Girls' jeans looks from the 1950s were casual, stay-at-home wear in the earlier part of the decade -- meant for working around the house and outside while doing chores. It was not until the mid-50s that jeans started making more of a fashion statement and wearing jeans became popular from a social and fashion point of view.
Rebels in Jeans
In the mid-1950s, jeans symbolized youth and rebellion. Elvis Presley wore dark denim jeans in his movie "Jail House Rock" and James Dean wore his jeans folded twice at the ankles in the 1955 film "Rebel Without a Cause." For girls in the mid-1950s, jeans were a dark blue denim worn with bobby socks while the cuffs on jeans were rolled up -- just like James Dean's.
Take a Spin
In the 1950s, the "Mickey Mouse Club" was a popular television show that had a miniseries within the show called "Spin and Marty." Spin and Marty hung out at a dude ranch and girls visiting the dude ranch wore dark blue jeans with very little flair around the ankles. While jeans worn by girls on the fictional 1950s dude ranch were not rolled up at the ankle, shirts were always tucked into the top of the waist of the jeans.
High-waisted jeans worn in the 1950s showed off shapely figures with their hidden side-zippers and flat fronts. Some high-waisted jeans were capri-length, while those that were ankle-length were usually rolled up to form a cuffed hem.
Levi Strauss and Lee Jeans
Levi's and Lee brand jeans were popular back in the 1950s. It was not until the 1960s that jeans were made "preshrunk," which means that girls who purchased jeans in the 1950s bought jeans that were very dark blue from the denim dye and were stiff as a board. Multiple washings were required to soften the jeans, which could last for many years, if not decades. In the 1956 movie "Giant," James Dean wore a pair of worn and unevenly faded 101Z Lee jeans. Levi Strauss jeans were made with a button fly until 1954, when the popular 501 style was made with a zipper -- thus the 501Z was created. Levi Strauss officially stopped referring to its denim pants as "overalls" when they changed their advertising copy to call them "jeans" in 1960.