Damaged, Destroyed, Distressed, and Darling Denim?

Remember when you got a hole in the knees of your blue jeans? You either patched them from the inside, or you threw the blemished pants away and bought a new, non-ripped pair of jeans. Come the 1960s, 1970s and the 1980s, and the wave of heavy metal, etc., and ripped jeans became a fashion statement.  A much liked look of in demand style!

Feisty and fashionable!

Jeans are pants made from denim material or dungaree cloth. Often the term “jeans” refers to a particular style of pants, called “blue jeans” and they were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. It was in the 1950s that jeans started becoming popular fashion garments, particularly among teenagers.

Jeans are now an immensely popular article of fashion around the world, and once in awhile, you may just be in the mood to wear a pair of jeans that are tattered, damaged, destroyed and/or distressed, yet terribly contemporary and chic!

Welcome the ripped jeans!


Like all faddish and offbeat fashion trends, pulling off the ripped jeans look takes careful effort and wardrobe planning. Depending on your destination, you may want to wear minimally torn or ripped jeans, as distressed jeans that bare too much flesh may be a bit much for some businesses. Also, to pull the look off well, you need to ensure that your legs are hair free and smooth, and try to avoid displaying varicose veins or blotchy skin, if you battle these conditions.

Ripped jeans are excellent for exposing segments of your legs that long pants normally cover up!


For occasions that demand you to be somewhat conservative, yet you simply must adhere to your fashion desire to wear ripped jeans, choose jeans with barely there rips at the knees, offset the damaged denim with a lace or a ruffled blouse, and wear feminine pumps. This mixes the subculture, more grunge image with a youthful, but business, look.

Are you going clubbing or partying? Then by all means, rip away to whatever level of skin exposing that you are comfortable with!

I think these cut jeans are just too cute!



You still expose leg, yet the seamed holes and bows keep the pants looking clean, stylish and sharp!

You can find the distressed jean look in most every color and rinse of denim imaginable. Ripped jeans tend to be popular in skinny jeans and denim shorts. The ripped levels range from a few tears here and there, to being almost completely destroyed.

Destroyed jeans, merely by their “in” nature, can tend to be expensive. For those of you who want the do-it-yourself ripped look, here you go:

  1. Choose a pair of jeans that you already own and that you love to wear. You can rip any pair of jeans with the same result! If you don’t own a pair of jeans, you can buy non-ripped jeans at low prices at most department stores or strip mall clothing stores and outlets.
  2. Lay the pants out (over the carpet, over the bed, etc.) and decide where you would like the rips. Gentle tears? Massive gauges? Heaps of holes or only a few holes?  Be creative and lay out your artwork before beginning the actual destroying process.
  3. Get supplies in order. You can use scissors, razor blades, sandpaper, pumice stones, box cutters, X-Acto knives, etc. You may want to stick some kind of padding into the pant legs as you cut, so that you don’t cut through both the front and the back of the pants accidentally. If you want to match your rips on both sides, then by all means, cut deep and cut hard through both strips of material.
  4. Rip, distress, destroy and damage your jeans to in vogue, modern perfection! Play away with your peek-a-boo rips and your creative tearing flair!
  5. Loosen any fibers with an X-Acto knife. If you don’t want large, gaping holes, but you do want frayed patches, use an X-Acto knife and gently tug at the areas that you have cut. Pull all the white threads that stick out of the jeans to highlight the look.
  6. If you want large, uneven holes, take scissors and cut a small section. Then, use your hands to rip the jeans further. Ripping the denim this way makes the tears appear as real, authentic holes, as opposed to intended, added, man made holes.
  7. If you wish, you can sew around the perimeter of the holes to ensure no further tearing continues as the pants are washed and worn.
  8. As a top coat, you may want to bedazzle your ripped, rocking jeans with rhinestones, jewels, glitter, stones, etc.

Acquiring an awesome, inspiring pair of ripped jeans on your own takes exquisite artwork and detailed planning! Who knew that so much effort went into looking rip-roaring raggedy?



Historic brands of jeans that you are welcome to distress are Levi’s, Wranglers, Lee and Guess.

Jeans Fun Fact: Various fits of jeans that are fashionable and fun to destroy include skinny, tapered, slim, straight, boot cut, narrow bottom, low waisted, flared bell bottom and daisy duke short shorts!

Denim Fun Fact: North America accounts for 39% of global purchases for jeans, followed by Western Europe at 20%, Japan and Korea at 10%, and the rest of the world buys the remaining 31%.

A globally glorious piece of material, that denim!

Rip it up and rip it right. Tear away with all of your might!

Make your own messy fashion statement!


Rip it up and make a scene! Let the world know what you really mean! You daring, darling fashion queen!


Wearing denim ripped and rad is more than a fad…it’s a fashion piece!

Depending on the cut and the style of your jeans, and the tops and accessories that you are wearing, platform shoes. pumps and flats all look great with ripped jeans. Remember, with any outfit, the shoes can make or break the look!

Fashion Rule of Thumb: Think of the clothes that you are wearing as the sentence, and the shoes as the punctuation mark that gives the tone and diction to your overall ensemble. I like to wear shoes that fire off an exclamation mark!


Damaged, destroyed, and distressed denim equals darling denim!


Who knew that a rip could look so hip?

Denim Fun Fact: Americans spent more than $14 billion on jeans in 2004 and $15 billion in 2005. And then we rip them up! Brilliant!

Walk that winding road to your intended destination in wonderful, ripped denim!

“Excuse me, is that a rip in your jeans, or are you a true fashionista diva?”

Keep them guessing! Mystery is intriguing!

Author Nancy Mangano is the author of two novels, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Nancy has woven her love of detective work and her flair for fashion into her books. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, her author/fashion/style blog http://www.wordpress.com, Twitter @nancymangano and her author “like” Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano.


About authornancymangano

Nancy Mangano resides in Orange County, CA. She has blended her love of detective work and style in her novels, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy.
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One Response to Damaged, Destroyed, Distressed, and Darling Denim?

  1. Heather says:

    Clothes are cute, but I was more impressed with the lack of ink on these women. So nice to see for a change. 😊


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