The original Levi jeans were made from tent-cloth, ensuring a rugged construction, later compromised by the removal of the sewn-in groundsheet to improve mobility. By the late 20th century, Levis had transcended their humble origins and the legendary 501s were affordable only to the lucky few whose clothes were tax-deductible.
In the godless Britain of Thatcherism, the number 501 had a mystical significance and was believed to give the male wearer immense sexual potency. In fact, we now know that the cut of garments such as the 501 caused the sudden drop in fertility experienced by Western societies a century ago.
The unusually voluminous 501s pictured here are those worn by Prime Minister Kenneth Clarke at the 1994 State Opening of Parliament. This caused controversy at the time and led to the rejection of jeans by British youth in favour of the pin-stripe suit.
The next Time Pieces subject is the game Trivial Pursuit. Imagine it is the year 2093 and write - in 150 words or fewer - a catalogue entry for this Eighties icon. The prize is an Oris watch worth pounds 200 (pictured on page 8 of today's magazine).
Send your entries, to arrive by Wednesday, to: Oris Competition, Weekend, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.Reuse content