List of Name-Brand Blue Jeans From the '80s (2022)

Sabrina is a connoisseur of popular culture and appreciates the nostalgia of 80s fashion trends.

List of Name-Brand Blue Jeans From the '80s (1)

What Jeans Were Popular in the '80s?

Wearing denim jeans will never go out of style. New name-brand jeans will come into fashion every year, but the blue jeans worn in the 1980s were especially memorable. Let's take a look back at designer denim in this decade!

Top Old-School '80s Jean Brands

  • Lee
  • DKNY
  • Gucci
  • Dickies
  • Guess
  • Sasson
  • Jordache
  • Wrangler
  • Calvin Klein
  • Levi Strauss
  • Karl Kani
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Sergio Valente
  • Gloria Vanderbilt

Why Isn't (Insert Brand Here) on This List?

Some brands got started very late in the '80s and were not actually making jeans until the '90s. They're often mistaken for '80s brands due to being on the cusp of the decade.

  • FUBU: This sportswear company was founded in 1992. The founders of FUBU (which stands for "For Us, By Us") did create their first collection in 1989, but it only included hats.
  • Ecko: This streetwear brand was established in 1993. Founder Marc Ecko sold t-shirts in the '80s, but the full clothing brand didn't exist until the '90s.

Trivia About the Top Jean Brands in the '80s

  • Lee: In 1982, Lee created its famous slogan "The Brand That Fits." In 1984, Bruce Springsteen wore a Lee denim jacket on the cover of Rolling Stone—what's more '80s than that?!
  • DKNY: Donna Karan created the DKNY brand in 1989, and it was founded on denim. Karan was inspired to launch this brand by her teenage daughter, who was always trying to borrow her clothes at the time!
  • Gucci: The 1980s were a turbulent time for this fashion house, with lots of family feuding and lawsuits. Gucci items were also mass-produced in the '80s, which damaged the brand's luxurious reputation. The company got back on track in the '90s. In fact, since 1998, it has held the Guinness World Record for the most expensive pair of jeans—a $3,134 pair called the "Genius Jeans."
  • Dickies: This workwear company gained mainstream popularity around 1986, when rap artists started wearing Dickies pants. Fans quickly emulated their style.
  • Guess: Guess jeans are nearly synonymous with the '80s. The company was founded in 1981 and initially sold a pair of slim, stone-washed jeans. The popularity of this design helped revolutionize denim in fashion.
  • Sasson: This jean company had a hot 10-year run from 1976 to 1986, when it filed for bankruptcy. You might be surprised to realize that the company's name is "Sasson," not "Sassoon"—a lot of people made that mistake, thinking that these jeans were associated with famous hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, but they weren't!
  • Jordache: This company had an infamous commercial in 1979 that featured a topless woman wearing only a pair of Jordache jeans as she rode a horse. Some of the company's other commercials from the '80s are, well, fairly ridiculous today, as you can see in the video below.
  • Wrangler: In 1981, this brand began sponsoring stock car driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. His car bore the bold name "Wrangler Jeans Machine" and was painted blue and yellow. Wrangler also ran a "One Tough Customer" ad campaign in the '80s to further its tough-guy image (see the video further below).
  • Calvin Klein: This brand ran a controversial ad campaign in the '80s featuring a 15-year-old Brooke Shields wearing CK jeans and asking the camera, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." In later years, Shields shared her story about the ads, speaking about what it was like to be sexualized by the media at such a young age.
  • Levi Strauss: This longstanding brand, which was established in 1853, had to close a bunch of plants in the '80s due to all of the fierce competition in the jeans industry. It regained some success by launching the Dockers brand in 1986, expanding its denim offerings with khaki pants.
  • Karl Kani: This designer started creating clothing at the remarkable age of 16. Kani's designs are inspired by the hip-hop music scene, and he is credited with popularizing baggy jeans. This brand just caught the tail end of the '80s; it was formally established in 1989.
  • Ralph Lauren: The '80s were a big decade for this fashion company. In 1981, Ralph Lauren opened his first international store in London, followed by his flagship store on Madison Avenue in 1986. Lauren also made the cover of TIME Magazine in '86.
  • Sergio Valente: This brand of designer jeans had interesting designs of horns and antlers on the back pockets. But did you know that Sergio Valente was not a real person? The "designer" himself was totally made up!
  • Gloria Vanderbilt: Gloria Vanderbilt was the first female jean designer to create jeans for women, and her fitted creations were an instant success. Her jeans appeared in 1976 and remained popular throughout the '80s. But the "Gloria Vanderbilt" company is not actually owned by Gloria Vanderbilt—she initially sold the rights to her name to the Murjani Group, with whom she had partnered to launch the jeans line, and the rights were later re-sold several more times.

