When Levi Strauss patented the original design for jeans back in the 19th century, he probably didn’t expect the world to embrace them with such enthusiasm. After all, they weren’t always considered the stylish staples they are today, but were initially designed as a robust workwear solution for labourers, miners and farmhands.
Although jeans come in a massive range of fits and washes now, the nuts and bolts of your average pair remains the same as it was back in the day. Here, we examine the anatomy and denim-y elements that have made jeans the cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe.
1. Watch pocket
Ever wondered what that ridiculously small pocket on the inside of your front pocket was for? This design detail is a hangover from the days when your blingin’ timepiece came on a chain, not a strap.
2. Button fly
Yes, the fumble-proof zip fly is the most practical choice when it comes to jeans fastenings but Levi’s first pair actually came with buttons. As well as the cost, the main reasons for this were to improve the silhouette (it bulks out the appearance of your manhood – apparently), and also to avoid any potentially embarrassing zip slips.
Ever split a pair of jeans in the crotch area? Yeah, well, imagine how many more little tears would appear without rivets to reinforce the joins in your jeans.
4. Back pocket pattern
This stitched design, like the leather logo patch on the waistband, is just another way of denim manufacturers making their products more identifiable. That means someone knows your brand just by staring at your bum. So, so useful.
5. The seat
Ok, so we’re talking a lot more about your behind in this article than we ever intended… but stay with us. The cut of the seat (that’s the bit of your jeans that houses your butt) essentially determines the entire shape of them. For instance, if the seat is cut with a shallow depth to it, they appear ‘low rise’.
We’re not going to get bogged down in the weave of the cotton. All you need to know is that this is a special type of denim, which is really strong and has a tighter, cross-yarn finish. The manufacturing process also means the seams look pretty cool, and showing them off in a hefty turn up is a nice way to let everyone know you’re a man who knows his oats when it comes to jeans.