How to Distress Jeans in 4 Easy Steps

Photo: Collage Vintage

Every fashion girl we know is perpetually on the hunt for the perfect pair of vintage jeans. They have a broken-in feel and are worn in all the right places. But finding them can be a challenge. It requires frequent visits to vintage stores and flea markets to uncover a pair that has a wash in the right shade that fits just right. If you’re looking for an alternative, you might want to try distressing the jeans in your closet instead.

To find out the best way to achieve the look of authentic distressing, we tapped Sean Barron, the co-founder and CEO of Re/Done. The brand is known for its reworked Levi’s and line of jeans that resemble vintage denim so closely, it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s the real thing. Ahead, Barron is sharing how you can distress your jeans with nothing more than sandpaper and a washing machine. Want to find out how simple it is?

Keep reading to find out how to distress jeans in four easy steps.


Get sandpaper.


Rub it on the spot you want distressed.


Once the fibers start to break, use your hands to tear the hole to your desired size.


Wash your jean to create an organic-looking fray.