Iconic Just Tuff Jeans - An American Denim Legacy Spanning Over 70 Years

Iconic Just Tuff Jeans - An American Denim Legacy Spanning Over 70 Years
Table Of Content

The History and Rise of Just Tuff Jeans

Jeans have long been a staple of classic American fashion. From cowboys and ranchers to 1950s greasers and modern day musicians, jeans hold an iconic status in popular culture. Among the countless denim brands that have come and gone, Just Tuff Jeans stands out as a legacy company with an illustrious history stretching back over 70 years.

Founded in 1948 by Polish immigrant Morris Markowitz, Just Tuff Jeans was launched out of New York City. Markowitz got his start in the garment business in the 1920s as a pattern maker, eventually opening up his own children's clothing manufacturing company. However, when World War II broke out he switched to making dungarees and military uniforms.

After the war, Markowitz recognized the increasing popularity of jeans among the youth. Inspired by Levi Strauss & Co., he set out to launch his own jeans brand that could compete with the California company on the East Coast. With $600 in startup capital, Markowitz rented a small factory space in Brooklyn and launched Just Tuff Jeans. The name was chosen to highlight the durability of the denim used in the jeans.

Early Success Through Quality and Innovation

What set Just Tuff Jeans apart in those early years was Markowitz's dedication to quality. At a time when most jeans were made from unsanforized denim that would shrink dramatically after washing, Markowitz used pre-shrunk denim. This ensured his jeans maintained their fit even after cleaning. Markowitz also employed bar tacking and rivets to make his jeans more durable than the competition.

In the 1950s, Just Tuff Jeans exploded in popularity among greasers and rebellion minded youth who loved the jeans for their rugged style. The company capitalized on this trend by perfecting their methods to create the most stylish and durable jeans on the market. They introduced innovative touches like back pocket stitching modeled off western wear and linen thread for extra strength.

By the 1960s Just Tuff Jeans were available nationwide in department stores and boutiques. Their jeans were considered a status symbol, even as new brands entered the market. Their combination of trendy styling and durability made them a go-to brand for generations.

Ups and Downs Through the Decades

As fashion trends shifted in the 1970s and 80s, Just Tuff Jeans experienced waning interest in their core products. The rise of mass-produced discount jeans forced the company to lower prices, squeezing profits. In 1985, 30 years after founding Just Tuff Jeans, Morris Markowitz passed away.

Markowitz's grandson Barry Cohen took over the business. Despite struggling sales, Cohen was determined to see the brand succeed. In the early 90s, Cohen capitalized on the vintage clothing revival among hip youth by reissuing archive models. The move was a success, and Just Tuff jeans were soon appearing in fashion magazines again.

Cohen ran the company for over 30 years until his retirement in 2017. In a bid to revive the brand, Just Tuff Jeans was sold that year to an investment group. The new owners brought modern upgrades like online sales while remaining faithful to the brand's identity and American manufacturing roots. The improved ecommerce operation allowed Just Tuff Jeans to reach new demographics nationally and worldwide.

Why Just Tuff Jeans Remain Popular Today

Even after over 70 years, Just Tuff Jeans remains popular due to the unwavering quality and style the brand represents. While trends come and go, Just Tuff Jeans are made with timeless construction methods and cuts that look great decade after decade. Made from selvedge denim woven on vintage looms, the jeans fade beautifully forming a natural patina that looks and feels vintage.

Beyond manufacturing quality, Just Tuff Jeans are coveted for their rebellious yet classically cool aura. Countless musicians, actors, and subcultures have embraced the jeans over the decades. Today you can still find the iconic leather patch logo on vintage pairs sold by the most exclusive denim purveyors and collectible shops.

For those wanting that broken-in look and feel immediately, many of the brand's modern cuts incorporate subtle distressing and fading right out of the box. Nonetheless, Just Tuff Jeans are built to last, with many of their core models ready to evolve naturally alongside the wearer.

Buying Your First Pair of Just Tuff Jeans

If you're new to Just Tuff Jeans, the extensive selection of fits and finishes can seem daunting. Here is a quick guide to find your perfect first pair:

Choose Your Fit

Just Tuff Jeans offers an array of fits ranging from classic straight leg to slim and relaxed tapers. Consider your body type and style preferences. Slimmer legs are trendy now, but classic straight cuts have a timeless cool. Be sure to check the sizing charts and reviews before ordering.

Select Your Wash

From dark indigo to vintage washes, Just Tuff offers the full denim spectrum. Dark raw indigo is versatile and will fade naturally over time. Pre-washed styles have a softer feel and built-in fading that skip the break-in period.

Add the Finishing Touches

Personalize your Just Tuffs with contrast stitching or unique back pocket designs. Distressed detailing like knee blowouts and whiskering give the jeans a road-worn look straight out of the box. Leather logo patches and custom hardware like buttons and rivets let you put your own stamp on a pair.

Shop Smart Online

Shopping online makes finding your perfect size and style easy. Browse an expansive selection of fits, finishes, and sizes all in one place. Read sizing guidance and reviews carefully before purchase. Reputable retailers also accept free returns to ensure you find the perfect fit.

Once you slip on your first pair of Just Tuffs, you'll understand why generations have remained loyal to this iconic American denim brand. With timeless styles crafted to vintage specifications, Just Tuff Jeans represent both fashion and function.


Where are Just Tuff Jeans made?

Just Tuff Jeans are made in the USA in factories in Los Angeles using locally sourced materials. Keeping manufacturing in the US allows for tighter quality control.

What makes Just Tuff Jeans special?

Just Tuff uses old-fashioned construction methods like chainstitching and heavyweight selvedge denim for durability. Each pair is built to last and fade beautifully over time.

How should I wash Just Tuff Jeans?

Turn them inside out and wash in cold water to preserve the color and shape. Avoid overwashing, as the denim fades best when washed infrequently.

What is sizing like for Just Tuff Jeans?

Consult the size chart carefully, as denim tends to have less stretch. Size up for a looser vintage fit or true to size for a slimmer modern cut.

Can I return Just Tuff Jeans if I don't like the fit?

Most retailers accept free returns within a certain window, just be sure to try them on promptly. Washes and distressing are applied individually so each pair varies slightly.

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