Pants and jeans in particular are an elementary clothing item and the cornerstone of every complete outfit. Of course, the nature of the event or occasion as well as the functional features included influence the decision as to which pants to buy, just as it influences the style. Of course, some practical features are more sought-after than others, particularly when it comes to skateboarding. The perfect skate pants or jeans should ideally be very durable, but also stretchy and comfortable enough to allow for plenty of freedom of movement for your legs.
How Do I Find the Right Pants For Me? - Pants Shopping 101
To make finding the right pants easier, we’ve included lots of info for you guys to answer your most important, pressing pants questions: where do pants even come from? What makes a pair of jeans good or bad? Which silhouettes are available? And which practical features do they include? At the end of our mini-online guide, you can also find a couple tips as to how to properly care for, clean and wash your pants or jeans.
Since jeans have become the most well-loved and probably most frequently worn style of pants out there - also in the skateboarding world - we’re going to start with them. Information on chinos, corduroys, cargos and sweatpants can be found directly underneath each of the pages for those styles.
Jeans - Who Made the First Pair?
Jeans were invented in the middle of the 1900s by Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss, and since then have been drastically changed, updated and redesigned until reaching a level of widespread popularity that’s perhaps incomparable with any other item of clothing in modern history. Jeans are made out of denim, a sturdy form of cotton. Denim is actually yet another term credited to Levi Strauss: whilst living in San Francisco, Strauss started creating robust jeans for gold miners during the Gold Rush and claimed to be using a fabric that was called “Serge de Nimes” (Serge - fabric, “de Nimes” - pronounced de-nim - from the city of Nimes.) The idea of reinforcing the critical pocket seams with rivets actually came from tailor Jacob Davis, who didn’t have enough money for a patent and decided to go to Levi Strauss for help in making his dream become a reality. The patent was then created under both of their names.
The Classic Jeans and their Development
Taking their history into consideration, it’s no wonder that Levi Jeans are practically considered the mother of all jeans brands and the reference point for all other jeans styles and silhouettes out there. Levi’s really set the tone with their original straight fit, button-fly 5-pocket silhouette. Of course, variations come and go according to the zeitgeist of the times, but the 5-pocket silhouette remains typical: two pockets on the back, two pockets on the sides and a coin pocket tucked into one of the front pockets are standard, and sometimes two coin (or ‘small’) pockets are included for more even room. Additionally, zip-flies have been replacing button flies for comfortability and practicality purposes and are far more common than button-flies in the contemporary streetwear scene.
An Overview of Jeans Styles - Which Jeans are the Right Ones for Me?
The timeless 501s are a classic pair of regular fit jeans. They usually have a straight leg and sit casually at the hip. Those of you who like it more casual should choose a loose-fit pair, which tend more towards the baggy side and have lots of extra room to allow for tons of freedom of movement for your legs. The opposite of loose-fits are slim-fit jeans, of course, which are one step away from skinny jeans. They sit tightly on your frame but are comfortable and usually include a percentage of spandex in the fabric blend for a flexible, skateable fit. Tapered-fit jeans combine elements of both types of jeans: the deeper sit of a loose-fit pair and a tapered, straight leg - they’re slimmer at the knee and fit relatively tightly all the way down to the ankle.
Jeans and their Impact
Designed with (literal!) gold diggers in mind, the sturdy jeans eventually came to be used for horseback riding and cattle herding. They didn’t get called ‘Texas pants’ for nothing, and were often worn by rough characters, outdoorsmen and cowboys - that can still be seen in our popular culture to this day. Of course, workers, craftsmen and the military all see the practicality in wearing jeans to the workplace. It was in the1950s when ‘blue jeans’ - named for their indigo color - began to capture the attention of people living in Western civilization and eventually developed into being a symbol of freedom and going against the grain. Stars such as James Dean and Marlon Brando worn jeans as a sign of general purpose protest against the establishment. Eventually, jeans managed to find their way into mainstream culture along with other workwear and ‘casual’ items of clothing that were once reserved for specific subcultures.
How to Properly Care for your Pants and Jeans
The same rule applies to all pants and jeans: wash them inside out! Why? To keep the color, print and materials looking fresh as possible for as long as possible. Corduroys, cargos, sweatpants and chinos should be washed according to what it says on their tags. You really can’t go wrong, however, if you just follow these three simple rules: first of all, always wash cold - maximum 40° C, but 30° C is better. Second of all, make sure to always wash with like-colors to prevent washing out the color of your pants. And lastly: don’t use the dryer. We know it’s tempting, but your pants - particularly styles with creases ‘built’ into them, like chinos - lose their shape in the dryer. Hang them over a clothesline (without clothespins) or on an appropriate ‘pants hanger’ instead.
Be Careful When Washing your Jeans!
Whereas normal pants often look fresher and perhaps even brighter after a few washes, jeans will eventually begin to lose their color. That’s why washing your jeans comes with some special rules: denim should be washed as little as possible and separately in cold water. If you’re really hardcore ‘into’ your jeans, you could wash them in your bathtub instead of the washing machine. Let your jeans soak in cold water with mild detergent, swish them around a bit (don’t rub the fabric) and then hang them loosely on a clothesline when you’re done.
You should never wash your jeans with chemicals or experiment with stuff like throwing a cup of coffee into the water for a darker wash - it seriously never works. And don’t forget that jeans will lose a tiny bit of color with each wash. If you’re still not feeling this whole ‘handwashing’ thing - and we get that - we still recommend washing your jeans with similar colors. The effects of other-colored loads can’t be predicted in advance, so wash at your own risk!