Bermudas and Jeans are wardrobe essentials—every man and woman should at least own a pair.
But have you ever wondered why bermudas are called bermudas or jeans are called jeans?
I am sure you would have thought about the origins of both their monikers when you’re trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans/berms that is one size too small.
Well, let’s have a quick sartorial history lesson then.
History of bermudas
It makes sense to believe that bermudas originated from Bermuda or by Bermudians but that is not the case.
It is actually the British who invented the bermudas, but it happened organically as opposed to a well-thought-out design plan.
The British set up their North American HQ in Bermuda, during World War 1 and you know how the UK is always cold and gloomy—their summer is our winter—so they really struggled to adapt to the tropical climate.
There was a tea shop owned by, a Bermudian, Nathaniel Coxon which was frequented by Naval officers.
The employees of the tea shop couldn’t tahan the heat and the steaming teapots weren’t helping either.
The owner noticed how uncomfortable they were, so he decided to cut their khaki pants just above the knee which provided them relief.
When Rear Admiral Mason Berridge noticed this stylish creation, he decided to adopt it as part of the military attire, especially for officers serving in tropical climates.
He, then, coined the term, “bermuda shorts”.
History of jeans
Now, what about jeans? You’d be shocked to hear that it didn’t originate from the US, and nor was it invented by cowboys.
Denim (the material typically used in jeans) actually originated from France in the 19th century in a town called Nimes.
In French, the word “serge” describes a woollen cloth that is used to make trousers and since it was made in Nimes, it was called “serge de Nimes” and when translated in English, it is called “serge from Nimes”.
It eventually got shortened to “denim”.
“Serge” was often purchased Sailors from Genoa, Italy as they would head to Nimes just to get a pair of trousers.
Due to the overwhelming popularity, they inspired the moniker for the trousers—it was called “Genes” which is the French word for Genoa—and that’s how jeans got its name.
So now you know!
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