The Distressed Look Is Trending Hard RN—Here Are 4 Ways to Pull It Off

Blame it on the pop-punk renaissance or maybe vintage becoming more trendy, but lately, distressed clothing has been popping up on the coolest of the fashion set. The undone nature of the look is both nonchalant and anti-fashion in a sense—rips and tears and bleach and unfinished hems are the hallmarks of getting the look right. In a world where clothes are often worn only once or twice before being stuffed into the back of the closet, signs of wear and tear are a breath of fresh air. I'm embracing this trend for its '90s appeal, which is the only way I've been wanting to dress lately, and pairing it with other polished pieces to keep things neat. 

Keep scrolling to see four ways to pull off the look to ensure you look intentionally distressed and fresh. I've wrangled the best pieces currently available that will make sure you're ahead of the trend as this one is still in its budding stages. Everything from leather to denim to knits is up for interpretation, which also means those old, naturally unraveling pieces in your closet may be able to see the light of day, too.

Distressed Sweaters


(Image credit: @telshaanderson)

This sweater looks as though the stitcher got so tired by the time they made it to the bottom, that they simply gave up. And I love that. Self-aware imperfection is always a unique brand of cool, which is what makes this look work.


(Image credit: @racheleveritt_ )

The mummy would return in this sweater set if it had the chance. The strings hanging off both the top and skirt give it that undone, unconcerned air that only someone with immense confidence could pull off.

Shop similar:

Frayed and Fringed Hemlines


(Image credit: @karolinebeltner)

The inside-out look, hems and all, is making a major comeback. I think a big inspiration for this look is reworked vintage, which more brands are embracing each day. 


(Image credit: @kateemao)

You can't deny the appeal of undone hems, especially when paired with silhouettes that usually call for invisible hemlines. Plus, the 3D aspect looks so damn cool.

Shop similar:

Distressed Leather Jackets


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Distressed leather jackets are so beautiful to me. I think it's their boxy structure combined with the feeling of accomplishment once you've worn one in. Many distressed leather jackets on the market today have already started the wearing process and come looking already lived in. Or you could opt for a vintage jacket and continue the noble work of its previous owner.


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity )

I'm really into brown leather jackets lately, perhaps because they don't get as much of the spotlight as black ones. Plus, the natural wear and tear that comes over time looks very Western in the coolest way.

Shop similar:

Distressed Denim


(Image credit: @maria_bernad )

Okay, distressed denim has never gone out of style, but it's definitely having a moment right now. This year's styles tend to sit lower at the waist and be a bit looser around the thighs. Imagine if Aaliyah and Britney Spears in their respective heydays were to collab on jeans. That would be the look.


(Image credit: @kristincabat )

This outfit proves that distressed denim can be dressed up. The contrast of the super high-shine top and bright-green accessories with the ripped knees creates a nice balance.

Shop similar:

Next: These Nordstrom Button-Down Shirts Have Such High Reviews, so I Tried Them