The 1939 movie The Women featured an older woman in jeans, the much married and often divorced Countess de Lave. She was played by the actress Mary Boland, who was then in her late fifties. Part of the film was set at a ranch outside Reno where the major characters in the film had gone to await their divorces. Their clothing changed from elegant dresses to Western wear. According to James Sullivan’s interesting book Jeans: The Cultural History of an American Icon, this was meant to illustrate the then-popular dude ranch style.
The older and rounder Countess chose the most extreme version of this look in her close fitting jeans, studded forearm bands, and pearls. Was this meant to serve as a warning for older viewers? Don’t try this at home? Or did the Countess inspire some in the audience to put together their own fanciful dude ranch look?