Who Still Wears Ripped Jeans?

I vividly remember a year or two ago when everyone was frantically cutting holes into their perfectly fitting jeans. There was this obsession (that still exist) of creating a vintage/distressing denim. It was intensely popularized by high-end fashion runway brands and adopted quickly by celebrities, in turn captivating the masses.

I personally believe that ripped jeans is going to become what skinny jeans are. Starting out as a popular trend, it will slowly subside but eventually remain in every subsequent year’s collection. Look at skinny jeans: it’s no longer as popular as it once was, but every store still carries a ‘skinny’ fit (or some form of it at least) and, controversially, it will always be hated/loved. It’s up to you, as an individual, to decide if ripped jeans is for you or not.

I am by no means a trend follower nor do I understand why anyone would rip their jeans. In fact, some ripped jeans REALLY makes me cringe. Physically.

To be fair to all ripped jeans though, there are really two kinds of distressed jeans. There’s the extreme and the minimal.

Undeniably, there’s something about the minimal aspect that I think we all find tasteful. Even though the extreme is a little aggressive, the individual wearing it in the photo pulls it off effortlessly. If you like the extreme style, go for it by all means. However, I want to focus on the minimalistic distressing on denim because I feel it would be more applicable for the majority.

Cutting your regular jeans is nonsensical to me. But, what if it’s a jean that you no longer wear and cutting it up brings it back to your standard rotation? Now that’s not only innovative but also refreshing for your style. A friend always said “never try, never know”. If you have a pair of jeans that you no longer wear, try inputting minimal distressing to it and if you don’t like it, well you were never going to wear it in the first place. But PLEASE, don’t do it to your perfectly fitted jeans. It’s an abomination to the jeans world (if it even exist).

Here, I have an OLD Levis 511 (slim fit) model that is in, what I thought, a horrible colour way. I brought it many years ago under the influence of purchase impulse and a very attractive discount. For those who are interested. I believe it was purchased for $15.99 and the size is a 30 W 32 L.

I used minimal tools and very minimal distressing on the jeans. I cut off an inch at the bottom, a line above the left knee, a line right on the right knee and a little line below the right pocket. All I used was a piece of chalk and scissors. I could create a “tutorial” on how to distress your jeans but there are plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of such videos available free on YouTube. Also, do you really need a video to teach you how to distress your denim? I am sure you took an Arts and Crafts class or some nature of it in Kindergarden. With an exception of paper, its denim – essentially the same thing: mark and cut.

Here I introduce two looks incorporating ripped jeans: a casual and a slightly more dressier look. Hopefully this will reveal the versatility of a slightly distressed denim and serve as an inspiration on how to pair your distressed denim and replenish life in your old pair of jeans.

Everyday Wear


This is a simple look involving pieces that every guy should have in his wardrobe. The jeans of course, a pair of brown Chelseas that can be substituted for any other boot, a navy scoop neck shirt and a trench coat. Any other coat like a duffel/military jacket, or a shawl cardigan for something lighter and more casual, may be used instead.


There’s a healthy balance in this outfit and the jeans. The key to this is minimal distressing. You don’t want the jeans to show off too much skin (its not a bikini) or white frays. A violation of either will make it harder to pair with your everyday staples as it will look too aggressive and, subsequently, out of place.


Blazer with Ripped Jeans


I really like this look and although it is dressier, I wouldn’t recommend wearing this to a meeting or anything of that nature, even if it was a business casual setting. It would probably be more appropriate for a night out to the club, bar or maybe the third or fourth date. To steer safely, I recommend going back to this for a first date inspiration.


I kept with the same navy scoop neck shirt to show you how easy it is to transition an outfit from one setting to the next. The trench coat was swapped out with a double breasted windowpane blazer that was cut to be extremely slim. The blazer’s lack of shoulder padding and structure/formality makes it easier to pair with ripped jeans. You wouldn’t want to pair your ripped jeans with a suit jacket or a jacket with substantial structure. It will distort the elements of the ensemble by pushing the boundaries of high and low (casual and formal) too far apart.



I am not telling you to cut up your jeans, but if you have been contemplating about it and have a pair of old jeans that you haven’t worn in years, why not cut it up and see if you will wear it again? I had those Levis for a good year and half (never worn them before) before cutting up. Again, just remember, that if you do decide to cut it – minimal distressing is key.

But I really want to know, do you wear ripped jeans? And, although its mainly rooted in the casual sphere, what are your thoughts of wearing ripped jeans with more formal pieces as I have done here with the blazer? As my 17 year old cousin always say, “is it a Yay or a Nay?”.


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