How To Make Your Own Cutoffs--An Editor's Diary
While most online tutorials simply tell you to pick a length and cut, I knew there was more to it than that. So with some Levi’s 501 jeans, scissors, a ruler, and chalk, I set out to create two shorts, one cuffed and one frayed—and I'm really thrilled with the results. Keep reading for the jorts secrets you need to know when making your own pair!
Let’s talk style and fit first. This is not a project for your stretchy skinny jeans, so leave those alone. I think that 100 percent cotton denim, like Levi’s 501 Jeans ($78), is your best bet. As for fit, go for a straight leg or boyfriend silhouette that is slightly baggy throughout the leg.
Levi’s 501 Jeans ($78) in Dark
Once you have your correct measurement, mark it with chalk. Using the ruler, create a dashed line across the pant leg, starting at the outer seam and moving inwards. I recommend angling the line downwards toward the inner seam to allow for an extra inch of length. This prevents the shorts from bunching along the inner thigh area and is ultimately more flattering.
Lay the jeans flat on a smooth surface and measure along the outside seam. It’s best to add two inches to your desired length to account for the cuff. I wanted a slightly longer look that hit mid-thigh, so I measured approximately 17 inches from the top of the waistband. For a shorter style, measure 15 inches. Once you have your correct measurement, mark it with chalk. (Note: another good way to determine your desired length is by putting on the jeans and marking the point where your middle finger hits the side of your leg.)