Skinny jeans: some men wear them, some men despise them and some men live in them. Whether or not you own a pair, it’s difficult to even imagine a time when the phrase “super skinny jeans for men” didn’t exist in men’s fashion. This is a style that’s a staple in every high fashion collection and stylish menswear store, like Differio.
As commercialized as they are today, it wasn’t always easy for men to pull off a pair of skinny jeans when everyone else was wearing pantsuits. They used to be (and still are) every bad boy’s favorite denim style worn by some of America’s most iconic rebels, like Joey Ramone.
From the rockabilly look to punk culture, here’s a brief history on how men’s skinny jeans came to be one of the most unrelenting denim styles broken down by decade.
1870’s: Skinny jeans for men wouldn’t be where they are today without the invention of denim. The unofficial “birthday” for blue jeans is said to be May 20, 1873 when Levi Strauss gained a U.S. patent for adding rivets on denim pants.
1950’s: Before the 1950’s, jeans were only popular amongst laborers, like farmers, cowboys and miners. The real popularization began when celebrities, like Elvis Presley, James Dean and Marlon Brando, began wearing tighter fit jeans on the big screen. These jeans were known as “drainpipe jeans” that tapered at the ankle with a slightly higher waist. Drainpipes were especially popular amongst Greasers, a group of non-conformist youth that wore skinny jeans with leather jackets and slicked-back hair.
1960’s: The drainpipe jean gains even more popularity becoming commercially available. These slim fit jeans were worn by some of the biggest bands of the era, like the Beatles and Rolling Stones. However, they began to decline in popularity in the late 60’s once the hippie age of bell-bottom jeans took over.
1970’s: The rise of punk rock culture brought back the skinny jean popularized by the Ramones and Sex Pistols – to name a few. Any distressed, destroyed or ripped jeans for men were the hot trend. Towards the late 70’s, this was the first time men were enlightened with tight jeans with bulge-enhancers, coined “Packit Jeans” designed by Lee Cooper.
1980’s: Move over spandex pants and MC Hammer. Harem pants may have been big, but so were acid wash jeans. The “cool” denim trend was pegged jeans, an 80’s style of tapered jeans with tight-rolled ankles. These jeans weren’t nearly as tight as today’s extreme skinny jeans for men, but it was still a step forward.
1990’s: Unfortunately, the 90’s were probably one of the slowest decades for the trend – the age of cargo pants and baggy jeans.
2000’s: Thanks to hipsters, pop punk and emo culture, the skinny jean makes a huge comeback. This was the beginning of skinny, super skinny, extreme skinny and any design other “skinny” fit out there.
2010’s: Today, men’s skinny jeans are bigger and bolder than ever. From colored skinny jeans to distressed skinny jeans, men are rocking them with everything from graphic tank tops to cable knit sweaters.
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