Thursday, April 30, 2015

White distressed denim - a DIY experiment

Inspiration photos:

I love this look - white distressed skinny jeans, preferably slightly cropped.  But while I am willing to spend a lot on a good classic pair of jeans (like my Frame skinny jeans), white distressed cropped skinnies do not fall into the category of "classic."  And my two favorite pairs on the market are J brand and Frame, and both sell for about $200.

SO, I decided to buy a pair from Old Navy and distress them myself.  Here are my results, I will say that I am super happy with one leg, and unhappy with the other.  But I learned a lot, and honestly the jeans were so cheap that if I find myself wearing them a lot and wishing I'd done a slightly better job, I might just buy another pair and try again.  :)

I also realized something else super interesting.  I'm pretty sure the threads aren't packed in as densely on the cheaper old navy fabric, so even if I cut just right, I won't be able to get the same look as the j-brand jeans.  Isn't that interesting?  Well, I'm still not willing to pay an extra $180 for that j-brand look, so I will settle for my low-thread-count imitation.  :)


You can see that these jeans are slightly distressed already.  But in my view they are not enough.  The distressing is subtle enough that it's not clear if that's the style, or if I just got a hole in my jeans.

I looked up a few youtube videos on how to distress jeans, and followed the instructions.  It turns out by far the hardest part is getting the cuts to run parallel to the cross-leg threads.  I failed a few times, which led to some awful looking gaping holes, instead of that cool look where the threads cross the holes.  Oops.  So I had to try and "fix" it by distracting from the awful looking gaping holes.  I made myself feel a little better about my "Oops" holes by looking up more designer denim that has gaping holes.  Actually, my Frame inspiration pair does too.  But it still wasn't my original target, so it might take a little getting used to. 

I think it needs a little more distressing at the knees, but I don't want to overdo it my first time.  I already did more than intended with that botch plus the fix.  I'm going to wear these as is once or twice, and then see what I want to do to them.

So, my first DIY distressed jeans - we'll call them a draw, not quite a success and not quite a failure.  I'll post more pics, and people's reactions, when I actually wear them out.  :)


  1. LOL - I keep looking back at this and thinking "Really?! Torn Jeans? What are you thinking??" - of myself. :) We'll see how this goes when I start to actually make outfits with them.

  2. LOL! at least you're fashion-forward! I definitely could not pull that off.