If the Sears Silvertone was the unofficial first guitar for
musicians, then Toughskins is the unofficial first pair of pants
for schoolchildren. Printed and online testimonials abound
from people whose first memory of their childhood is going to
the first day of school outfitted in Toughskins.
Sears touted the new line of Toughskins children's pants as
"The toughest of Sears tough jeans...lab tests prove
it!" Toughskins debuted as a new blend of materials,
including Dacron Type 59 polyester, DuPont 420 nylon, and
The "tri-blend" was a conscious effort on the part
of Sears to develop a brand of jeans that was exclusive to
Sears. In the 1960s, Sears' children's jeans were made of
the same material as that of its competitors. When market
research showed that durability was the most important feature
for parents buying children's jeans, then Sears' engineers
headed into the laboratory to develop a stronger material than
either the 50-50 blend of cotton and polyester or 100-percent
composition of jeans most commonly found in stores at the time.
To demonstrate just how tough the new jeans were, Sears
launched a famous "Tough Jeans Territory" ad campaign
in 1974, in which Sears constructed a trampoline out of the
Toughskin material. Sears was so sure of the new line of
pants that they were sold with a guarantee that children would
grow out of their Toughskin jeans before the jeans wore out.
Toughskin jeans were marketed for both boys and girls,
ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. Sears later
expanded the line of Toughskins jeans to include corduroy jeans,
denim jackets, and men's work clothes.
In the 1990s, a second generation of children wore Toughskins,
which were featured items in the new Kids & More departments
at Sears stores.