When it comes to wearing ripped jeans, finding the right pair is like a fine art. If done to perfection, ripped jeans look fashion-forward and cool - and guaranteed no one will be asking, "Did you buy those with those holes?"
Ripped jeans are in no way a new trend, with the style having fallen in and out of the fashion realm since the 1980s. It seems lately, though, they're more popular than ever. Between street style stars pulling off the perfectly distressed look, to celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin wearing torn denim non-stop - ripped jeans are practically everywhere you turn.
The problem with purchasing already-distressed denim is that you don't have much control over the rips themselves. When it comes to ripped jeans, placement, size and scope of tears are everything. So instead of searching for years for that pair that's *just* right, we suggest a little DIY.
We employed the help of Neuw Denim designer Maddie Sinco, who gave her top tip for creating that perfect distressed look. "First tip for creating the perfect rip is to cut a small straight hole across the leg where you want the rip and then carefully tear it open until it is the right size. To make it look authentic and beautifully distressed and worn-in, use an old sheet of sandpaper and get to work across where you've made the incision. The sandpaper trick is super useful for creating subtle destruction across the hem, pockets or down the leg."
Below, five simple steps to creating the perfect pair of ripped jeans.
Choose The Right Denim
Unsurprisingly, the first step to creating the perfect pair of ripped jeans is finding the right pair of jeans for you. Tight and skinny, or boyfriend style? Black, white, or blue? High-waisted or mid-rise? It's best to go with a pair that you know you'll want to pop on when you're looking for that just-got-out-of-bed chic. Also, we recommend starting on the lower end of the price spectrum - you don't want to destroy that pair of $400 just yet. If you want your jeans to look extra-worn, wash them a few times in hot water and a little bleach before you get started. If not, read on!
Get The Right Supplies
To really make jeans look authentically ripped, it pays to distress them a bit before you start cutting the holes. To do this, you’ll want to grab some sandpaper or a paint-removing block, steel wool, and a pumice stone. For the holes, use a pair of super-sharp small scissors, an X-Acto knife, or a box cutter. Top tip: Place a piece of cardboard or small wooden block inside the pant legs so you don't alter the back of the jeans - unless of course, that's the look you're going for.
Make Your Marks While Wearing The Jeans
Use a pen, chalk or safety pin to mark exactly where you plan to make the rips and or distressed areas. You might want to grab a ruler, too. It's also best to do this while you're standing, rather than sitting.
Lay your jeans flat (and don't forget that piece of cardboard!) and start rubbing your marked areas with your sandpaper, steel wool and the pumice stone until the denim starts to thin out and look worn. The time this step takes depends on the thickness of your jeans, and there's no need to rush.
Start Making Your Holes
After your jeans are starting to look distressed, take your scissors or knife and use the edge to start horizontally scraping the area where you want your rips to be. If you don't want holes all the way through, scrap enough that you start to see the white horizontal threads beneath the denim's surface. Once you’re there, you can start using a tweezer to fray the threads. If skin is what you’re after, start cutting the distressed areas with your knife or scissors.
It's best to take this step-by-step to make sure you don't over do it!