20 May 2010

Forever in Blue Jeans



Some of you may have noticed that in my sidebar I end my "Who Am I?" blurb with "Just colour me: Forever in Blue Jeans." The line is the title of a song by Neil Diamond. It's always been a favourite of mine. Partly because I've always been a Neil Diamond fan and partly because of the sentiment expressed.

I'm a blue jeans kind of girl. Jeans can be dressed up or down, depending on what kind of shoes, jewelry and other accoutrements you wear with them. Just yesterday I wore jeans, a white chic tee, multicolour silk jacket, a bunch of silver jewelry and heels. Jeans were dressed up. Now I have on jeans, an old Hard Rock tee, and am barefooted. Jeans are dressed down. And they can be even more extreme in both directions. After all, blue jeans were originally work clothes. No item of clothing is more quintessentially American than blue jeans.

Today is 20 May. In the mid 1800s Levi Strauss had been making canvas pants for miners in the California Gold Rush. Miners thought the fabric was uncomfortable so Levi switched to a French fabric known as serge de Nimes. Serge de Nimes got shortened to denim. The word jeans comes from the French phrase bleu de Gênes, which means the blue of Genoa. On 20 May 1873, Levi Strauss received U.S. Patent No. 139,121 for using the pocket stitch design and metal rivets on the stress points on the pants. This date is now considered the official birthday of blue jeans.

In the 1880s jeans could be purchased for about $1.50 per pair. Blue jeans began to enter the popular culture during World War II, when factory works adopted them. In the 1950s, James Dean popularized them in the movie, Rebel Without a Cause. Teenagers and young adults began wearing jeans as a symbol of rebellion. Because of this, they were sometimes banned in restaurants, schools and theatres. Hippies adopted jeans a decade later and they became a symbol of egalitarianism. Often they were embroidered and worn till they were becoming ragged. By the 1970s when celebrity culture surfaced, jeans were all about sexy and fashion. In 1979/80 a teenage Brooke Shields said, "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.", a very famous, controversial ad that boosted the sales of designer jeans tremendously. By the 1990s blue denim jeans were on country-western dance floors, red carpet events and everything in between. They were available in an array of fashion styles from holey grunge to baggy hip-hop to rock star.

Blue jeans continue to be the most popular clothing in the United States. They have never been out of style in some form or fashion since their introduction. Currently some 450 million pair are sold annually. And I have to say several of those pairs are to me. I have worn jeans all my life. From playclothes as a kid, through embroidered bell bottoms in high school to the stovepipe-leg style I favour today. It's the "hippie meets southern lady" part of my persona.

On this auspicious day
I'd like to say
we'll do okay
forever in blue jeans.

Happy Birthday!





Forever in Blue Jeans
Money talks
But it don't sing and dance and it don't walk.
And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans.

Honey's sweet.
But it ain't nothing next to baby's treat.
And if you pardon me
I'd like to say we'll do okay
Forever in blue jeans.

Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight
By the fire all alone you and I;
Nothing around but the sound of my heart and your sighs.

Money talks.
But it can't sing and dance and it can't walk.
And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans
Babe.

And honey's sweet.
But it ain't nothing next to baby's treat.
And if you pardon me
I'd like to say we'll do okay
Forever in blue jeans.

Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight
By the fire all alone you and I;
Nothing around but the sound of my heart and your sighs.

And money talks.
But it don't sing and dance and it don't walk.
And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans.

And if you pardon me
I'd like to say we'll do okay
Forever in blue jeans.
Babe.

And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans
Babe.

namasté,
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2 comments:

Mary said...

What a fun post, Becky. I'll wager you look terrific in those jeans. I also want to wish you a happy anniversary. Four years is an amazing milepost. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Becky said...

Thanks Mary. I enjoy wearing them, that's for sure. Thanks for your felicitations on my blog anniversary. It's kind of exciting. :-)