How To Rip Your Own Jeans In Easy Steps

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Rebecca Moses
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How To Rip Your Own Jeans In Easy Steps

Parents are usually baffled when sons decide to invest in distressed jeans.

The fact that ripped jeans are more expensive doesn’t help the boys in convincing the parents. However, many people don’t realize the beauty of weathered objects. Apart from looking sassy and ultra-cool, ripped jeans are also celebrity-approved. 

Fashion icons have worn ripped jeans so often that it has become the global uniform for all casual events. In recent years, the style of wearing ripped jeans has been revived by celebrities. 

The only problem is these jeans are exorbitantly priced. Consequently, men need to know how to rip old and faded jeans without ripping apart their wallets. 

The fashion industry is a paradox. It is difficult to presume which style will make a new trend and go south instead of north.

Funnily enough, the older generation thinks it is silly and ridiculous. On that note, let us talk about everything related to the ever-growing craze for ripped jeans in the modern fashion world. 

Where did the ripped jeans trend begin?

A businessman from Germany called Loeb Strauss designed the first-ever pair of denim jeans. He coined the brand Levi which is supremely famous in the fashion industry even now. 

It was going well until the trend of wearing ripped jeans came into the limelight by a punk culture movement in the 70s. 

What was the reason behind wearing distressed jeans as the new everyday outfit?

It was all about being rebellious. Denim jeans became a victim of the punk political movement, which led to people ripping their jeans to depict their severe anger towards the then society.

Fans of different celebrities took the matter into their own hands and rebelled by ripping their jeans at home. Following this, various denim brands began to manufacture ripped jeans. 

How come the trend of ripped jeans has resurfaced now?

How come the trend of ripped jeans has resurfaced now? 

The fashion of the 70s and 80s drifted back to today’s era with the development of jump-suits and trousers that are high-waisted. Ripped jeans’ popularity was revived with its onset.

The question that arises here is – why is buying ripped jeans from stores easier than doing it yourself at home by your own hands?

The reason is – the kind of fabric used to design jeans of this generation is not likely to rip apart easily. Despite how much you try to do the rips at home, you just can’t. It is nearly impossible. 

What are the problems faced while shopping for ripped jeans?

Everyone is biased when it comes to selecting a pair of jeans. The preferences vary from size to durability. When you are buying ripped jeans from a shop, you have no control over the placement of the rips.

On some days, you come across jeans with knee bulges. While on some other days, you don’t get the ripped jeans of your size. Some people want rips in the thigh portion, while others want narrow scratches around the side pockets. The desire varies from one to another. 

So, you all need to know how to rip jeans on your own without ruining them at all. 

What are the items needed for this ‘do-it-yourself’ innovation?

All the items are found in every household. All you need to invest is a bit of time and a little bit of tenacity. Only then can you create the tattered jeans of your dreams. A few of the items needed are:

  • Scissors 
  • Tweezers 
  • Bobby pins 

Some suggestions or words of caution before we begin

Some suggestions or words of caution before we begin

The DIY method or how to rip jeans yourself is our primary goal. However, we need to clear the air and talk to a few big elephants in the room before proceeding towards our objective. Read carefully and follow these tips: 

  • DIY methods are never seamless. Before you begin the step by step guide, you need to realize that the outcome might not match your expectation. Whatever you see, being done perfectly online or by other people does not mean that you can do it as smoothly as they did. This realization is a must.
  • You also need to be confident about your skill to replicate what you have seen online. So, we suggest you do a trial and error method before. For example – take a pair of old jeans and try to create rips as you want by using the same equipment, just to get an idea about what type of finesse is needed. 
  • There are different kinds of rips in different jeans. For example – classic distressed look, spider’s web look, netting look, etc. Decide which one will suit your personality, and then follow the guidelines on ripping jeans the same way. 
  • One more thing you have to keep in mind is that while boyfriend jeans look good with frays and rips all over them, skinny jeans look good with the opposite. We mean, if you are trying to DIY over skinny jeans, then the number of rips would have to be minimal. 

Five astute steps to get the distressed denim jeans look you always wanted

Five astute steps to get the distressed denim jeans look you always wanted

Ripped jeans with faded blue color look the best.

