Ah, the trusted jean skirt. For millennials, it conjures up a lot of memories, since it was an early 2000s wardrobe staple. But this item has been making its way through fashion's lexicon since the '70s—and it's due for an even bigger comeback than it's already brought. Take a journey with us as we trace the evolution of the jean skirt throughout the years, ahead.
In the 19th century, a woman's dress code was strictly limited to dresses and skirts with an emphasis on layers and covering one's skin.
The first pair of jeans were created in 1873 after a tailor engineered a pair from the cotton fabric sold by Levi Strauss. The design was especially useful for workers during the gold rush who needed pants that wouldn't rip.
Towards the end of the 19th century, skirt hemlines rose became the go-to piece of clothing for active women when they were boxing, riding bikes, and more.
By the 1920s, the hems on women's skirts were higher than ever, grazing just above the knee.
In the 1930s, women dared to wear pants. Actresses like Constance Bennett (seen here) started incorporating jeans into her wardrobe as the textile became more widespread.
Everyday women started to adopt jeans, but reserved them strictly for chores and yard work.
We got one step closer to the jean skirt when jean shorts stepped into the fashion scene in the late 1950s. This trend was especially popular in Hollywood.
By the late '60s, mini skirts had taken the fashion world by storm. From corduroy to cotton to suede, all fabrics were fair game—except denim.
Jean skirts were first introduced in the 1970s. They were originally created as a way to repurpose worn denim pants, but pretty soon the trend took off.
The jean skirt proved to be a perfect fit for the free-spirited flower child vibes of the '70s...especially distressed denim with patchwork.
Soon, fashion houses took notice of the jean skirt and began producing them in a variety of styles. The most popular? The front snap skirt.
In the '80s, fashion was anything but understated and denim was no exception. Pencil skirts were major and if you rocked a matching jacket, even better.
Everything was bigger in the '80s, including denim. Kirstie Alley models an oversized denim jacket with a matching jean skirt here.
Acid wash denim was the ultimate trend in the late '80s, with people rocking it on everything from jackets to dresses, and, of course, the jean skirt.
It took a few years for acid wash jeans to filter out of fashion. Even in 1990, the style was all the rage—just ask the cast of Saved by the Bell.
By the 1990s, people began wearing more subdued denim washes. Here, the Duchess of York styles a billowing jean skirt with a belt and a colorful print button-down.
Jean skirts officially entered the tot market by the mid-'90s, as shown on Princess Eugenie in 1993. How cute is she?!
By 1995, you could catch jean skirts on the catwalks in Paris and Milan as fashion houses like Chanel started to embrace the trend.
Pamela Anderson looks very '90s chic in a light wash jean mini skirt and a crop top. The motorcycle she's posing on adds a great touch.
Teenage girls flocked to stores to recreate looks like this one made popular by Britney Spears in 1998. Since jean skirts were so popular with young girls at the time, they were heavily marketed to teenagers.
Ah, we fully suppressed the memory of this fashion choice from the late '90s. The jean skirt was indeed sometimes worn over pants, as seen here on Gwen Stefani.
By 2000, everyone was wearing jean skirts—the color and styling was endless. The newest style was the jean maxi skirt, which is being modeled here by Heather Locklear.
Trendy additions, like crystal embellishments or fringe detailing, really made their mark in the early 2000s. Is there anything more 2000s than Tori Spelling pairing a bedazzled jean skirt with a tube top?
A knee-length cut was a go-to during this decade. As a result, the front slit became very popular. As Gwyneth Paltrow can attest, it looked amazing with a pair of tall boots.
While longer jean skirts remained in fashion, people began playing around with shorter hems again, as demonstrated by Scarlett Johansson circa 2003.
For the teens, pairing jean skirts with boots, like UGGs, was the epitome of style. Tall socks were a bonus.
In the 2000s, people loved jeans skirts so much that they decided to wear them year-round. Tights were the perfect solution for colder months.
Jean skirts were no longer just worn by teens at the mall. They were just as easily styled with a blazer and heels as it was with a T-shirt and sneakers.
Cameron Diaz models overalls, which was the *trendiest* way to wear this staple circa 2007. Shout out to TRL!
By 2008, jean skirts were fully versed in fashion's lexicon and elevated by the introduction of the denim suit look, a.k.a. a jean blazer and pencil skirt.