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Feeling Distressed



Here’s a handy DIY lesson on designing your own distressed jeans.


Just like baseball and apple pie, denim fashions are an American classic, and so are denim jeans. From Levi’s to Guess, denim has been around for many generations — and everyone loves wearing them. And why not? Denim is fashionable; it can be dressed down or up; and it’s the trendiest apparel in modern time. It’s always in style! But let’s face it: In order to own the latest pair of designer jeans, you may have to sacrifice some serious dinero.

So how can you get that designer style without the designer cost? Consider DIY (do-it-yourself).

Here is an easy step-by-step guide for getting designer distressed denim shorts at a fraction of the cost. It’s easy-breezy, and it’s pretty cool to say, “I designed them myself!”

Materials needed include:
1. One pair of denim jeans
2. A pair of sharp fabric scissors
3. A marker, colored pen or fabric chalk
4. Tweezers
5. Washer and dryer

Start off with a long pair of blue jeans that you’ve decided you won’t wear anymore, or pick up a pair of at the local thrift store.
Looking at yourself in a mirror wearing the jeans, determine the length you would like them to be as shorts. Place a small mark at this point. Take off the jeans.

Using a marker, draw a line on only the front of one pant leg. This line should be an inch below your original length mark to allow for fraying. Remember it’s easy to cut more fabric if necessary, but once you’ve cut the fabric you can’t add it back on.

Lay the denim jeans on a flat, smooth surface with front of jeans facing up. Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut the fabric across your marked line, cutting only one leg. Tip: Angle down slightly from the outside in, so the outer hem is higher than the inner.

Use the finished cut leg as a template to cut the other leg evenly by folding the cut leg over the other, smoothing out, and use the same technique to cut the second leg off.

Check your work by slipping your new denim shorts on to make sure your lines are even and the shorts aren’t too short.
Time to add the distressed look! Select where you’d like to have the distressed points on the shorts, and make a small mark with your colored pen. Make sure your marks are not too close or you could end up with a huge hole! Tip: Don’t overdo. Less is more, and you can always add more distressed once you see your process.

Pinch one area you marked and, using the tip of your scissors, cut a small slit in the center, followed by a short cut to each side to create one long cut across. Repeat this step at each distress mark you made.

At each cut area, use the tweezers or your fingers to pull down any threads to help get the fray finish started.

At the cutline using a set of tweezers, pull out errant strands of thread you see along the entire hemline area. This will add fraying to complete the look.

Toss the shorts in the washer and dryer to complete the fraying process. Tip: Wash several times to get a more distressed finished look.

The final look is a fun, fabulous, stylish pair of denim shorts that didn’t cost a small fortune — and the best part is, you did-it-yourself!


Fashion Stylist: Tracee Dundas | New Orleans Fashion Week

Photo: Zee Amer
Fashion: Kayla St. Blanc
Model: O’rachat
Makeup: Glenn Mosley