Although this step is optional, certain tricks will give you the faded dye look.

After repeated washing, the color fades, so choose jeans that have been worn and washed for two years at least. If you can’t find an old one, then apply the trick that we will teach you now

  • Make a mixture with 50% bleach and 50% water. 
  • Do brush the mixture all over the body of the jeans. 
  • Let it stay this way overnight so that the blue becomes lighter and lighter. 
  • Lastly, wash the bleach water off and dry them to the perfectly faded denim jeans look. 

This step can be ignored if you are at peace with the color of your jeans. 

  1. Make your pockets and edges of the jeans threadbare and worn away. How? Use a razor that is generally used for shaving. Push and pull the razor along the jeans till it gets frayed sufficiently. 
  2. Having a bobby pin with you is always useful. It is the same in this case as well. All you have to do is use that bobby pin to scrape against the jeans. It will create minute holes that will enhance the subtle distressed look. 
  3. This step is fun and risky. If you overdo the rips, the jeans will lose their cool look. If you underdo the threaded pores, then the jeans won’t look that sassy. There is a balance that you need to maintain. How? Make a few horizontal lines at different places on the jeans, separated by a half or one inch. Then, cut those portions. After that, pull out the tweezer and pluck out the threads. Well, it looks messy yet cool. 
  4. This distressed look isn’t finished. What will make the look complete? The sandpaper. Choose the sandpaper that isn’t too coarse because you want the ripped portions to be soft as well. Rub the sandpaper along the jeans to give an ‘I have lived in it’ vibes. 

What is the science behind the rips in the jeans?

Interestingly, the rips aren’t as random as they appear to be. Like any scientific property, different types of rips can be seen in the jeans. Those are – 

  1. A scrape (a tiny flaying) 
  2. A small shred (it includes the presence of threads) 
  3. A hole (it is comparatively larger as it slits and penetrates through the jeans’ fabric) 

Even the general position of rips are fixed. Those are – 

  1. On the thigh portion of jeans 
  2. On the knee portion of the jeans 
  3. On the back pockets of your jeans 

There is no going against GQ’s opinion. If this Bible of fashionistas says that the ideal number of rips is two and a half, there is no denying that. Is there?

Another upside of this mantra is that you don’t overexpose a tad bit, even accidentally. Do you want to end up looking like Kim Kardashian? 

Can the ripped jeans be worn anywhere and everywhere?

walking in ripped jeans

No, it doesn’t work that way. It is a casual and informal look. You can’t put it on when you are attending any formal event, like, school or a college function, a work dinner party, etc. There are a few colleges that don’t allow students to wear ripped jeans in any case whatsoever. 

Will the trend of ripped jeans last in the near future?

It is a lot to envision. However, considering that Zara and other fashion outlets are coming up with different kinds of ripped jeans, there is a chance that the trend might slow down but never fade completely. The fashion buffs are not likely to get bored with the variety of distressed jeans. 

The Bottom Line

You asked, “how to rip jeans at home?”. Here, we have answered it. To put the steps in a nutshell, let us list down the main guidelines you have to follow to create the frayed look. 

  1. Take a pumice stone and bleach to make the color of the jeans lighter. 
  2. Make small holes if you are trying the DIY for the first time. 
  3. Add additional spunk to your look by fraying the pockets of your jeans. 
  4. Along with fraying the pockets, also fray the edges of your jeans. 
  5. White threads lie in a horizontal position, while blue threads lie in a vertical position. Use a tweezer and pluck out all blue threads. 

Now that we have given you everything you need to know about ripped jeans, why are you still here? Go ahead and try these steps out to revamp your look in an ultra-attractive way. It becomes simple once mastered. The DIY method doesn’t cost much money. So, you can afford it all the more.


  • Rebecca Moses

    Depending on the day, you’ll find Rebecca in a well thought-out ensemble that she handcrafted herself, or in hiking and rock climbing gear. An avid outdoorswoman, cyclist, and cat lover, Rebecca reminds us all on the Groom+Style team just how much we need to get outdoors. She’s worked in spas and salons off and on before going full-time with the G+S team. Linkedin: