“strikingly crossed over nearly all class. gender, age, regional, national, and ideological lines”
Here he mentions how blue jeans, originally wore by outdoor labor, became such versatile garment that can be wore by people of different gender, social status and others.
He mentions it as if it is only blue jeans which has that universality yet I think differently. Over the mid 1900s as civil right movements have intensified garments, or fashion, became a way of expressing themselves. Women started to wear a lot more types of garments. Also due to lower cost of garments that caused by mass-production and globalization, people began to wear any type of clothes they want. So it is fair to say that it is not only blue jeans which became universal.
“And so do the dialectics of status and anti-status, de mocracy and distinction, inclusiveness and exclusiveness pervade fashion·s twists and turns, as much, or even more, with the workingman·s humble blue Jeans as with formal dinner wear and the evening gown. But such is fashion’s way.”
He says people, or their fashion, start to ignore conservative dress code, and became more versatile as blue jeans is now wore in more formal occasion.
It is good point that now people’s fashion has changed, but not a significant discovery in any sense. Understanding the change of fashion by blue jeans can be fresh and accurate. But it is questionable if it is correct to say that blue jeans does not obtain status. For instance, I do not purchase jeans a lot but if I do I always purchase Dior Homme, which can cost around $600 – $1000+. Dior Homme is not a leading brand of jeans but it usually contains more statement than most Levis jeans. Balmain is more proper comparison; if someone wears Balmain it is distinctive, though its iconic design has been “homaged” by multiple brands, but many people can identify Balmain jeans from those “homages”. So jeans are wore by people of different social status and jeans are produced for different social classes.
“These were soon followed by “hoodlum” motorcycle gangs (‘bikers”) in the 1950s and by New Left activists and hippies in the 1 960s (Belascond) All these groups (each in its own way, of course) stood strongly opposition to the dominant conservative. middle-class, consumer-oriented culture of American society Blue jeans, given their origins and historic associations, offered a v1s1b!e means for announcing such antiestablishment sentiments”
The jeans are also popularly wore by bikers and left leaned activists.
Jeans have long been representing the freedom and youngness, which both contains specific political stance. Activists, or any group of people, wants to represent their ideology by their clothes, for that matter jeans, which could be found in luxury boutique, and rag in discount mall, can have statement of equality.