Hottest 1980s Trends for Blue Jeans

Do you remember these denim trends? Did you participate in some of them (or wish you had)?

Wranglers for Teens

People who were in middle school in the early '80s probably remember that everyone was wearing Wrangler jeans. Teenagers could wear their Wranglers fitted or baggy. Looking back, these were high-quality jeans; they lasted longer than many of the other jeans that were made in the '80s.

Leg Warmers

After skinnier jeans become fashionable in the early '80s, people started wearing leg warmers over their jeans. Leg warmers were available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including bright neon colors and stripes. Some people wore their leg warmers all the way up their calves, while others slouched them down over their ankles.

Colorful Levis

In the late '80s, Levi Strauss jeans came in many colors, including black, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple, red, and brown. (Levi also offered popular corduroy pants, but those weren't really jeans!)

Bomber Jackets

Back in the day, people wore bomber jackets with fur-lined hoods with their jeans—especially with Levis. This look was popular with both men and women.

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Read More From Bellatory

Jean Brands in Lyrics

Many hip-hop artists in the '80s rapped about the name-brand attire that was popular at the time. (That's still true today, but the brands have changed a little!) Jean brands popped up in other genres, too, like in the chorus of "Blue Jeans" by Chocolate Milk, which lists off a bunch of '80s jean brands.

"(Jordache, Bonjour, Sasson, Chardon)

Your hot ass as a pistol, little girl, I got to whistle

(Gitano, Henry Lee, Wrangler, Levi Strauss)

I like the way they grip whilst-a on your hip

(Gitano, Sasson, Jordache, Bonjour, Chardon)

You're a gleamin’ thing in them screamin' jeans

(Sasson, Calvin Klein, Chardon, Levi Strauss)

(Video) STOP Wearing The WRONG Jeans! (7 Tips To Pick The PERFECT Pair of Denim)

The best brands for a real superstar"

— Chocolate Milk, "Blue Jeans," 1981

Why Jeans Will Never Go out of Style

Blue jeans make people feel casual, stylish, trendy, and sexy. Jeans look great with nearly all types of footwear, such as pumps, sneakers, flats, and boots. Also, jeans have become standard attire in the U.S. and other countries, so they'll never feel outdated, unlike other types of pants. Corduroy pants have gone in and out of style numerous times over the years, but jeans have stayed true. Blue jeans are a modern fashion staple.

Types of '80s Jeans

StyleColorCut

Stone-washed

Light blue

High-waisted

Acid-washed

Dark blue

Fitted

Ripped

Black

Baggy

Patched

White

(Video) OET Listening Test 12.09.2022

Mom jeans

Studded

Red

Straight-leg

Amazing '80s Fashion

This decade was an exciting and memorable one for fashion, and blue jeans were only a small part of it. People can instantly identify '80s hairstyles, '80s shoes, '80s makeup, '80s accessories, and more.

Remember all the Gucci purses, Gucci shoes, Gucci belts, Gucci hats, and other Gucci items? How about the trendy gold jewelry, especially gold chains? Huge brands like Louis Vuitton and Tommy Hilfiger were big in the '80s and have remained popular today. The 1980s have left an enduring mark on fashion!

© 2012 Brinafr3sh

Kenyarna on January 19, 2020:

Used jeans please

Nicholas F 3 on April 18, 2019:

They missed CHIC Jeans

Rhonda on November 05, 2016:

What about jeans called....sunset blues??? They were very popular in the 80s

Christopher on February 25, 2016:

(Video) Are You Garbage Comedy Podcast: Chicken in a Can w/ Kippy & Foley

Ah yes Who can forget seeing Brooke

Shields' derriere posted on all those city buses way back when...

But you omitted Oscar de la Renta

Im not an expert on this subject lol

laptopvouchercode on July 19, 2012:

Thanks for the blog, brings back memories of the 80s

Brinafr3sh (author) from West Coast, United States on May 28, 2012:

Hi Ruby, People like the 80s name brand jeans history. Thanks for commenting.

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on May 27, 2012:

Blue jeans history, awesome. I am so glad jeans have never went out of style.

Great hub about them, nice~

Brinafr3sh (author) from West Coast, United States on May 19, 2012:

@ MsDora, Thanks for visiting, I miss some of those 80s name brand jeans, especially the Levi.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 19, 2012:

You had my interest there. Wished you had continued with some more details. Looking for more. Voted interesting!

