Posted by: Neeraj | October 5, 2008

The advent of the Jeans in India

The Wikipedia describes the Jeans as trousers made from denim mainly for work and which became popular in the 1950s among teenagers though a certain Mr. Levi Strauss used to sell blue Jeans to the mining communities of California even in the 1850s.

My earliest memories of Jeans date back to the mid 1980s when my sister gifted me one. I kept wearing it for years (with constant support from Mama who found innovative ways of increasing its waist size not willing to accept that any cloth could have an end of life without it being actually torn into pieces) and it became one of my favourite wears as well as an object of constant admiration. Opening my small closet and looking at this prized possession became a part of my daily routine.

That women of the country will adopt it completely was still some time away. I remember watching an Interview on TV towards the late eighties when the girl students of JNU defended Jeans as something that should be worn by women. They strongly refuted the claims of the Interviewer that Jeans was a provocative piece of dress and its use by women in India should be discouraged with the simple point that the Jeans hid all the sensual parts of the female anatomy as compared to the widely endorsed Sari. Very true, a Sari is a very sensual wear and it does a lot more to the male imagination than what a Jeans ever could.

By mid 90s the Jeans had firmly entrenched itself in the men’s wardrobe and was slowly becoming a part of regular female attire as well. Initially, it was worn with a long shirt to allow the people of India to adjust toΒ  this new statement of Independence of Indian women and the pattern continued for a few years into the early 2000s when the shorter shirt and Tshirt were finally accepted both by the classes and the masses. That some navels show and some behinds protrude does not really bother the new India. This really signifies the coming of age of the country as a whole.

The ride for the Jeans has not been easy. There were protests by antagonists and some isolated incidents of violence to discourage its use – which included a few women being shot at below the knees but the Jeans and Indian women were to go hand in hand. In the new scheme of things the old, the young and the kids have all started wearing it. The only ones left behind are the very old lot (in their sixties and above) who seem to shy away from its usage but the day is not far behind when, I believe, it will be accepted wholeheartedly by people of all ages.



  1. πŸ™‚ good research

  2. Well! most of it is observation’ some part, research.

  3. jeans are the single most useful and pratical piece of clothing ever ……….. i love my jeans and i have a pair quite like you did……. although cos they are all ripped nani made them into shorts when i was in india this year πŸ™‚ well written again dude

  4. Jeans.. huh? Well, I sleep in my Jeans… Thats what I wear to office, or to a party, or if I am playing sports, or when I am traveling, (maybe it would be easier to count the times when I am not wearing a pair of jeans).

    The cool thing is that at any given time, I only have 2 jeans which I switch between every month or so… πŸ˜€

  5. Undoubtedly Jeans is a wonderful attire bcoz it is meant for the urban modern teenager (hi-fi) as well as the plain jane. It provides comfort as well as style. The best part is even if we have 2-3 in neutral colours we can survive without anything else for a long time and we dont have to think twice before getting ready for any occasion. It is a lovable piece of clothing.

  6. Jeans is something unique. You can keep on wearing it for days – the dirtier it gets, the better it looks. Also its like the wine – keeps on getting better with age. At times of emergencies you look to this one piece of clothing to help you get out of the house fast. One of the most amazing discoveries of this century

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