Revamp: Denim shorts

9 Nov

So many items get overlooked in op shops just because they are out of date with current fashion trends. Take this pair or denim Roxy jeans I picked up last week for $3. They are about to become a summer staple: denim cut off shorts. 

I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of jeans I could cut off into shorts for some time now and these fit the bill. These are a flare leg, cool in the 90’s but not so happening now with our current obsession with skinny  jeans. I must admit I was a tad apprehensive about the stonewash in the denim as *coughs* I’d stonewash the first time around but I rationalised by telling myself it will be fine for summer shorts and the Roxy detailing ties that whole beach vibe together.  Cutting off a pair of jeans into shorts seems like a no brainer but if you’re new to DIY alterations it can be risky. So here is my step by step guide so you don’t make the mistakes I’ve already made.

1. Find a pair of jeans, try them on in store. Concentrate on looking at the top section of the jeans. Think about what sort of shorts you want & how you plan to wear them. For a slouchy look you should go for a baggier jean or even men’s jeans. Check that the button & zipper are in good order as these can be expensive to get fixed. 

2. You should use fabric scissors on fabric and paper scissors on paper. Don’t mix them up. You need really sharp scissors to cut through denim and nothing bluntens scissors like paper. At home try the jeans on again & mark with a pen or nick with the scissors where you plan to cut them off. I recommend cutting them longer than you think as you can always cut shorter again. If you are going to hem your shorts you need to cut them longer than the hem line. Take the jeans off and lay them on a flat smooth surface. Try to cut across the leg in a straight line. To do the other leg, fold the jeans in half, side to side and using your first cut as a guide.

3. Yay! Your jeans are now shorts. Try them on again. Check to see if you are happy with the length. Experiment by folding the cut end up the leg to try different lengths. Personally I like to cut mine mid thigh length and then if I want shorter shorts I can just fold the cuff up on that day.  

4. If like me, you like the frayed edge of cut off denim here’s how you do it the fast way. Pull the loose strands of thread along the cut denim so that they come away from the main body of fabric. How much you do is personal preference. Now throw those shorts in the wash. Washing them will soften the cut edge & the fraying. In fact the more you wash them the better they look. If you find the cotton strands are too long try pulling them off rather than cutting them for a more natural look.

That’s it. Pretty easy right? All you need is a pair of jeans and sharp pair of scissors. Once you have mastered this you will forever look at all the overpriced cut off denim shorts in the shops with disdain. “$59.99! Pfft! I can do that” and you can.

I’ll be running a series of how to revamp second hand buys but if you have a request please leave a comment below.

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2 Responses to “Revamp: Denim shorts”

  1. The Beauty Philosopher November 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I love this as a blog series – i will definitely be writing notes. I love summer denim shorts. It is sort of innocent-casual-cool-sexy all rolled into one. They make me think of sultry summer evenings My Girl style.

  2. empressnasigoreng August 5, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Good job! Will have to show this post to my daughter.

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