Denim Through The Decades

They’re the style staple we turn to every season, but it hasn’t always been this way for denim. We take a look at the style evolution of women’s jeans through the decades and how the denim icons of the past inspired the jeans we know and love today…


1950s Denim

Jeans were considered a working women’s uniform until movie stars like Marilyn Monroe adopted them into their everyday ensembles. The popular 1950s jean style for women was a high waisted dark denim jean, sometimes worn with rolled up hems. This vintage-inspired jean style is still popular today, as high waisted jeans flatter curvier figures and look smart on a night out.


1960s Denim

Bohemian denim styles emerged during the hippie movement of the 1960s. American and European culture embraced youthful, casual blue jeans as an alternative to the structured styles favoured by the previous decade. During this expressive movement, creative additions to denim were commonplace, and embroidered jeans became hugely popular. Bright coloured denim and stonewashed styles in low-rise flared fits migrated from festival fields to the swinging high street shops of the ‘60s. The first flashes of double denim, featuring denim jackets and shirts paired with jeans, were also seen during this time.


1970s Denim

By the 1970s, jeans were everywhere and new ways of wearing denim emerged. The flared jeans styles of the ‘60s continued to be popular, but high waists were preferred to the low-rise fits from the previous decade. Seventies style icons Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Lauren Hutton paired their high waisted flared jeans with cotton shirts and roll neck tops, a look that became synonymous with the decade. It was also during this time that denim skirts came into fashion, with A-line button front skirts proving a popular alternative to jeans.


1980s Denim

The decade of decadence was when jeans started to become a status symbol, with designer jeans and flamboyant denim designs rising to prominence. Some high profile advertising campaigns featuring celebrities helped to bring denim to the forefront of fashion, with plenty of fresh takes on jeans. Acid wash, ripped and stonewash jeans were favoured by fashion icons of the ‘80s, including Madonna. Skinny jeans paired with stilettos gave a new silhouette to denim styling during this time and was a popular on-trend look.


1990s Denim

At the dawn of the grunge era, dressed down denim was favoured over fancier styles. As jeans took on a more casual look, light wash straight leg jeans and stonewash loose, baggy jeans became the go-to styles for denim lovers. Wearing head-to-toe denim was also a popular look towards the end of the decade, with everyone from Posh Spice Victoria Beckham to Irish girlband Bewitched championing outfits featuring dark denim jackets and matching indigo jeans.


Present Day Denim

Fast forward to the turn of the century and the rise of bootcut jeans beckoned! This flattering fit was a modern take on the flared styles of the ‘70s and dark wash bootleg jeans were a favourite of celebrity denim icons, including Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow. As the millennium has progressed, slim fit denims and stretch skinny jeans have taken over as the wardrobe must-have. This versatile style is the favoured denim of day-to-night looks, perfect for pairing with trainers, flats and heels.

Whatever the next decade of denim will bring, the one thing we are sure of is that jeans are here to stay!

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