There is nothing more American than jeans… think about Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” cover!
We love jeans, and this inspired us to “travel” across the States to discover 9 American jeans brands.
Table of Contents:
- 1. An American Jeans Story: Blue Jeans in the USA
- 2. American Jeans Brands: Our 9 Favorites
- 3. Conclusion
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* Note: The availability of the products on this page might change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors, and sizes on the various shops (linked in this page, if any) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. The product images are for illustration purposes.
1. An American Jeans Story: Blue Jeans in the USA
Jeans started in the 1870s as humble clothing on the West coast with Levi’s and later they landed on the East coast as a trendy piece.
Jeans are an everyday fashion staple but the road to success was long because they were for workers and not ideal for women! Cinema was essential: first cowboys, then “bad boys” wore blue jeans on the screen.
Too much that schools banned them because subversive. Nothing could stop the jeans to become the absolute favorite of the hippie generation in the ’60s as a symbol of self-expression and anti-conformism.
Hippies and rock stars loved denim jeans with wider cuts, washes, patches, and embroideries, but also as vests.
The disco era saw flare cuts over platforms and the first jeans ever on a catwalk thanks to an American fashion designer, Calvin Klein, who made his jeans “walk” in 1976!
The decade of designers’ jeans was the ‘80s with top models and actresses like Claudia Schiffer and the very young Brooke Shields wearing jeans on glossy magazines and adverts.
But American youngsters rebelled against parents’ blue jeans by either wearing khakis or ultra-baggy jeans in the ’90s. The early 2000s introduced a sexy twist with incredibly low-rise and boot cuts, a style that evolved in super-stretch and skinny jeans today.
You might also like: Lee vs Levi’s: Which is Better? What’s the Difference?
2. American Jeans Brands: Our 9 Favorites
Lee was born in 1889 in Kansas as dry goods and grocery company by Henry David Lee.
The big request for workwear drove Lee to establish his first clothing factory in Salina producing work jackets and overalls.
If between the two World Wars Lee was a top brand for workwear, in the late ’40s it launched into lady’s fashion and, by the ’50s, many Hollywood actors wore Lee jeans.
Lee became trendy with cosmopolitan Western models, ladies’ embroidered jeans, “Leesure” or leisure-time slim jeans and suits.
Lee moved to North Carolina but it still has the same mix of city and country vibes.
Lee Carol in Vintage Danny Jean
This Lee is a classic casual. It has a high-rise, straight cut, and cropped length with zip fly and vintage brass buttons.
The worn-effect fabric combines recycled cotton, polyester, and elastane for a bit of stretch.
Hudson Overall Company from Greensboro, North Carolina, evolved into Wrangler in 1947. It started with work clothing but found success with rodeos.
These jeans were made for real adventures, always breathable and strong. In fact, the key features of every Wrangler answer to cowboys’ needs: 7 belt loops, zip fly and watch pockets.
Wrangler sponsors professional cowboys and drivers; its style is country like the music that inspired its vintage collection.
This true American closed its last US factory in 2005, and it has facilities in Mexico and Europe (Belgium) where it is very popular.
Wrangler Indigood Icons 11WWZ Western in Good Times Jean
This model is eco-friendly with “Indigood”, a plant-based indigo color, and recycled cotton fabric.
These jeans have a high waist, slim fit, and a gentle crop cut, fly zip and the iconic W sewed pattern on the back pockets.
The elastane and light wash give it a comfortable look.
Levi Strauss founded his company as a branch of the family business. He was also trading clothes and, with tailor Davis, he implemented working jean trousers with metal rivets to improve durability and strength.
With the 1873 patent, the blue jeans were born. Cowboys, miners, and farmers wore Levi’s but soon they became the favorite piece of many Hollywood stars and people from the ’50s onward.
The brand expanded and introduced innovative techniques like the “stonewashing”. Levi’s met success when stopped wholesaling for private clothing production in 1946.
The end of its patent meant harsh competition but popularity never paused. Due to financial struggles in the 1980s, the brand had to close the majority of its US facilities moving its production overseas and to Costa Rica.
The last US plants closed in 2004 but some premium productions are back in the States.
Levi’s 724 High Rise Straight Women’s Jean
This sustainable premium model has a high waist and a flattering super slim fit with a straight cut.
It is in a dark wash and has zip fly, 5 pockets, and the iconic double arch pattern on the back.
Mid-stretch, shape support, and comfort are guaranteed by 70% TENCEL™ Lyocell.
