There’s something about vintage jeans that brings out the geek in any fashion fanatic. The branding, the cut, the stitching, the colour, the stressing, the length … well, this is about ten per cent of the features that determine a pair of jeans’ kudos and wearability. And if you think this is a male preserve, you’ve really not been paying attention – the market for women’s vintage jeans is just as cut-throat and obsessive.
Women have been wearing jeans just as long as men have. They’re inextricably linked with pioneering Americans thrusting westwards and eventually building upwards as the cities scaled new levels of showy affluence. As jeans grew from being a cheap, hard-wearing denim garment to a fashion item, they took this iconography with them, with names and straplines like Wrangler (literally a handler of horses and cattle – the cowboy personified) and Lee (“The jeans that built America”). But while the menfolk were working the land and building the skyscrapers, the hardy women were doing their fair share of the manual labour raising families in often inhospitable climates. Somehow this image has remained timeless and almost aspirational; even chic fashion houses still sometimes revert to it when they’re marketing their denims.
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