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Happy birthday, glorious Jeans!

You can beat it, rip it, dye it or bleach it..Your dirty denim turns 136 years old today. It’s all thanks to Levi Strauss who patented the unique garment. So, don’t throw away that pair yet!

fashion and trends Updated: May 19, 2009 20:31 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times

Grocery shopping or party-hopping, up-town aristocrat or downtown rebel.. the one item of clothing that you can count on is your trusty pair of jeans. Born on May 20, 1873, one of the world’s oldest fabrics is as young as the first day it was made.

And it’s all thanks to one enterprising Levi Strauss who helped patent the unique garment and change the way the world dresses. You can beat it, rip it, dye it or bleach it.. no wonder that the both sexes have one common friend guaranteed to make a statement.

From Sholay, the first film to bring casual jeans to the big screen, fashion has produced countless styles.
The classic cowboy bootcut became the first uni-sex style, sealing the gender divide over clothes. Gifting the wearer a taller frame, these made waves for their comfort level combined with a sleek look.

The shape that will define the Y2K generation, skinny jeans can take your breath away.. literally. Often tighter than your own skin, these body-sculpting pieces are the birthright of every shapely girl. Then punk rockers like Pete Wentz and Greenday made it okay for boys to flaunt their curves in an extra-tight, extra-low pair. Paving the way for the man-bag and guy-liner, you could say that skinny jeans forever bent the rules in the battle of the sexes.

The 1980’s was the generation of grunge, a Mad Max era where everything and anything could have been stylish. Baggy jeans with the hems rolled up were paired with cut-off tank tops and dreadlocks — anarchy at its fashionable best. Think Vanilla Ice and Kajol from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai pre-transformation.. you get the picture. Katie Holmes revived the peg leg, much to the dismay of the front row regulars. But maybe it’s time for a little comfort clothing.

Your guide to denim heaven:
* Skinny jeans: GAS jeans make a great pair of drainpipes while Pepe’s low-waist cuts can make even the flattest derriere look great.
* High-waisted jeans: If you’ve got the waist to show it off, check out Flying Machine and Esprit. These make great dress jeans for semi-formal events.
* Decorated jeans: With Tarun Tahiliani at the helm, Levi’s can guarantee you a fresh look at classic denim. Embroidered or ripped, these need to be worn with elan.
* Bootcuts: Spykar jeans are formidable in this department. They also make one of the few classic washes that are worth wearing.
* Black jeans: Serfontaine jeans available at Denim story will make you fall in love with the glam of black jeans.
* Acid-wash: If you’ve got the guuts, then try the options at Wrangler and Lee. Though you may have to try on a dozen options before you find that perfect fit.

First Published: May 19, 2009 20:24 IST