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.
Below: 1. Citizens of Humanity Emerson Jeans 2. Joe’s Jeans Slouched Slim Jean 3. Rag & Bone/JEAN Ripped Skinny Jeans
Below: 4. One Teaspoon Mustang Awesome Baggie Jeans 5. FRAME Le Color Rip Skinny Jeans 6. NSF Beck Jeans
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Tags: boyfriend jeans, buy denim online, buy jeans online, destroyed denim, destroyed jeans, distressed denim, Distressed Jeans, light wash denim, light wash jeans, Punk style, rock 'n' roll style, shredded denim, skinny jeans
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
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
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
It-model Cara Delevinge was recently spotted wearing Current/Elliott The Stiletto Jeans in Shredded. As much as we loved seeing her all over the runways for the Fall 2014 season (especially at Chanel), we definitely love this model off duty, laid back look. She paired the jeans with a varsity jacket layered under a leather jacket, and a cranberry knit tank. To Current/Elliot’s credit, in order for destroyed denim to look legit, it has to appear sporadic and authentic. We think the brand accomplished this with these jeans.
Grab a pair of Current/Elliott The Stiletto Jeans in Shredded, and make this look your own!
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: Cara Delevinge, Cara Delevinge Chanel, celebrity denim, celebrity style, current/elliott jeans, Current/Elliott The Stiletto Jeans in Shredded, destroyed denim, model off duty, model style, shredded denim
The aura of summer is glowing in this series of photos by photographer Antony Nobilo. His lovely subject, Elyse Taylor, wears outfits that almost completely incorporate some strong element of warm weather denim in contrasts to lacy tops and lots of bare skin. This is the work of stylist Sally Dixon, and we’re loving every minute. Row-boating, snaping photos, and prancing through tall grass in nothing but a jean jacket and undies, the carefree spirit and dream-like haze around Elyse shows just how whimsical denim can be. Check out more of Nobilo’s dreamy, sultry work at his photography site.
See the full editorial here.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: antony nobilo, denim shorts, Elyse Taylor, lace and denim, sally dixon, shredded denim, summer 2011
Ha! Here in L.A., I’ve already seen girls wearing the denim cut-offs over the black stockings; albeit, the girl (pictured below) has the legs to make it work very well for her. Wasn’t this a 2007 trend? Funny how some things keep coming back, whether we like it or not. I’m not sure I would wear this look, but never say never!
It was picture-perfect weather in NYC this weekend as just about the entire local community found new excuses to be outside. And why not? With steady bitter downpours and a perma-gray sky, the weekend’s cotton candy clouds were almost a shock to the system. We’d say New Yorkers are handling the change pretty well, though. Cropped pants, mini-skirts, and ripped denim strolled, picnic’d, and cycled through every park or patch of grass the city has to offer. So, even if you notice more outfits than flowers blooming, it’s still a sign spring has definitely arrived.
– Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: shredded denim