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The Most Iconic Jeans of All Time

To celebrate the launch of their eight essential jean fits, Topman have taken a look back through the ages to determine history’s most iconic shapes and work out how to recreate them in the present. By analysing the evolution of denim through various subcultures they’re taking inspiration from the greatest jeans to ever grace our legs, so we never have to live through flares or nu-metal jeans ever again.


Although most jeans are worn down to the pub these days, they were originally intended as durable workwear during manual labour by Levis Strauss in 1873. So next time you think you’ve had a hard day formatting Excel formulas in your selvedge, be thankful you haven’t been wrangling cattle in denim. Flat white stains over manure any day. With workwear styling back on trend, Topman’s carpenter fit jeans are a great choice to recreate this look and they come complete with functional hammer loops and side pockets.

Workwear jeans
Workwear jeans


Whoever thought that showing socks off would be one of the strongest and easiest looks of the 21st century? As well as Paul Newman just chilling on set, we have American preppy boys to thank for this, who wore their slim jeans high with penny loafers and varsity jackets. For a sock-revealing look of your own, cuff a pair of Topman’s stretch slim jeans.

Rolled jeans
Rolled jeans


Apart from your parents making sly remarks about you falling over and ripping your jeans, this is a flawless look with bags of attitude. Bursting through into the mainstream through the likes of the Sex Pistols wearing DIY designs by Vivienne Westwood, the ripped and raw look is as strong now as it was at the time of the release of Never Mind The Bollocks. Like this look? Check out this pair of Topman extreme ripped stretch skinny jeans.

Punk jeans
Punk jeans


It was a lot harder to achieve the skinny jean look in the 60s than it is today. It wasn’t as simple as walking into a shop and copping a pair, you had to soak them in cold water for hours then wear them wet for that sprayed on look. Imagine catching pneumonia from wet denim? All sorts of embarrassing. Never the less, rockers clad in leather jackets looked fantastic in their shrunken jeans, water rash or not. For the easy option though, here’s Topman’s selection of super spray on skinny jeans.

Drainpipe jeans
Drainpipe jeans


Hear us out. You might have a few negative preconceptions about 90s style, but it wasn’t all neon tracksuits and bucket hats. Some of the streetwear inspired looks are actually pretty decent (with a bit of tweaking, of course). Think patchworking and loose fits rather than diamond earrings and spiky fringes and you’ve nailed it. For a wide leg relaxed silhouette that any 90s lad would be proud of, Topman’s wide leg fit jeans are your man.

Baggy jeans
Baggy jeans

To explore these iconic shapes and more, check out Topman’s eight essential jean fits.


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