What Are You Wearing?

by Susie Hodgson

I like to think you’ve all noticed that the Burbank Historical Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. We at the Society /Museum have been exploring our half-century mark all year.

But have we talked about clothes?

I assume you’re wearing some right now.

But in 1973, meaning 50 years ago, you were probably wearing something like:

Women/Female Teens

Mini-skirts as well as midi-skirts (hitting between the knee and foot) plus maxi-dresses (floor-length)

Ditto pants

Halter tops, peasant tops, suede fringe jackets

Footwear: Candies, Ferragamo-style wedges, platform shoes

Men/Boys/Male Teens

Suits much like today (no Casual Fridays -- or any casual wear at work)

Leisure suits

Hang Ten tee-shirts, lacoste polos

Corduroy pants, flowered shirts

Both Genders:

Footwear: Earth Shoes, Wallabees, sneakers

AND everyone wore blue jeans!

Which leads us to... How ‘bout a little history of jeans? Think they’re a pretty new phenomenon? Think again. Sure, Levis were patented in 1873, but there were blue jeans before then! Who knew?

It is said that blue jeans originated in France and there’s some truth to that. The word “denim” comes from the fact that the fabric, denim, originated in Nimes, France – so it really was de Nim(es). The word “jeans” is derived from Genoa, Italy where hard-working men wore the fabric as pants for years simply because it was the strongest fabric around. It was cotton, tinted dark blue originally made with the indigo from India (hence the name indigo) as far back as the 17th century. Indigo work wear was also used in Africa and brought over to the States on slave ships. Check out all the male worker-mannequins in the Burbank Historical Society/Gordon R. Howard Museum. Guess what they’re all wearing? You got it – blue jeans!

Meanwhile, look at yourself. Assuming you’re dressed, there’s a good chance you’re wearing blue jeans too!

The Burbank Historical Society/Gordon R. Howard Museum


FREE ADMISSION & FREE PARKING in lot located at 1100 W. Clark St. - Ph: (818) 841-6333
Website: historyofburbank.com Email: info@historyofburbank.com

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