The distressed denim look aka ripped jeans has been popular for years, ever since punk rockers and grunge stars came into the spotlight. They became popular during the late 1980s in the heavy metal era, and have stuck around ever since. Distressed denim offers a dress-down, casual approach to wearing jeans and are a very stylish way to wear otherwise ordinary men’s denim jeans.

Ripped jeans are now so commonplace that there is a right and wrong way to wear them; it’s seemingly very easy to get it wrong and either look incredibly scruffy, or not quite on trend. So, if you’re on the hunt for your very own pair, you may want to consider these rules for buying ripped jeans.

The different types of rips

Ripped jeans can encompass a number of different styles. It can mean anything from full holes to scrapes. Understanding the different styles within distressed denim can help you to make an informed choice.

Ripped jeans may feature a hole, where there is a visible gap in the fabric and often shows some skin. Shreds refer to where the fabric has been torn, but threads of fabric still remain to cover up what would be the hole. Scrapes are small abrasions to the denim, usually only surface-deep and won’t show any skin. Scrapes are usually quite small.

Distressed jeans can sometimes mix the different types, or stick to one. It’s important not to go too crazy, as it can look too much!

Placement of the rips

When buying a pair of ripped jeans, it’s important to consider where the distressed sections are located. It should look natural; that’s why holes and shreds are often placed around the knee.

Holes on the upper thigh of your jeans could risk looking unnatural and out of place, while holes or shreds around the shin area could look like you’ve been nibbled by a dog on your way out!

Scrapes generally can be placed anywhere on your jeans as they are a very subtle detail. They are particularly popular around the pockets, as if to look like natural wear and tear.

How many rips?

Be careful that you don’t overdo the amount of distressed patches on your jeans, or you will start to look like you’re trying too hard. You also risk exposing too much of your legs, which sort of defeats the point of full length jeans!

Opt for between 2 and 4 ripped patches, whether that be two shreds, a scrape and a hole or a different combination that suits your personal taste. As long as your jeans don’t feature rips all the way up the leg, you’re good to go.

When it comes to men’s ripped jeans, opt for a vintage subtle look as if you’ve casually just ripped them yourself.


xoxo D.

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