Distressed Denim : Putting a rebellious edge into denim
While we're not exactly known for spending time under the hood of a Pontiac, skating half pipes or fixing barbed wire fences, you could say it appears that way. We are definitely getting a reputation for our love of ripped jeans. Generally speaking though, our torn jeans are made from a different kind of hard work, the kind that relies heavily on our favourite designers and the painstaking process of narrowing the season’s options.
We have compiled a selection of distressed jeans, sorting out the best fits, the newest sub-genres and the chicest washes into neat piles of perfection. Any long-time fan of ripped skinny jeans will know the positive effect it can have on the rest of your wardrobe. Making that too-girly blouse look cool, that vintage coat look modern, and those chunky platforms look elegant – the devil is in the details, and in this case it’s in the denim. This season heralds in new standouts, with Europe's darling brand Closed, creating frayed jeans with unrolled cuffs as a nice compliment to their signature neat fit. A denim veteran that induces a Rodeo Drive blonde alter ego out of even the primmest of women, is 7 For All Mankind.
Of course they have continued with the much loved distressed blue jeans which, if you ask us, can be your friend on even the most average of days. Saint Laurent jeans keep it classic with a selection that fits like the sisterhood of the travelling pants – an effect that causes a genuine wave of relaxation.
Denim through the decades
The distressed denim trend has long surpassed itself, more recently as the disheveled-chic uniform of the model-off-duty, followed by a ‘90s throwback to grunge, then landing in the privileged sector of today’s 'staple'. This hall-of-fame status was built on a solid legacy of supermodels, rock stars (both male and female) and one-too-many iconic movie scenes. Exposing a tanned leg between slashes of denim has, it seems, proved timelessly appealing.
Gigi Hadid injects her brand of sex appeal into faded black ripped skinny jeans by stepping out in high-waisted Citizens of Humanity, ripped jeans. Pairing casually with leather and a cute boy, Hadid also dabbles with white ripped skinny jeans by J Brand, teaming stiletto sandals with a few cashmere layers. Looking every bit the new supermodel, her trick is a balance of high glamour with effortlessness, possibly the very reason that torn jeans perpetuate through fashion calendars.
Distressed is best
Overall the trend continues to be less dishevelled, more hip First Lady and less ‘90s first rave-y. Wear your black ripped jeans with a well-tailored tuxedo blazer and a pair of loafers, a no-brainer that is modern, sassy and a little Milanese. The new patchwork jean is more statement than bohemian. Embroidery, colour or top-to-bottom patching demands focus, being the investment piece to work basics around. The most desired new trend comes in a few differing guises, including the high-waisted distressed jeans that, gasp-shock-horror, go past the ankle and hit the foot. Moving on from the ‘mum’ shape just a little, but continuing the same thread, the new shape sits high at the waist and follows just a little slimmer than an original straight leg. Worn with voluminous tops, statement flats that almost steal the show, and flamenco references, the new-gen-jean has passed the torch from distressed boyfriend jeans to a more dramatic look. Flared versions that sweep the ground are the distressed designer jeans desired by most, playing with proportions and lengths.
Whether you dive into the experimental new design, or sit pretty on the go-to-staple, if you’re all about grey ripped skinny jeans or you're channelling white, we can make a broad assumption that you didn't need to break a sweat to look very cool in these jeans.