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This article is about the clothing line. For the band known as "The JAMs", see The KLF. For the mathematical journal, see Journal of the American Mathematical Society. For other uses, see jam (disambiguation).

Jams is a line of clothing produced by Jams World. Jams shorts, a popular clothing item in the 1960s and 1980s, were closely associated with the surf scenes in California and Hawaii.[citation needed]


Company founder Dave Rochlen was a surfer, originally in Santa Monica, California, then in Hawaii. Inspired by his own desire to find more comfortable surfing attire, combined with a Life Magazine article showing Russians looking comfortable attending the beach in bathrobes, Rochlen bought some brightly colored floral fabric and asked his wife Keanuenue to make a short, baggy pajama with a sewn-up fly and cut-off at the knee. With this vision, they created the first pair of Jams on December 25, 1964.

Rochlen quit his job as a systems analyst and started his new company Surf Line Hawaii, Ltd. to make and sell his new creation. Soon after his first commercial pairs of Jams hit the Makaha Beach in Hawaii, Life magazine ran a two-page spread on Rochlen and a group of his surfing buddies in the June 1965 issue. After the article, the Jams line was sold in places like Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Lord & Taylor.

The Jams look was baggy and bohemian, with wild prints and clashing pinks and greens. It was a clear departure from the more subtle color combinations and detailing of existing boardshorts.

The name "Jams"[edit]

Dave Rochlen explained the name as "I thought of it. It's part of the word 'pajamas,' of course, and it was what I wanted – short, quick, jargon, hip, young, one-syllable."

External links[edit]