Today is National Blue Jeans Day. Apparently, Levi Strauss designed the first pair of blue jeans on this day in 1880. I think this is massively impressive, especially when you consider the first bra wasn’t patented until thirty-three years later in 1913, and the first sneaker didn’t show up until 12 years later in 1892. Blue jeans are a wardrobe staple, so I thought I would share a blue jean story from my childhood.
When I was in the fourth grade, I coveted the designer jeans made by San Francisco Riding Gear. At the time, these pants cost $20 and when my father, a high school principal, found out the price, he literally choked on his dinner. After my mother administered the Heimlich Maneuver and my father could speak, he said, “You may think those jeans are popular, but I can promise you that none of the girls at my school wear those jeans.”
A few days later, I went to a high school volley ball game with my dad. We sat in the bleachers, and I spent an hour pointing out dozens upon dozens of designer San Fran jeans. Each time I uttered, “There’s a pair!” my father looked down at his feet with a pained expression. I was opening his eyes to a whole new world of fashion, but he was adamant that he would not be opening his wallet.
I never did get a pair of those jeans. I got a knock off pair from K-Mart with the same pockets, but of course, they were not the same. I didn’t get my first pair of designer jeans until seventh grade, and by then the hot label was Normandy Rose. I had to wash and hand wax our Chevy van in order to earn the money. When I thought I was done with cleaning the car my dad said, “Did you wax the roof?” He made me get a ladder, climb up on the roof, and wax every inch. Oh, those jeans were so worth it!