(Video) Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (Live 1981: Escape Tour - 2022 HD Remaster)

FAQs

What brand of jeans were popular in 1980s? ›

Jordache, Guess, Wrangler, Levi, Gitano, Bonjour, Sasson and a whole plethora of jeans designers: Whether your style was mom jeans, skinny, or acid-washed and ripped, everyone had a favorite pair of jeans in the 80s.

What jeans were popular in 1984? ›

1984: High-waisted jeans had a slightly tapered leg.

Baggy, cuffed mom jeans soon became cropped, slightly tapered mom jeans, a trend that stuck around for a very long time.

What brand was popular in the 80s? ›

The 80s was an era of sportswear, many thanks to 3 iconic brands: Nike and Adidas. And up until now, these 2 top brands continue to be the go-to labels for a stylish athletic look.

What type of pants were popular in the 80s? ›

Light-wash skinnies were by far the most popular choice during the 80s. Parachute pants and jackets: The billowy nature of this fabric was intrinsic to the exaggerated silhouettes of time. They often came in bright colors and geometric patterns.

What color of jeans were popular in the 80s? ›

Jeans in the '80s didn't just come in different washes — they came in different colors and patterns, too. Popular colors included pink, green, and purple. Prints featured stripes, flowers, and paisley. Denim prints were typically faded and busy all over patterns.

What brand of jeans were popular in the 70's? ›

Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt were the first American designer jeans to hit the market in the mid-1970s.

What brand of jeans were popular in the 90s? ›

By the '90s, labels like Guess Jeans, Versace, Moschino, and Calvin Klein were leading the way in high-end, fashion-focused denim, while black-owned labels like Phat Farm and FUBU cemented denim as part of the '90s hip-hop fashion wardrobe.

What was popular in the 80s to wear? ›

The most popular 80s clothes for women were power suits, legwarmers, dresses with padded shoulders, and spandex and Lycra tights. For men, some of the most popular clothes in the 80s were leather jackets, polo shirts, Oxford shirts, and turtlenecks.

What were skinny jeans called in the 80s? ›

Other names for this style include drainpipes, stovepipes, tight pants, cigarette pants, pencil pants, skinny pants, gas pipes, skinnies, and tight jeans.

What was the first brand of jeans? ›

1853 – On May 1, German immigrant Levi Strauss founded the wholesale dry goods business, Levi Strauss & Co., in San Francisco after making money during the Gold Rush. This essentially makes Levi the first denim brand ever.

What did ladies wear in the 80s? ›

The 80s keep fit look for women included items such as neon-coloured, plain, pastel or stripy legwarmers that were scrunched up and worn over leggings, tights or even their jeans for a more casual style. They were also worn with mini skirts.

What was the biggest fad in the 80s? ›

Contents
  • "Valspeak"
  • The Walkman.
  • Home Video Game Systems.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • Rubik's Cube.
  • Swatch Watches.
  • Hair Metal Bands.
  • Preppies.

What companies are from the 80s? ›

U.S. Retail and Restaurant Companies Founded in the 1980s
  • 1980 - Fuddruckers.
  • 1980 - Whole Foods.
  • 1981 - Papa Murphy's.
  • 1982 - Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies.
  • 1982 - Ruby's Diner.
  • 1983 - Costco.
  • 1983 - Jimmy John's Sandwich Shops.
  • 1984 - BJ's Wholesale Club.
22 Jul 2019

What were the baggy pants in the 80's called? ›

Hammer pants are modified baggy pants, tapered at the ankle with a sagging rise, made suitable for hip hop dancing. They were popularized in the 1980s and 1990s by American rapper MC Hammer.

What are the baggy pants from the 80s called? ›

Parachute pants refers to a style of nylon pants popular in the 1980s or baggy pants associated with the rapper MC Hammer.

What should I wear to an 80s party? ›

A few iconic 80s items to look for specifically are Members' Only jackets, parachute pants, X Research source acid washed or dyed jeans, shirts with large logos on them, miniskirts, leg warmers, stretch pants with stirrups, one-piece jumpers, and denim jackets. Look for materials that were popular in the 80s.

What color represents the 80s? ›

Neon pinks, yellows, and oranges everywhere

Three of the most popular colours of the eighties were neon pink, yellow, and orange. Loved by guys and girls alike, any (or all three) of the colours could be seen in clothing, shoes, hair accessories, makeup, and even popular brand logos.

What jeans were popular in the 60s? ›

Born in a time of ultimate self-expression, bootcut jeans and bell bottoms hit the scene in the 1960s as part of the counter-culture movement. It was an era of challenging the status quo through every means — even fashion.

