DIY Distressed Skinny Jeans

The holiday season and assignment marking has meant the blog has been neglected yet again, but to sign off for the year I wanted share one last DIYfor 2016.

The last couple of weeks has seen me trawling my usual haunts for second hand ripped or distressed jeans, only to be disappointed because A) the jeans had knee rips that actually weren’t on my knees (they would be above or below the knee); B) I didn’t like the wash; C) if online, I wasn’t sure if they’d fit (I’m a 26, 27 or 28 depending on the label). I ended up on Shopbop hovering my mouse cursor on “Add to Cart” for these Blank Denim jeans – the perfect colour, nice knee rips, reasonable price.

However, before I went ahead with the purchase, I thought about doing it myself. I had a pair of IRO jeans sitting in my closet (bought on eBay brand new with tags for $35 plus postage, originally retailed for $349) and hadn’t worn them all that much, so thought they were the perfect candidate to try some distressing.

Of course, I had already started the distressing process before I remembered to take photos, so here’s a stock photo from FWRD of the original jeans:

Materials used:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • Cardboard to fit in leg of jean
  • Scissors OR stanley knife OR Xacto knife

How I did it:

1. Mark wear you’d like the distressing or rips to be by putting the jeans on and making a chalk mark (or pen mark, the mark will disappear after the distressing).

2. Slip the cardboard through the leg and under the area you’re distressing so you don’t affect the other side of the jean leg.

3. Take your chosen tool and start “shaving” the denim. Basically you’re shaving the blue denim so that the white threads are revealed.

Here’s one leg with the distressing begun compared to the non-distressed leg.

4. Keep going until the distressing is how you like it. Make it as random as you can to make the distressing look organic. Don’t get too excited though as the white threads can be delicate and will break with wear and washing (see further on in the post).

Now as for how much you should distress… as I mentioned in #4 above, it’s best to start off conservative and then distress further slowly. I got too caught up in wanting to have quite obvious distressing that I think I went too far and too big and when I wore them to check them out some of the white threads snapped. I didn’t like how the threads hung off the sides of the distressing so I cut them off, leaving a gap which I actually don’t mind but hadn’t intended when I started the process.

How I wore them:

I received this Zoe Karssen striped shirt for Christmas and loved it so much I had to wear it straight away. I’d already worn it once before (see my Instagram for the outfit) and had it at the ready to be worn again. The shoes are from Freelance (similar pair here).

The best thing about the project is that I just saved myself $120 odd dollars in the process. Now, what to do with those savings… ?

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