The leather jacketStill so suggestive of wild child antics in 1973, the leather jacket was deemed too racy by ABC execs for the first 13 episodes of Happy Days, though after hard lobbying by Henry Winkler aka Arthur Fonzarelli, they finally allowed the Fonz to wear one, though only when shown with his motorcycle. That exact leather jacket is now the only of its kind on display at the Smithsonian.
The teeNamed for its T-shaped outline, the original cotton T-shirt first appeared as a staple when the U.S. Navy declared it regulation underwear for all marines in 1913. It wasn’t until 1951 when Marlon Brando sported a white cotton crewneck as a symbol of his raw, stripped-down vulnerability in A Streetcar Named Desire that t-shirts entered the mainstream as fashion, and appeared on the likes of James Dean, spawning Brando to accuse Dean of “wearing my last year’s wardrobe and using my last year’s talents.”
The JeanThough denim as workwear dates back to the Gold Rush era when miners sported dungarees for their rugged durability, it wasn’t that long ago that jeans made the leap to becoming a fashion essential. “Designer” denim first appeared in the pages of Vogue in 1978, the same year The Washington Post declared the "Year of the Status Jeans" a hallmark turning point when jeans evolved from anti-establishment apparel for hippies, teens and rebels to the style calling card of Americans everywhere, from presidents to Brooke Shields
and everybody in between.