The donor, born in 1957 in Jackson, New Jersey bought these jeans on sale for $4.50 in 1970 (almost $30 in 2020 dollars), when she was in the 7th grade. Although initially worn by men and associated with the West and ranching, in the 1930s the Levi Strauss company, creator of modern “jeans,” made and marketed them for women. In the 1960s, young people took to wearing jeans as part of a larger social movement against fashion, conspicuous consumption, and to signify their rebellion against their parents’ generation. Jeans became a wardrobe staple in the 1970s and young men and women continued wearing them as they wore out by patching them themselves. This is originally a form of what today we would call DIY fashion. Later this trend in clothing appears in films and television programs now associated with this era.

The jeans are Wrangler and retain some elements of that brand (although she removed the label itself), but she modified them considerably, patching them variously and colorfully as an expression of personal style, to cover worn places, or both. They are well worn. She lengthened the legs so they would fit as she grew taller, rather than to wear with higher heeled shoes or boots, as she wore these jeans primarily with sandals or with sneakers and socks (also donated to the museum) as well as a white t-shirt (also donated), and a poncho.

Date Made: 1970

Location: Currently not on view

General Subject Association: FashionWomen's HistoryCounterculture--United States--History--20th centuryAdolescence


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Costume, Clothing & Accessories


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Anonymous

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CS.306097.001Catalog Number: 306097.001Accession Number: 306097

Object Name: TrousersObject Type: trousersOther Terms: Trousers; Lower Body; Main Dress; Girl

Measurements: overall: flat: 43 in x 30 in; 109.22 cm x 76.2 cmpart: inseam: 30 1/4 in; 76.835 cmpart: waist: 25 in; 63.5 cmoverall, mounted: 42 in x 11 in x 9 1/2 in; 106.68 cm x 27.94 cm x 24.13 cm


Record Id: nmah_360593

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.