denim hisory

Wrangler Men’s shirt. Circa 1975. Own collection. 

Wrangler has its roots in the Hudson Overalls Company of Greensboro, NC. Founded in 1904 it was renamed Blue Bell in about 1919. For years they manufactured work clothing for men and during WWII they manufactured clothing for military use. After the war, in an attempt to compete with the jeans makers Levi Strauss and Lee, they decided to develop the Wrangler brand name they had acquired in 1943 when they bought the Casey Jones Company. In 1986, Blue Bell and Wrangler were bought by the VF Corporation

Lee 101

In 1926, Lee was manufacturing a heavy, 13 oz. jean called the Cowboy Pant, marketed for seamen, loggers, and cowboys.  The Cowboy Pant was also known as the Lee 101, and in 1926, Lee introduced the 101Z, the first jean with a zip-fly.  With the introduction of the zip-fly, Lee started offering their Cowboy Pants with tailored sizing and inseam measurements for a more personal fit.

These days, Lee has launched a new upscale denim line called Lee 101. The 101 line pays homage to the quality and craftsmanship responsible for the company’s concrete foundation, offering 13.25 oz.-13.75 oz. raw Italian and Japanese selvedge denim finished with their signature blue selvedge thread.  The Lee 101 line features details vintage leather logo patches and the ”lazy S” stitching on the back pocket.

The mountain hat, the Campaign Hat, the Montana Peak or the Smokey Bear.

Call it what you want the origins of this hat can be traced to the 1840s when army troops posted in the west took to wearing civilian hats which were far more practical than the shakos or kepis then in vogue with most western armies. The name campaign hat started to be used after the 1872–1876 regulations which introduced a black felt hat for fatigue which use was derived from the types popularised during the American Civil War.

The notable crease we see today was apparent as early as 1893 and the re-crease into a further point was actually introduced by British South Africa Company scouts in Africa in order to keep the rain off. Three years later in 1896 these same scouts introduced the hats to a British Officer Sir Robert Baden-Powell which in turn influenced the Canadian troops which served below him. The ‘Montana Peak’ was officially adopted by the army for its peaked design in September 1911 and given the name 'Campaign Hat’