How To Rip, Distress & Fray Your Jeans

Ripped jeans are current, cool and define effortless style. Banish all thoughts of bad 80s stonewashed denim and think cool edgy denim teamed with designer heels, a simple tee and chic jacket to take you safely from day to night. Denim is such a hard wearing fabric so rips, distressing or fraying can work on any style, from skinnies to flares through to culottes, boyfriends or even dungarees.

Donna Ida Denim Distressing Customisation 1 Donna Ida guide on How To Rip Your jeans

For style inspiration, look to celebrities Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora or Rihanna who embrace the rock n roll side of the trend with slouchy jeans with huge rips and slashes or channel Jessica Alba, Olivia Palermo or Rosie Fortescue in distressed skinnies worn with ladylike heels and pastel pieces.

Rosie Fortescue wears Donna Ida Jeans with rips and distressing Rosie Fortescue wears IDA Jeans with rips and distressing

Ripped jeans can be super flattering and update your wardrobe in a flash. In this blog, we'll show you the best ripped jeans, how to rip them yourself and how to style them. Remember, you can always pop into a DONNA IDA boutique for customised distressing and a whole host of alterations for your jeans.

SH15_Brockenbow embellished boyfriend _ripped From DONNA IDA SS16 - Brockenbow Jeans & R13 Ripped Jeans

1) BUY WITH RIPS ON THE KNEE OR READY-DISTRESSED

The easiest way to wear rips is to buy them ready-distressed in exactly the right places with the perfect amount of shading so that they look natural. Try IDA Rizzo in Thunder which is a high waisted skinny in a smoky grey wash, IDA Honor in Coachella is a low rise light blue denim with subtle rips and abrasions (pictured below) and Frame Denim's Le Rip is a cool black skinny with exaggerated slashed rips. Shop Ripped & Distressed jeans.

IDA_HonourCoachella_MansfieldGreyMarl_distressed_jeans IDA Jeans Honor in Coachella are already distressed when you buy them

2) BEFORE YOU RIP REMEMBER...

If you prefer to customise your jeans yourself, the first thing to do is consider the right placement for your body type and the denim style. But before you pick up your scissors, here are key tips for transforming your jeans yourself:

-          If it is your first time customising your jeans, practice on an old pair, just in case the end result isn’t what you hoped for or if any mistakes happen!

-          Start off with a simple knee slit/rip or frayed hem, build your confidence before you go for full blown shredded look!

Donna Ida Denim Distressing Customisation 1 How to distress your jeans

-          When ripping or distressing your jeans make sure that you have the right equipment a good pair of scissors/craft knife or blade and sandpaper as you will get a better finish.

-          When using sandpaper/blade/or scissors when ripping or distressing make sure you have something between the front/back of jeans you’re distressing as you don’t want it to go through to the other side.

-          It’s best to rip jeans that are not too stretchy and have elastane in them.  This is trickier the fibres are more delicate and can fall apart leaving you with a big hole. When you look at the inside of blue jeans you want them to look a mixture of blue and white - if it is mainly white, they may look stringy rather than frayed.

Ripped Jeans Mood Board DONNA IDA Ripped Jeans Mood Board

3) DIY DISTRESSING - TOP TIPS

If you’re new to rips and distressing, try these flattering and subtle ways to introduce the trend:

-          POCKETS - Try adding areas of distressing or cat scratches around front pocket details using sandpaper, this looks great on everyone it is a subtle but effective way to ease yourself in.

-          KNEE RIP - A basic knee-rip which is just a simple slice across the knee with some fraying is so easy to do yourself. You can do both knees or just one knee if you prefer as it is nice for ripping and distressing to not be too symmetrical as it looks more natural. When you cut a slit in the knee, use a needle to pull the horizontal fibres down to create the stringy effect across the rip. To make the rip even bigger use sandpaper to fluff the edges of the rip.

