Rugged cowboys, Elvis Presley's 1950's turn-ups, the ever timeless Levi's 501's- blue denim jeans are more than just a mainstay of men's fashion over the last century, they're an iconic style item. Indeed, polls show that nowadays guys are far more likely to have a pair of jeans in their wardrobe than a suit!

Yet, while they may be the staple of any man's closet, this doesn't mean that jeans don't vary greatly in terms of style and fit. Denim has changed a lot since the first Levi's two-horse brand worn by cowboys in the USA.

As with anything in fashion, popular culture has played a big part in the path that jeans have taken over the last century. We look back at the history of the world's most-loved clothing item to see how music and cinema have taken denim beyond the classic John Wayne style.

Jeans first made central stage during the 1950's with the birth of the modern day movie stars. Heartthrobs such as Marlon Brando and James Dean captured the hearts and minds of a million rebellious teenagers around the world as young fashion took on a mind of its own. From there, the Rock n Roll era saw denim worn around the world.

The hippy revolution of the 1960's and 70's marked how the times were a 'changing with the reinvention of old styles as people began to personalize their jeans with flowers, embroidery and other decoration. For both men and women, the biggest change to the classic fit came with the invention of the bellbottom flare- tight at the top of the leg and wide at the bottom!

In the 1980's designer jeans became big business with top fashionistas putting out their own unique takes on denim for the first time at high-fashion prices. The 80's have recently made a big comeback, with skinny and high-waisted jeans all the rage, but thankfully some of the less flattering styles have been kept firmly in the closet!

After the catwalk cult of the 1980's, the 1990's saw perhaps the first 'rebellion' against jeans themselves as kids went against their denim-wearing parents in search of different styles. Sportswear, combats and khakis became very popular with young people who didn't want to been seen dead in their parents clothes!

Denim hasn't had its day yet though, and the last generation has seen more new styles than ever to choose from as inspired by popular culture, designers continually think of new and inventive ways to 'pimp' the classic cut. The latest trend is celebrities turning fashion designer themselves and bringing out their own jean collections, meaning that the average person can now feel that little bit like a star if they are willing to pay the right price!