The Most Iconic Denim Looks Of All Time

14 images

From the Wild West to Hollywood Boulevard: we explore our favourite denim outfits...

It all began in an unassuming tailor shop in Reno and a man with some measuring tape. In 1870, a woodcutter’s wife walked into Jacob Davis’ store and asked him to make a sturdy pair of trousers. We doubt either of them would have predicted us still wearing and loving them 145 years later.

From the Wild West to Hollywood Boulevard: this sturdy cotton textile has never lost its mass appeal. So, what is it about this highly durable fabric that still appeals to us today?

Well, let’s start with the Gold Rush. Who doesn’t want to pull on a pair of jeans and feel like a cowboy? It’s hard to name a single other scrap of fabric that taps into our romantic unconscious as much as indigo. When we purchase a pair of jeans it’s generally not to crosscut saw a great oak. We’re buying into the American Dream – a symbol of freedom and rebellion we can wear wherever we are.

Hollywood only fueled this frontier fantasy and as anti-heroes such as James Dean and Marlon Brando capitivated the big screen in the 1950s, rebels without a cause became inextricably linked with the clothes they wore. Hollywood stars were now the new counter-culture cowboys: clad in denim and questioning everything.

Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex Features
Image credit: Rex
Image credit: Rex

Reading now

Popular fashion stories