Saturday, 22 November 2014

DIY: Distressed Jeans

The summer of 2014 saw the re-installment of 90's grunge on the high street, including over-sized check shirts, logo tees, and most importantly, ripped jeans. From just a simple rip on the knee, to Topshop's Jamie jeans with rips all the way up the leg, the high street is full of ripped jeans at the mo. In fact, it's almost impossible to find a pair of jeans that aren't ripped! As much as I love the trend, I find it extremely difficult to justify spending £40+ on something 83% material and 17% leg that I could easily do myself at home. And that's why I'm writing this post.

To stay on trend, you don't need hundreds of £££, all you need is a lil' time n' creativity! For the first step, try finding an old pair of jeans you don't wear anymore. I'd recommend baggier jeans if possible, the bigger the better! If you don't want to risk ruining a perfectly decent pair of jeans, then I'd also recommend trying to find a pair in your local charity shop, with prices ranging from £3-£10. Once you've got the perfect pair, you're ready to start. For this post I used New Look and Topshop 'Mom' jeans that I got in the Boxing Day sales.

Step 1:Start by marking where your knee would normally be when you are wearing the jeans, and create an incision just above it. For the purpose of this post, I used scissors.

Step 2: To create a more natural rip, grab either side of the material and rip across. Because it's denim, the rip should go horizontally rather than vertically. NB: you can stop here, depending on the size you would like your rips to be.
Step 3: You can stop at Step 2 if you wish to have a smaller rip, but, if like me, you want bigger rips, create a downward incision, similar to the one created in Step 1.

Step 4: Rip manually downwards, similar to the ripping done in Step 1. You can either leave the rip like this, which I've done for my left knee, or continue to rip all the way around by repeating steps 2 and 3. 

Step 5: To create a more natural looking rip, I spread the material open and repeatedly moved the scissors in up and downwards motion. 

Step 6: I then ripped manually again, and as a result, a more natural and fringed rip exists.

Step 7: This is optional as well, but I chose to rip the pocket off as I love the look. Begin by creating a small incision in the corner. 

Step 8: Manually rip as done in Step 1.

Step 9: Repeat step 7 and 8 until the pocket is fully off. Keep the material if you'd like to continue to Step 10.

Step 10: I'd only recommend this if you're handy with a sewing machine or know anyone who is. However, that being said, patchwork is my favourite feature of distressed jeans. Adding the jean's own material back onto it is the perfect way to rework denim.

And voila! There's your perfect pair of ripped jeans. Don't worry if some of the rips didn't go exactly your way, you can always work back into them. Plus, I personally think messy rips look the most authentic!

Here's some shots I took earlier of my Topshop Mom jeans:

Top: Amazon, Jeans: Topshop (similar here), Boots: Topshop, Turban: Depop (similar here)

Thanks for reading, and happy ripping!

- D
Now listening to - JAWS - Surround You


  1. I couldn't agree more! I refuse to pay 40 quid for jeans I can rip myself. Thanks for sharing this tutorial!
    Love your hair in the photos!
    Rasya /

  2. Love these! I'm usually a fan of the less distressed jeans (like these ones but I'd definitely love to rock these if I had the legs to pull them off :)

  3. I love this.. I love a good pair of distressed jeans & these turned out fantastic.


All comments and shares are highly appreciated! Ta x