Katharine Hepburn: A Pioneer in Denim Style


Women really didn’t wear trousers until the later half of the 20th century. With that in mind, it’s very hard to find images of women wearing trousers pre-1950 or even pre-WWII, especially women wearing denim. Everyone knows that Katharine Hepburn is a style icon for the way she made trousers elegant. Those wide legged trousers had Hollywood appeal, even while everyone else was wearing dresses and skirts. She was really an outlier in fashion for the risks she took both on and off the screen. She was more than just a star, she was a woman who pursued many things, flying, tennis, shooting, knitting, even skateboarding. What’s more, she pioneered the denim look for women.

Even though Levi’s first started producing denim clothing for women as early as 1918 (they were tunics, not jeans) and their first denim trousers called Lady Levi’s in the mid-1930’s, Katharine Hepburn, a true star, had her jeans custom made on Savile Row. She not only had her jeans tailored to her personally, she also curated this look of mixing her wide legged, high waisted jeans with long coats, silk blouses making them not necessarily “dungarees” (which is what my grandmother used to call jeans) but actually jeans in the way you and I would wear them today.

Only, Hepburn is way, way more glamorous.




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