Fashion history is full of fun and bizarre facts. For example, did you know that Mark Twain invented our beloved bra-strap clasp? Well, here’s another fun fact for you: We now know the reason why jeans are called jeans.
The history of jeans is mingled with with French history. Jeans were invented in 19th century France in a town called Nimes. In French, the word “serge” is used to describe the fabric that jeans are composed from. Thus, jeans’ fabric was originally called “serge de Nimes,” or, for short, “denim.”
This fun word play already has us excited. So let’s continue with the history lesson!
Denim became incredibly popular in Europe, especially with sailors from Genoa, Italy. Not that we blame them — denim, as we all know, is incredibly durable! Now, whenever these sailors were in France they’d visit Nimes and by their “serge de Nimes” in bulk. (Again, back then there was no fast train to get Italians to France.) These sailors bought so much denim that the material quickly became the French nickname for sailors from Genoa, or “jeans.”