Given that it’s was just 4th of July – a day on which we generally tend to focus on what’s good about the US – let’s take a moment to consider some iconic American threads. American women are some of the most fashionable women in the world. You know the crowd: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor.
Of course, many of the US’s own style innovations have gone on to achieve such ubiquity that they have defined new categories in women’s fashion. Here are our top three favorites!
THE DENIM JACKET
Levi’s essentially invented jeans and has dominated the market since the 1870s, which may be the best winning streak any company has ever had. Their first denim jacket was made in 1880. At that time, it was a rigid work jacket meant to stand up to a proper beating by miners, cowboys and railway engineers. But the actual jacket that defines them all is the Levi’s Type III, the so-called “trucker jacket”, which was introduced in 1962. In this variation, the denim was washed to achieve a softer finish, the stitching was orange (it had been yellow), the fit was more tailored. It has since been endlessly reinvented, to the point that the denim jacket has become a core part of almost every brand’s collection.
Levi Strauss, a Bavarian-born dry goods merchant, came to San Francisco in 1853 at the age of 24 to open a West Coast branch of his brothers’ New York wholesale dry goods business. Over the next 20 years, he built his business into a very successful operation, making a name for himself not only as a well-respected businessman, but also as a local philanthropist. Marilyn Monroe wore denim in arguably her best movie, The Misfits, where she played a woman who went off with a group of…cowboys. Her outfit was essentially the female version of James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause outfit.
THE BASEBALL CAP
The hat was referred to as a Brooklyn cap, after the Brooklyn Excelsiors, who first wore them on the field, before others quickly followed their lead. The brim was much shorter then, and the hats were much softer and floppier. But in the next years, the brims became bigger and the teams started branding their logos on them. Now the baseball hat is so popular it’s worn with no relation to the baseball whatsoever.