Despite being de rigueur, ripped jeans have been a recurring fad since the 80's. They're highly versatile as seen on the sidewalk and the catwalk, lending an edginess to everything from stilettos to sneakers. When it comes to fashion my rule of thumb is that "customization is key", besides buying a ready-made ripped pair can be pretty pricey, therefore it's a no brainer as to the appeal of creating a DIY pair of ripped jeans.
1. Select your jeans.
There are many options of jeans style and colors to pick from. It is preferable to opt for a snug well-worn pair in lieu of a brand new one in order to achieve that authentic, vintage distressed effect. A light to medium wash over a dark wash is preferable to attain that realistic look. Therefore dust off your old denims or get thrifty at the flea markets.
Tip: To achieve an extra worn look, wash your jeans a few times in hot water & a little bleach.
2. Tools needed.
To get ripping, aside from a pair of jeans, all that's needed is a sharp cutting implement, a pumice stone or sandpaper , a piece of cardboard, a pen or pencil & ruler. The desired style dictates the type of cutting implement required:
> For a holey effect, scissors, a razor , or a boxcutter will suffice.
> For a frayed effect, sandpaper, a pumice stone works wonders.
3. Rip size & placement
Decide on how many rips and where to place them. Put on your jeans and mark out the rip size & position using a pen or pencil and ruler.
>For a casual look, the sky's the limit with regards to the number of rips.
>For a cleaner, sleeker look, rips at the knees are best.
Tip: If you're short, rip just above the knee to create the illusion of a longer leg.
Lay the jeans flat out and insert a cardboard inside the pant legs to prevent ripping through the back leg, unless intended. Using a pumice stone or sandpaper, begin rubbing the marked rip areas until the denim starts to look really thin and worn out. The time taken to achieve this depends on the thickness of the jeans.
5. Get holey
After sufficiently distressing your jeans, begin horizontally see-sawing back & forth the intended rip area, using the edge not tip of a pair of scissors or serrated knife.
If you don’t want holes all the way through, scrape enough that you start to see the white horizontal threads beneath the denim’s surface. Then using a tweezer, start picking at the threads.
Try on your jeans and assess your handiwork.