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1980s Men's jeans

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  • 1980s Men's jeans

    When men stopped wearing flared jeans at the start of the 1980s, a lot of them wore stretch jeans that were mostly fashionable from around 1980 to 1986.

    I used to think that Shakin' Stevens was probably the most famous person to wear them, and as I can see from the ITV 3 repeats of Coronation Street, Kevin Webster, and sometimes Curly Watts wore them as well. They were everywhere, male characters from series like the Dukes of Hazard and even Prisoner: Cell Block H was seen with them on. I still think of them as "cool", and it's a pity that you could probably buy a pair of flares from the years before in these retro fashion shops that I sometimes see, but not 1980s jeans like that, probably because they don't look ironic enough a flares did.

    The Wrangler and Levis adverts from the early to mid 1980s looked "sexier" than jeans adverts did later on that decade. I think that ended when we saw Nick Kamen go in the bath while wearing his, the tune to Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, or the launderette one, as parodied by Carling Black Label, straining to the tune of Marvin Gaye's big 1969 hit.

    I suppose that now we see skinny jeans (and I even have a couple of pairs myself), probably because of the Vamps and One Direction, men's fashion has almost come full-circle in the past 35 years.

    I am hoping that they might come back into fashion, considering that skinny jeans have done so. I remember trying to get a pair for a photo shoot I was doing a few years ago, but no luck. Water under the bridge fashion-wise, methinks.
    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

  • #2
    Re: 1980s Men's jeans

    I remember the men’s stretch jeans in the early to mid 80s and the sexy adverts. I had a few pairs myself and wore them in the school holidays or in the evenings at boarding school and at uni as well. Both Levi and Wrangler. I still wear Levi’s and like you have a couple of pairs of skinny as a concession to modernity although like you my real preference is for the retro stretch style. To refer to an earlier post of mine, these 1980s stretch jeans go very well with an Army jumper.
    Although I’m a big Levi’s fan, I have a special affection for Wranglers because they evoke my teenage years. They are much rarer today but a quick search has shown me that their men’s stretch jeans are still available and there’s a -10% offer if you sign up to their newsletter. Christmas has come early. www.wrangler.co.uk

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    • #3
      Re: 1980s Men's jeans

      I have two sides to me represented in my wardrobe - the Levis'/denim side and the country gent/corduroy side. The Levi 511 needlecord is a compromise between the two - indeed almost were they meet and so I have three pairs of these as well. I notice from the Wrangler site that they do a similar men's stretch needlecord.

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      • #4
        Re: 1980s Men's jeans

        I've found some jeans I've tried on recently are too tight for my legs.

        Lee was another big brand back then, I had some Ramblers, which sound like a Wrangers rip-off.

        Later in the 1980s show washed jeans were fashionable, something I'm not bothered if they come back!
        The Trickster On The Roof

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        • #5
          Re: 1980s Men's jeans

          I bought some denim jodhpurs from one of those equestrian websites a while ago, and I thought that they were just as good as those sort of jeans could be.

          I was looking at my recording of the 1984 film Supergirl (not to be confused with the Sky series that is on at the moment), and 47 minutes or so in, you can see Hart Bochner as Ethan wearing some Lee jeans in the film similar the ones that I had mentioned above - you can even see the Lee logo on the back of them if you look very carefully and freeze frame it at the right part. It's great that Lee Jeans gets a mention as a credit at the end of the film - it was if he was officially wearing those jeans, and that he was just as much a model as he was an actor.
          I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
          There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
          I'm having so much fun
          My lucky number's one
          Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 1980s Men's jeans

            I had at least 2 pairs of stretch jeans in the 80s. I can't remember the brands but they wouldn't have been anything well known. One pair I remember buying from a market stall and trying them on for size in the back of the stall-owner's Transit van. Phew, they were tight.

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            • #7
              Re: 1980s Men's jeans

              I remember buying by first black jeans branded 51st State from a market stall, & trying them on in the back of a van.
              The Trickster On The Roof

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              • #8
                Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                I've always preferred the narrow 'drain pipe' jeans
                sigpic
                Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.

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                • #9
                  Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                  I am thinking about contacting a local retro clothes store to see whether they sell these jeans.
                  I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                  There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                  I'm having so much fun
                  My lucky number's one
                  Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                    Anyone here remember Easy jeans? They were a UK-based brand widely available in the 1980s/early 1990s and mid-priced like Lee. I used to buy them a lot from the likes of Burton and Debenhams because they were reasonably priced, decent quality and the style and fit always seemed just right. I did some research and there is not a lot about them out there, but I did discover that they were once the 5th biggest jeans brand in the UK and a major supplier of jeans to Levi Strauss. I wonder what happened to them?

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                      Looking at the old Express and Mirror newspapers on the UK Press Online website, I saw an advertisement from an July or August 1981 issues of one of those newspapers for a clothes shop called Bottom Line, which sold jeans similar to the ones that I described above - they did Levis, Wranglers as well as own-name brand ones. I had never heard of them, and I doubt they were around the year before or had made it to 1982 before closing down for good. There were two stores on Oxford Street in London, and the Nottingham store was at Lister Gate (it is now a Carphone Warehouse as I can see).

                      Anyone remember Bottom Line clothes shops?
                      I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                      There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                      I'm having so much fun
                      My lucky number's one
                      Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                        Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                        Looking at the old Express and Mirror newspapers on the UK Press Online website, I saw an advertisement from an July or August 1981 issues of one of those newspapers for a clothes shop called Bottom Line, which sold jeans similar to the ones that I described above - they did Levis, Wranglers as well as own-name brand ones. I had never heard of them, and I doubt they were around the year before or had made it to 1982 before closing down for good. There were two stores on Oxford Street in London, and the Nottingham store was at Lister Gate (it is now a Carphone Warehouse as I can see).

                        Anyone remember Bottom Line clothes shops?
                        Yes I do remember that store on Oxford Street

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                        • #13
                          Re: 1980s Men's jeans

                          Since I started this thread, I contacted a few retro fashion shops in my area, and none of them sell those jeans. Typical.
                          I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                          There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                          I'm having so much fun
                          My lucky number's one
                          Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Regarding Bottom Line clothes shops, there's an ad break on the Kaleidoscope's Presentation Vault page of YouTube for the LWT region for Friday 19th June 1981 (downloaded on 19th June this year), and there is an advert for Bottom Line, mostly selling jeans (and of course stretch jeans as well being 1981) with a Kenny Everett voiceover - I have to admit that I thought that it was an advert for Woolworths when it started.
                            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                            I'm having so much fun
                            My lucky number's one
                            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would love to know if there is a retro fashion shop that sells them - I would gladly give them my measurements if they did !
                              I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                              There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                              I'm having so much fun
                              My lucky number's one
                              Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                              Comment

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