Are you hooked on distressing yet?

Frayed, ripped, shredded, destroyed, torn, slashed, faded, worn, patched, and distressed. These are just some of the words we use to describe what we are wearing these days. The fad of distressed clothing is everywhere and you would have to be practically blind to not see the ever increasing trend flooding the fashion industry.

It’s not like ripped jeans are a new thing. What is new about the distressed trend is the different designers jumping on board.  Whether you hate the distressed look or love it.. you can no longer ignore it.

Ripped denim was popular as far back as the 70s when Iggy Pop was wearing slashed up jeans while rocking the stage. Ripped jeans continued to be big  in the late 80s and early 90s during the hard rock and heavy medal era. Ripped jeans… once a sign of poverty and rebellion is becoming a global trend.  In fact, you will pay more for a pair of denim that is frayed and looks worn the one that looks brand new.

Pretty much every denim brand offers a distressed option. Brands ranging from American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, to Rag & Bone & Diesel, to Balmain and Dsquared2. Destroyed denim can be purchased at a variety of price ranges.

American Eagle $75

American Eagle $75

Diesel - $350

Diesel – $350

Balmain - $2,000

Balmain – $2,000

There is also the “made in japan” name that all denim enthusiast lust after. The way the Japanese make denim is “oldshool”. The premium Japanese denim use natural dye. This allows the denim to wear more naturally and gives it a much deeper, richer color. The other Japanese trademark is their denim is selvage. This means that each edge is woven, not cut and over-locked like ordinary denim. Each pair of selvage denim is unique and the process involves years of tradition, skill, and training.  One of my most favorite brands of “made in japan” denim are Fabric Brand & Co.


From the Fabric-Brand & Co Blog

Fabric-Brand & Co

Fabric-Brand & Co

I guess the real question is why are people loving the trend so much and willing to pay more? It’s a simple answer for me. I’m tired of the same old, same old. When I buy a new pair of denim, I’m looking for something a little different and something that stands out to me. I have plain blue jeans…. and way too many pairs… boring. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for a nice pair of “regular” jeans, there is. And trust me, I’m well equipped. But, for the most part, I like the destroyed look. I think the misconception that destroyed jeans means “sloppy”, is a thing of the past. Whether your denim is distressed or not, I recommend buying jeans that fit properly. This way no matter what your wearing you will look well put together.

GQ - Style issue - What to wear now - Fall/Winter 2014

GQ – Style issue – What to wear now – Fall/Winter 2014

GQ - Style issue - article

GQ – Style issue – article

So, how do you put it all together? For me, when I’m picking my outfit for the day I start with my bottom half. In other words, I like to build my outfit around my pants. If I go with a very distressed pair of jeans, it’s important the rest of my outfit compliments my pants. Yes, there is such a thing as TOO much distressing. Make sure if your pants are crazy- your top shouldn’t be.

Another great way to use distressed denim in your wardrobe is to compliment other dressier pieces in your outfit. I lost you… ok…. here is an example.  Wearing distressed denim, a simple white tee-shirt, and a blazer. This would be a perfect combination of casual cool. You look well put together, but not “too” put together. This style would be a perfect look for after work drinks or weekend date night.

The bottom line is this. Wearing denim that looks like it’s been worn for a very long time and may need to be repaired is cool. I’m OK paying more for my denim to look worn and unique. The fad has been going on for a long time and seems to be growing.

The New Standard in 2015 - GQ January 2015

The New Standard in 2015 – GQ January 2015

So, either stop making fun of your friends for wearing “old” jeans or paying for “ripped jeans” and get on board. Or you can just keep wearing your mom jeans… the choice is yours…

2 thoughts on “Are you hooked on distressing yet?

  1. Sarah says:

    Love this blog post! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people make the joke “you paid extra for jeans with holes in them?” Hopefully you can bring some clarity to a few people 😉
    Great writing and fashion advice! Hooked


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