2.4 Bluer Denim
Bluer Denim is a niche American brand focused on sustainable and timeless jeans. It was founded in 2013 by Jeff Shafer in Portland, Oregon.
Every element in these jeans is locally sourced in the US: zippers from Kentucky and leather patches from Portland, fabrics are milled in Greensboro and everything is assembled in LA with sustainable ozone techniques.
Rogier Ducloo recently bought the company and he continues Shafer’s green vision with a low carbon footprint and an interesting recycling plan to make clients’ old jeans available for those in need.
2.5 Good American
This is a young, female-run jeans brand founded in 2016 by Emma Grede, fashion and marketing graduate, and Khloé Kardashian.
Good American is based in LA and it wants to represent every woman and all sizes. It launched with jeans from size 00 to 24 and it expanded with trendy activewear, clothing, and shoes.
The brand aims for “good” production and it uses recycled cotton and fabrics. To reduce energy and water wastage, Good American switched to solar energy and digital printing, while cutting by 90% the use of water.
Their jeans are assembled in LA with imported components.
Always Fits From Good American Jean
This model has an innovative sizing (A, B, C…), featuring a one-size-fit-four design to adapt to any body shape.
Always Fit has a high waist and a skinny fit. It has 5 pockets, zip fly, and a medium blue wash; its comfortable fabric is cotton (5% is recycled) and elastane.
2.6 Bullet Blues
Bullet Blues is US quality and European flair together. In fact, the founder is French and her name is Isabelle Benoit.
When Isabelle visited the American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy with her son, she felt big compassion and gratitude towards the American soldiers.
She wanted to express her feelings and, once in Florida, she did it with Bullet Blues.
The label offers jeans and a selection of women’s and men’s apparel. The denim fabric is 100% American, milled in Cone (North Carolina) with YKK rivets from Kentucky.
The brand is patriotic with a style that goes from causal to effortlessly chic.
Bullet Blues Babe Jour – Boot Cut Jean
America meets France in Babe Jour, casual jeans with 1% spandex. This model, in a medium blue wash, has mid-rise and boot cut.
It has 5 pockets, zip fly, golden double stitches, and a signature B on the back pocket and waistband. It naturally follows your curves and slims the legs.
2.7 Dearborn Denim
Robert McMillan wanted to show that ethically and locally produced jeans are possible in the US.
He founded Dearborn Denim in 2016 in Chicago, where its jeans are cut and sewn. It is a small reality that relies on loyal customers, an online shop, and four main stores in Chicago.
Its jeans are handcrafted in Chicago with a classic, casual style, and a feel-good vibe. A true indie that points at sustainability, fair wages, and durability.
Rob is proud, and he has two Dearborn jeans he cannot stop wearing!
Dearborn Denim also produces accessories and apparel for both men and women.
Dearborn Denim Skinny High Rise Dark Wash
These jeans are durable and no-stretch with a dark wash.
The model has 5 pockets and zip fly, a high-rise, and a slim fit for a basic, easy-to-wear style.
2.8 Raleigh Denim Workshop
Raleigh Denim Workshop is another independent business.
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, it has been founded by a couple: Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko.
They started alone in a warehouse and they are so proud of their jeans that they sign every piece with a sharpie.
The denim fabric mainly comes from Cone, North Carolina, and every step is made in-house. The catalog covers handcrafted jeans, apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women.
Raleigh sells online and in a small workshop-store, “The Curatory”, with a genuine indie personality.
Haywood Perfecto Raleigh Denim Workshop Jean
These jeans, handcrafted in LA, are made with a cotton and elastane mix with mid-wash.
It has a high rise and slim fit, 5 pockets, zip fly, and contrasting golden stitches over a bleach medium blue.
Guess is a famous American brand founded in 1981 by the four French brothers, the Marcianos.
They fell in love with Los Angeles and they decided to move there where they started Guess, inspired by Hollywood glamour.
The Marcianos tried their luck by sending a sample to Bloomingdale and it was a success. Guess expanded its catalog to include clothing, bags, shoes, and jewelry over the years.
Today Guess is well established in the US, Europe, and Japan.
Jeans Relaxed Guess
This pair of Guess has a casual and trendy style.
It is made with organic cotton and it has a high waist, crop cut, and relaxed fit. It has 5 pockets, zip fly, and a light blue, worn wash.
The USA is proud of its iconic jeans and North Carolina as its production center.
The American offer is wide and has many indie solutions if you like pants with personality!