Many people assume dungarees originated in USA but they actually came from India in the 17th century - the English took the coarse local cloth called ‘dungri’ and exported it to make workwear trousers which they called dungarees.
Originally dungarees were conceived as a utilitarian clothing designed to be worn over a shirt and trousers as a shield against grease, oil and mud. ⚒️⛓️
It wasn’t till the mid-1800s that Levi’s took these workwear trousers and added a bib and shoulder straps to create the dungarees we know and love today!
Dungarees were made from durable fabrics such as heavy denim and canvas - this made them popular among the working class as they were tough and the bib was great for holding tools! Dungarees were colour coded based on professions 😎: striped for railroad workers, white for painters and blue for everyone else. 🚂 👩🎨
During both world wars, women filled the jobs of their male counterparts, taking jobs that can often get a bit grubby, so a desire for a feminine, durable work uniform soon arose. More and more stylish styles appeared, with the addition of a tighter waist and more fashionable pockets! Girl power! 💯👊🏻
The dungaree started to transcend the realms of manual labour when they were worn by the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Judy Garland who turned the dungaree into a desirable garment. ✌🏼
Dungarees came back in the 90s in a big way! A majority of people wore them for the style. The default look was a light-coloured denim dungarees styled with one strap undone and a bright, short sleeve button up underneath (think Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) 😆
Dungarees have stood the test of time from a simple piece of 17th-century cloth to the utilitarian and ultra-cool garment worn by everyone! If you don’t have at least one pair of these wardrobe staples then check out our range in-store or visit our Instagram and DM us!
Will Smith / Fresh Prince of Bel Air
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