Why does everyone wear jeans? 风靡全球的牛仔裤

更新时间 2012年 3月 8日, 星期四 - 格林尼治标准时间16:45

英语学习点: Vocabulary: popular trends 潮流与时尚

Students wearing jeans

Jeans are now popular around the world

It's difficult to find a garment as widely embraced, worn and loved as jeans. The denim trousers are a staple of wardrobes around the world. But why?

Anthropologist Danny Miller has just written a book on the subject. He says that in every country he's visited, almost half the population wore jeans.

They were designed as work-wear for labourers in America's Western states in the late 19th Century. When a Nevada tailor called Jacob Davis was asked to make a pair of sturdy trousers for a local woodcutter, he had the idea of reinforcing them with rivets. They proved extremely durable and were soon in high demand.

Jeans represented the American West and when they started to be worn as casual wear, they were a symbol of rebellion. They were banned in schools, which only added to the fervour with which young people embraced them.

Outside America the trend was beginning to catch on too. Many of the GIs stationed abroad during the war were working-class boys from the Western states. While off duty they wore their jeans proudly as a symbol of home. The trousers represented an easier, happier American way of life, which Europeans wanted to buy into.

Miller argues they have become so mainstream that they are now a symbol of the ordinary - a garment people put on to feel comfortable and to fit in. But according to Paul Trynka, author of Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks, there is still something in their symbol of youth and casualness, that puts jeans beyond the reach of certain people.

Famously, George W Bush and Tony Blair went out on the street in denim during their first summit meeting. They wanted to show they were 'regular guys' but of course, says Trynka, "they both looked like dorks."

Quiz 小测验

1. For which people were the first jeans made?

Labourers on the farms and mines of America's Western states.

2. Is this statement true, false, or not given? Jeans were not very popular at first.

False: They were soon in high demand.

3. Look at the article. Find a word to describe something that can last a long time.


4. Is this statement true, false, or not given? In the 1950s, jeans became less popular because young people were not allowed to wear them at school.

False: when jeans were banned it only added to the fervour with which young people embraced them.

5. What did jeans represent for GIs who were sent abroad during the war?

They were a symbol of home.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)


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