Fashion: Here Come The Fancy Pants

How the jeans genies turned basic blues into the most fashionable threads of all

If Betsy Ross were designing the American flag today, her task would be much simpler. She could just hoist a pair of old jeans up the flagpole. Egalitarian, utilitarian and rugged, jeans project the American sensibility. And as a standard bearer of America's global dominance, they stride where even Coca-Cola fears to tread. But recently jeans have become something else as well. They have become expensive, elitist and European.

Jeans today can cost thousands of dollars and regularly sell for hundreds. Even Levi's can run you $300. Once the classic fallback answer for the daily question of what to wear, jeans...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!