No lie, we love clean cut skinny jeans and crisp, tailored raw denim… but when it comes to summer living in NYC, we’re always down for a little extra AC in the jeans department. Distressed denim adds edge to any look, whether in light wash boyfriend style or in a punk-inspired black skinny cut. Here are some our favorite pairs of distressed jeans this summer.
So you’ve got a gorgeous new pair of cut-off shorts (or maybe you hacked them off yourself, or used our expert denim cut-off service) but they’re just not quite distressed enough for you? There are several easy ways you can make your brand new shorts look extremely well-worn, from physical abuse to bleach and beyond. Check out a few of our favorites below.
1. Sandpaper, scissors & razors. Tools like scissors, X-Acto knives, sandpaper, cheese graters, and other potentially abrasive objects are amazing tools for making your jeans look vintage. When using these items, be sure to slip a piece of cardboard or a protective layer inside the pocket and the actual jean, so you are only distressing one surface as a time.
Distress where it’s natural! You’ll see natural wear and tear in places like pocket tops, hems, and anywhere whiskers form (usually around the crotch and the top of the thigh). We recommend starting out by cutting some light slashes, and then sanding and tearing at the fibers surrounding the cut/hem/etc.
How far you go with this is entirely up to you.
2. Bleach & dye.
Another great way to achieve a vintage look is to include a few inconspicuous splatters of bleach, or use a desaturated dye in colors like peach, brown, or even pale yellow. You can check out our bleaching tutorial here. Fabric dye instructions range from product to product, but you’ll get better results if the fibers are 100% cotton.
3. Let the elements do the work.
This is probably one of our favorites. It takes time and patience, and also willingness to accept whatever random things may happen to your jeans. Tie them to your fire escape, pin them to your roof, hang them out your window, or find some other place where they can be stationary in the elements of nature. Running water, summer storms, intense wind, and even wild animals will all contribute to the worn in look of your denim.
+ Distress jeans that are 100% cotton sans-stretch fibers, or else you risk some major shape change after you’ve made your scissor holes & razor marks.
+ Get creative! Cut a slash in the thigh of your shorts and pull the pocket through, or cut out a design in the back pocket and reinforce with stitching. The possibilities are endless.
+ Safety first! Always use the proper precautions when using power tools, chemical dyes, etc. Read the warnings on all packages and wear goggles/gloves if necessary.
Don’t forget, if you need help making your favorite jeans into perfect cut-offs, you can use our expert denim cut-off service.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: cut off shorts, denim cut off shorts, Denim Repair, denim shorts, Denim Therapy, destroyed denim, distress denim, distressing denim with sandpaper, how to distress denim, shredded denim, summer denim trends
When it comes to summer denim essentials, we immediately think of our favorite cut-off shorts. But even we have to admit, as tempting as it is to wear those babies daily, it’s better to mix up your style and throw some variation into the mix. One stop at Nasty Gal proved us right. There are endless ways to stay cool and look hot in denim this summer, and we took the liberty of picking a few out for ya.
1. Cactus Life Denim Vest 2. Courtshop Drew Overall Shorts
3. Lazy Oaf Watermelon Denim Shorts 4. MinkPink Instinct Blues Skirt
5. Maurie and Eve Oh Boy! Jean in White 6. Jeffrey Campbell Oahu Platform
Which denim essentials are you going after this summer?
Tags: boyfriend jeans, buy denim online, cut off shorts, denim essentials, Denim Overalls, denim shoes, denim shorts, denim skirt, destroyed denim, printed denim, summer denim, white denim, white jeans
Shredded denim is already awesome, but what if the denim was also as colorful as your favorite tie-dye tank top? If that turns you on, you’re in luck. It seems like, in addition to rainbow dip-dyed denim, dying destroyed denim fibers near the area of destruction is becoming a trend. We recommend going neutral with the top you pair this with: think black, white, or pastels. But hey, who says you can’t go totally nuts one night and pair these with a neon yellow bikini top?
Image above via Ragged Priest, 2012 Lookbook
Shop some of our favorite dip-dye denim pieces below.
Below, left to right: UNIF Hangover Cutoff Shorts & Wildfox Lara Mid Rise Cutoff Shorts
Below, left to right: Reverse Rainbow Dream Cutoff Shorts & Wildfox Marianne Mid Rise Skinny Jeans
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: cut off shorts, destroyed denim, dip dye denim, pastel denim, shredded denim, tie dye denim
If you’re not already aching to jet off on a summer getaway, Siwy Denim’s newest lookbook will definitely ignite that desire. The spring 2014 shoot has an aviation theme, with models sporting Siwy styles inside, outside, and all over airplanes. The aviation theme is perfect, because the collection lends itself so well to packing for travel. Great denim basics, like acid wash ankle length skinnies, pair with statement pieces, like a sheer ombre top that would be killer for an international night out.
See the full lookbook below:
Shop Siwy’s newest styles for spring.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: acid wash jeans, denim lookbook, denim trends, destroyed denim, flare leg jeans, sexy jeans, Siwy Denim, Siwy Jeans, Spring Denim, summer denim, what to pack
We’re loving destroyed denim this year, and it seems our options are more broad than ever. No longer are only cut-off shorts and boyfriend jeans getting the scissor and razor treatment before they land in stores, but now denim skirts, vests, and other styles are seeing some deliberate on-trend damage too. Shop some of our favorite styles of destroyed denim below.
Image via Jak & Jil Blog
1. Paige Reagan distressed stretch-denim vest 2. Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne distressed mid-rise skinny jeans 3. Ksubi Alberceque distressed denim shorts
4. Moto Bleach Super Rip Hayden Jeans 5. MinkPink Slasher Flick Cutoff Short 6. Current/Elliott The Stiletto distressed stretch-denim pencil skirt
Tags: boyfriend jeans, buy jeans online, cut off shorts, denim shorts, denim skirt, denim vest, destroyed denim, destroyed jeans, punk rock jeans, ripped denim, ripped jeans, shredded denim, slashed jeans, white jeans
Vogue, pioneer of fashion trends and fresh perspectives, has a great denim feature on their web edition that shows some new, fresh ways to pair denim this spring. Forget about your classic combos, and get ready for painted treatments, layering, pencil skirts and new silhouettes. A quick browse through this shoot and you’ll be rethinking your own ensembles, guaranteed. Shredded and patchwork? It’s in. Extreme wide leg? You bet. The days of boring jeans are over. But don’t take our word for it! See for yourself.
Tags: Chambray Shirt, denim shirt, denim workshirt, destroyed denim, how to wear denim, how to wear jeans, Spring Denim, spring denim trends, vogue magazine, wide leg jeans