Parents didn’t buy their children Toughskins in the 70s because they were fashionable. Rather, these infamous Sears pants were constructed from the closest thing to Kryptonite the fashion world had ever created, a fabric that could take some serious kid punishment and live to tell the tale. Sears guaranteed it.

Toughskins first hit store shelves in 1971 and were offered in a plethora of “interesting” colors (raise your hand if you owned a magenta pair!). Market research had shown that when it came to children’s clothing, durability was on the top of parent’s list.

So Sears developed a fabric comprised of Dacron Type 59 polyester, DuPont 420 nylon, and cotton. They touted it as “The toughest of Sears tough jeans…lab tests prove it!”


Parents ate it up and soon millions of kids were wearing some seriously thick, odd-colored pants with a big ugly leather patch on the back.

And when we were youngsters that was fine. Nobody paid attention to anything but having fun. But once we started to develop any sort of fashion sense, Toughskins were the first thing we wanted thrown away, or mercilessly handed down to a younger sibling.

After all, they were virtually indestructible. Might as well let your little brother get some more use out of them.

If you were the proud owner of a couple of pairs of Sears Toughskins as a kid, I hope you’ll share your recollections of these unforgettable pants with everyone in our comments section.

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7 Responses

  1. Lu says:

    Sadly, I was in the generation before that, and my Sears jeans were branded “Roebucks”. They didn’t fit or look like Levi jeans, nor did they satisfy the ego of a tween in the 60’s.

    • 70sKid says:

      I suspect that there are millions of former Toughskins owners who can sympathize, despite the subtle differences. 🙂
      Thanks for the comment, Lu!

  2. crazylady says:

    These jeans were so thick they practically stood up on their own.

  3. Gray Siegel says:

    …and do you remember ordering these from the Sears catalog? You’d get a postcard in the mail letting you know that they arrived at the Sears store and were ready for pickup. Then when you got to the store, you’d look in the cubby for your order package.

  4. Mike says:

    My pig of of a money grubbing mother made my brother and I wear these indestructible poverty pants, even though my father was Shelli g out $600 a month (in 1977!) For child support. I didn’t want Ralph Lauren, I just wanted what my friends were wearing. If there is a hell, my cunt of a mothernis heading there.

  5. Jason says:

    And their wonderfully colored patches on the knees, knee protectors. Lol

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