Donna Ida Denim Distressing Customisation 1 Donna Ida Denim Distressing Customisation 1 Donna Ida Denim Distressing Customisation 1

-          LADDER RIP A ladder rip is when you have a long patch which is cut out with strands of the fibres running across. To create a ladder, cut a slit at the top and one at the bottom of where you want the ladder rip. Then work from the top and bottom, separating the strands until you reach the middle.

-          CUT IT - Frayed or unfinished hems are the hot new trend for fashionistas who favour jeans with an awkward hem and a great heel. They can also be a style savior for shorter girls who want a quick fix for length issues as jeans can be cropped in seconds. When you've cut your jeans to the desired length, use a needle to pull down the fibres for a few pieces to hang down or use sandpaper for a softer effect like Donna's below.

Donna Ida frayed Hems Donna Ida Thornton wears IDA Kitty Kat Jeans with frayed hems

-          PATCH IT - If you’d prefer not to flash too much flesh through your rips, a denim patch behind can add texture and give the distressed look without feeling too exposed.

-          SLASH IT - If you’re feeling bolder and want more of a statement, add multiple rips on the knees and thighs. Make sure the rips are not too big and close to the seams as you don’t want it too effect the overall fit of you jeans.

Suzan_Kerlo_Jeans_Ripped_Blue_Jeans Donna Ida's Suzan Kerlo wearing IDA customised ripped jeans

4) HOW TO WEAR RIPPED JEANS

Ripped, distressed or frayed jeans can be worn how you like them. Go all out and customise like crazy or just add a few subtle abrasions or an easy razored hem. We're inspired by bloggers and fashion editors who like to mix it up, and might wear an oversized pair of ripped boyfriend jeans with a luxurious oversize coat or jumper. Skinnies with a simple knee rip can look on-trend with a cashmere jumper, silk blouse or slogan tee. Finish off with the coolest flats or go all out and team your newly frayed edges with a pair of designer heels like Natalia from Bionda Castana to contrast the rough finish with a statement heel. Take a look at our gallery below for more Street Style inspiration.

Donna Ida Siwy Hannah Addicting Lna Bib Tank White Senso donnaida.com Rip inspiration on skinny jeans
0Q5A6405 Jo Glynn Smith wearing jeans by J Brand at DONNA IDA
LFW14_13_Amy_Murphy Snapped at LFW Amy Murphy
IDA_SS15_Grosvenor_Natalia_Barbieri_Bionda_Castana Natalia Barbieri of Bionda Castana wearing frayed IDA Ivy Jeans
Pippa Vosper wearing Frame Denim Le Rip with Wildfox from DONNA IDA Pippa Vosper wearing Frame Denim Le Rip with Wildfox from DONNA IDA
GeorginaCohen03 Georgina Cohen wears ripped jeans
Fiona Rubie wears ripped denim shorts Fiona Rubie wears ripped denim shorts
Maria founder of Rodial wears ripped jeans by Frame Denim at DONNA IDA Maria founder of Rodial wears ripped jeans by Frame Denim at DONNA IDA
Oversize Rips Oversize Rips
Marissa Montgomery wears Ripped Jeans Marissa Montgomery wears Ripped Jeans
Anouk, Blogger, Instagram @anoukyve Twitter @creatorofdesire   Anouk, Blogger, Instagram @anoukyve Twitter @creatorofdesire
Instyle's Features Editor Hannah Rochelle Instyle's Features Editor Hannah Rochelle
Suzan Kerlo wears jeans with a knee rip Suzan Kerlo wears jeans with a knee rip
Rosie Fortescue from Made in Chelsea wears Mother Denim jeans and DONNA IDA blouse IMG_7062ss Rosie Fortescue from Made in Chelsea wears Mother Denim ripped jeans
Chloe Beeney wears flares with knee rip Chloe Beeney wears flares with knee rip
Natasha, donna ida, london fashion, london style, street style Natasha Cobham in ripped IDA jeans in Blackest

Visit a DONNA IDA boutique to order your customisation or Shop Ripped and Distressed Jeans.