“Chique” tip: Distressing Denim

There is nothing better than a worn in pair of ripped up Levi’s, but sometimes they are hard to come by, naturally. The alternative is to buy them that way, or better yet, beat them up yourself and save some cash!

I still remember, like it was yesterday, not wanting to move into the dorm in Ann Arbor without a pair of top-siders. It just seemed like the perfect collegiate accessory. Except, I wasn’t very preppy and as you can probably guess, not a conformist, but sometimes peer pressure gets the best of even me.

My parents were nice enough to buy me a pair of Sperry’s, but I couldn’t take them looking so brand spanking new. That’s when I got clever. I distressed them myself. A few dunks in Quatron Lake and a little mud just wasn’t doing the trick, so I decided to run them over with the car a few times. ¬†And, yes, by the time I was ready for University, my docksiders looked loved and worn. I know, a bit of a cheat, but like I said before, better than the alternative.

Well, twenty years later some things never change. If you follow me on Instagram, you know, I frequent the thrift shop. The perfect place to find old Levi’s. I am always on the hunt and my most recent pair were $3, super soft and a boyfriend jean, but to wear as shorts, they needed a little more TLC. After a pair of scissors, a dremel and a microplaner they looked distressed and dingy, just like vintage cut off’s should, at least in my eyes. In fact, you many have seen my post last year about how to dip dye denim here. ¬†Distressed denim cut offs, my favorite boho “Chique” summer staple. What is your go to summer item?


Levi cutoffs


Distressing Denim

Pair of old boyfriend style Levi’s

The key is to find a pair that are loose in the leg. There is nothing worse than wearing short shorts that are tight at the thigh. Once you have found the right size, first, measure the length from another pair of shorts or try them on and draw a subtle line. I make mine a little longer so I can roll them up a bit. Fold in half and with a pair of sharp scissors cut the legs off. I also use the sharp scissors to slice some of the cuts. There are several attachments to a dremel, but the one I like best is the firm wire brush. I used that to distress some of the seams and pockets. A microplaner will also thin the fabric a bit to give them some texture. Once you wash and dry them the denim begins to shred and fray to make them looked old and distressed. Try it and let me know how they turn out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top