What brands were big in the 70s? ›

'70s Fashion Designers That Paved the Way
  • Diane Von Furstenberg. ...
  • Stephen Burrows. ...
  • Emilio Pucci. ...
  • Bill Gibb. ...
  • Ottavio Missoni. ...
  • Yves Saint Laurent. ...
  • Halston. ...
  • Thea Porter.
12 Apr 2021

What were hot pants in the 70's? ›

Hotpants or hot pants are extremely short shorts. The term was first used by Women's Wear Daily in 1970 to describe shorts made in luxury fabrics such as velvet and satin for fashionable wear, rather than their more practical equivalents that had been worn for sports or leisure since the 1930s.

What brand of jeans were popular in the early 2000s? ›

The OG of premium denim, Sevens (as they're affectionately called by their adoring fans) were an instant success when they hit the market in 2000.

What were the baggy jeans from the 90s called? ›

JNCO-style jeans. For those unaware, JNCOs are super-shapeless, super-wide-legged jeans favored two decades ago. They were seen on teens in iconic '90s films like Clueless and Can't Hardly Wait.

What jeans were popular in the 2000s? ›

Low-Rise Jeans Were A Celebrity Style Staple In The Early 2000s. Love 'em or hate 'em — they're back again.

What was big in the 80's? ›

When you think about what was popular in the 80s, besides the iconic TV shows and films, the decade was full of weird and wonderful fads such as Koosh Balls, Shoulder Pads, Hacky Sacks, Parachute Pants, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men and more! They were frequently made of 'jelly' and came in bright colours.

What did people wear in the 80s casual? ›

Dyed, denim, ripped jeans are fashion staples from the 80s. A classic 80s look is acid-washed jeans paired with effortless grunge or punk tops, such as tie-dye tees, graphic t-shirts, or baggy sweaters.

What were skinny jeans called in the 80s? ›

Other names for this style include drainpipes, stovepipes, tight pants, cigarette pants, pencil pants, skinny pants, gas pipes, skinnies, and tight jeans.

What clothing was popular during the 1980s? ›

The most popular 80s clothes for women were power suits, legwarmers, dresses with padded shoulders, and spandex and Lycra tights. For men, some of the most popular clothes in the 80s were leather jackets, polo shirts, Oxford shirts, and turtlenecks.

What were the baggy pants in the 80's called? ›

Hammer pants are modified baggy pants, tapered at the ankle with a sagging rise, made suitable for hip hop dancing. They were popularized in the 1980s and 1990s by American rapper MC Hammer.

What are the baggy pants from the 80s called? ›

Parachute pants refers to a style of nylon pants popular in the 1980s or baggy pants associated with the rapper MC Hammer.

What brand of jeans were popular in the 70's? ›

Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt were the first American designer jeans to hit the market in the mid-1970s.

What did ladies wear in the 80s? ›

The 80s keep fit look for women included items such as neon-coloured, plain, pastel or stripy legwarmers that were scrunched up and worn over leggings, tights or even their jeans for a more casual style. They were also worn with mini skirts.

What was big in the 80's? ›

When you think about what was popular in the 80s, besides the iconic TV shows and films, the decade was full of weird and wonderful fads such as Koosh Balls, Shoulder Pads, Hacky Sacks, Parachute Pants, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men and more! They were frequently made of 'jelly' and came in bright colours.

What designer was popular in the 80s? ›

Calvin Klein was one of the most successful fashion designers of the 1980s. His sportswear ranged from high-end to more affordable lines for men and women, with jeans and underwear becoming his signatures.

What should I wear to an 80s party? ›

A few iconic 80s items to look for specifically are Members' Only jackets, parachute pants, X Research source acid washed or dyed jeans, shirts with large logos on them, miniskirts, leg warmers, stretch pants with stirrups, one-piece jumpers, and denim jackets. Look for materials that were popular in the 80s.

What was the biggest fad in the 80s? ›

Contents
  • "Valspeak"
  • The Walkman.
  • Home Video Game Systems.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • Rubik's Cube.
  • Swatch Watches.
  • Hair Metal Bands.
  • Preppies.

What brand of jeans were popular in the early 2000s? ›

The OG of premium denim, Sevens (as they're affectionately called by their adoring fans) were an instant success when they hit the market in 2000.

What were the baggy jeans from the 90s called? ›

JNCO-style jeans. For those unaware, JNCOs are super-shapeless, super-wide-legged jeans favored two decades ago. They were seen on teens in iconic '90s films like Clueless and Can't Hardly Wait.

What jeans were popular in the 2000s? ›

Low-Rise Jeans Were A Celebrity Style Staple In The Early 2000s. Love 'em or hate 'em — they're back again.

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