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Your Guide to Distressed Jeans

Distressed denim should be worn with an otherwise stylish and tailored outfit.

Distressed denim should be worn with an otherwise stylish and tailored outfit.

One of the more distressing aspects of street style

Distressed jeans are good jeans gone bad. They have rips and tears, the fabric may be faded, and they do not hold their shape particularly well. You can create them organically by wearing your favorite jeans to death, or you can buy them new, with that well-worn look given to them in the factory.

Purists may say that jeans which attain the distressed look through years of being worn are best. They have character. Sure, there is something a little hollow about buying jeans that have nothing more than production-line attitude. However, I am an advocate of buying your distressed jeans in their already worn looking form. This is because a pair of well-loved jeans are not likely to develop holes exactly where you want, and they tend to look sloppy rather than stylish. Jeans tend to wear out in the crotch first, which is just not a good look. Buying denim which has already had wear and tear inflicted upon it will yield much better results than wearing a regular pair of jeans incessantly and hoping for the best.

Realistic wear and tear

The fading and tearing of your jeans may have been creating in the factory, but you can still go for an authentic look. When purchasing distressed jeans, look for ones with realistic damage. Jeans tend to wear out on the knees, at the back, and in the crotch/thigh area. As alluded to above, the stitching splitting in the thighs may be realistic, but it is certainly not stylish by any stretch of the imagination. So, look for wear and tear on the knees and on the seat of a pair of pre-distressed jeans. Strategically placed damage results in serious attitude; while tears and fades in weird places screams ‘try-hard’.

Keep it subtle

There have been certain periods of time in recent decades where overly worn jeans have had their moment in the fashion spotlight. Right now is not one of those moments- the fashions of the last few years have tended towards the sleek and streamlined. This does not mean that distressed jeans are out of the question, but it does mean that you want to keep that distressed effect subtle. A small amount of natural looking fading around the knees

You should also avoid overly large tears in distressed jeans for more practical reasons. Holes in clothing tend to become bigger over time, and this is no different in the case that the hole has been thoughtfully placed there by the designer. Distressed jeans with small tears will have a much longer lifespan, as well as being a safer style option.

Contrast with a jacket

Distressed jeans run the risk of making you look too dishevelled. Counter this effect by pairing your distressed denim with a nice structured jacket or coat. Avoid making the rest of your outfit too casual by going for a collared shirt rather than a tee shirt.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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