so many cuts, lengths and fits. But what exactly are jeans? Sevin from Switzerland asks us that ..

From gold digger trousers to cult objects: Jeans are an unbeatable fashion trend. Source © Martin M303, Shutterstock


Jeans - formerly also known as blue jeans or rivet pants - are pants made from a certain cotton fabric called denim. The first jeans were in the USA, but their inventor is a draper from Germany: Levi Strauss. The Franconian emigrants even gave their name to the famous Levis 501.

Levi Strauss invents jeans

When Levis Strauss emigrated to America in 1847, he only had a few bales of canvas in his luggage. He soon used them to make dungarees for gold diggers and workers in the Wild West. The work trousers with double seams and rivets were very popular because they were so robust and didn't break so easily. In the beginning the jeans were still brown, only later were they made of blue fabric as we know it today.

Denim: cotton from France

Levi Strauss founded a trouser factory in 1870. He had the fabric for his jeans come from France, more precisely from the city of Nîme, where there had been a cotton factory since the 15th century. Since “from Nîme” means “De Nîme” in French, the fabric has lost its name: Denim! Another material came from Italy - from the city of Genoa - which was easy to work with. Since Genoa is pronounced “Dschenua” in Italian, the term “jeans” emerged from this.

The feeling of the Wild West

After jeans were initially purely workwear, they gradually rose to become the most widely worn cult object. Jeans came to Germany after the Second World War through the American soldiers. The first jeans model could be bought here in 1953. The young people in particular were enthusiastic about the new item of clothing. Jeans were a piece of rebellion against the adult world. Big idols like James Dean and Elvis Presley also wore jeans. Jeans became really popular with us in the 1970s. Incidentally, the first manufacturer of jeans in Germany was Mustang, which is still there.

You can find out more on the subject in WAS IST WAS Volume 132. Fashion. What attracts us