How To Distress Your Jeans

how to distress your denim

Since I’ve been dutifully overhauling my closet, I was going to get rid of these Forever21 jeans I’ve had for a few years. Although they still fit, I wasn’t crazy about the wash. I tried them on as a last goodbye, and then a stroke of genius. Why not cut these babies  up and see how they look after? It’s a cheap pair of jeans and if I distress them, I’d be way more likely to wear them. So, I did just that. And it was incredibly easy. Here is how to distress your jeans.

how to distress your jeans

[ Forever21 jeans old// similar//, Stripped top now sold out//similar//Vince Camuto booties (40% off), Heidi Layered  necklace (c/0) J Fox Jewelry]


  • Good pair of scissors
  • Ruler
  • Chalk (optional)



To start, try on your jeans and do a couple of squats in them. Seriously. This will help you identify where your knees hit in your jeans. You could also use chalk, but the squatting is more fun , no? If you’re using your old jeans, they’ll probably already have a knee stretches.


Following the chalk line you made, or where the fabric appears stretched from your knees, pinch the fabric and make a small cut in the jeans.

how to distress your jeans

Currently, most distressed jeans you buy have giant holes in the knee, so I made a rather large cutout. You can make a smaller one. But, you want to go long, almost seam to seam for the distressed look.


I wanted to wear these jeans with booties, so I also wanted to cut off about an inch of the bottom. To be on trend, I also decided to create a step hem. I really like how it looks with booties. For the step hem, all you need to do is cut the front of the jeans 1/2 inch higher than the back. Viola!

how to distress your jeans

To achieve the distressed look further, rub the ends of the fabric between your fingers to loosen the fibers. Once you are done, toss your newly distressed, cool again jeans in the dryer for a bit.


I thought these turned out pretty good. The more I wash them and wear them, the better these will look. What a bonus!


Another bonus is wearing your old jeans that really feel like sweatpants 🙂

how to distress your jeans




  • Reply Amanda November 13, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Love how your jeans turned out! I can’t wait to distress my old jeans and put new life into them!


    • Reply ... besos, ALINA December 7, 2016 at 8:16 PM

      I hope you updated your jeans! ?? thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Laura Yanke November 6, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    I might have to try this on a couple pairs! Thanks for sharing girl! They look so good!

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA November 6, 2016 at 3:35 PM

      Thanks Laura! It was so simple I’m already itching to do it again on some other jeans too.

  • Reply Tilly November 4, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    YESSSSSS, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the huge holes in my Jean knees. Currently all my jeans have slits. I’ve got a pair ready to go and I’ll be doing this today! Thanks so much ?????

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA November 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM

      It’s so easy, I really hope you’ll try it, Tilly!! Thanks for visiting ?

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