Christina Kelly, has an extensive background in fashion. Working with top designers and brands, Kelly’s styles have been featured in GQ, Elle, and other leading publications.
A common thread runs through denim. It’s worn by people of all ages, regardless of gender or demographics. Denim has timeless style and is a fashion essential no matter the year. Denim has been used to define identity, to work, play, and to flirt. Regardless of the fact that Americans have been wearing denim as a wardrobe staple for since 1873 when Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss patented denim work pants, they remain forever young and fresh. But, Jeans have come a long way since their introduction. From work pants and coveralls to bellbottoms and skinny jeans, N.Y. stylist and fashion consultant, Christina Kelly, discusses denim through the decades. How women rocked them then and how to rock them now.
- 1934 introduces the first jeans for women Though in 1918, Levis released a one-piece denim outfit called “Freedom-Alls,” the first women’s jeans as we know them today, were introduced in 1934. The jeans were classic western style with cuffed bottoms.
- 1950s and 60s In the 50s and 60s denim started to take on a bigger role in women’s fashion. In the 50s, jeans were high waisted with wide cut hips, large pockets, and a tapered cuff, sometimes rolled up to mid-calf to wear as capris. The early 1960’s ushered in a stretchier slim fitting jean, a bit more flirty than its predecessor. By the end of the decade, the legs started to widen as they became an icon for the hippie movement. Looser fitting jeans and flare legged bell-bottoms became the must-have item for the young who wanted to steer away from all the rules about conservative clothing.
- 1970s and 80s Flare legged pants were the fashion essential by the 70s. Tops of denim got tighter while the legs flared out farther. Hip hugging bell-bottom jeans sat well below the waistline and were often embellished with embroidery or studs. By the 1980s, legs had tapered again, and waistlines rose to above the belly-button. By the end of the decade, pleated tops were in high demand. New washes, such as stone-washed and acid washed was also a must-have feature by the end of the decade.
- 1990s to 2015 1990’s jeans ranged from over-alls to boldly colored jeans. Baggy, belted, high-waisted jeans were popular as were highly distressed denim. 1990s jeans had a classic taper at the ankle. The early 2000’s introduced no-pocket, gaucho, and ultra low waisted jeans, and once again, legs began to flare. By 2010, however, the trend shifted to skinny jeans. Skinny jeans have been the dominant jean of the past six years, but in 2016, the trend shifts again.
- What to add to your wardrobe for 2016 Don’t throw out the skinny jeans yet- they’re still ultra-popular. However, there are new styles that should be integrated into wardrobes for certain fresh looks this year. Designers are re-introducing new twists on hot trends of the past. Super-destructed jeans, flare legged jeans, and embellished jeans have all been modernized. The diversity of styles in 2016 is exciting; there’s no need to pick one. From bohemian chic to grunge revisited, take some inspiration from the past and rock those jeans with confidence!
Christina Kelly often gives her insights and thoughts regarding the fashion industry. She is currently a fashion and style consultant, working with a wide variety of high-end clients. Combining an innate business sense with fashion and style helps make Christina Kelly a true asset to her clients.