The Absolute Simplest Way to Fray Your Jeans

If you’re like me, there’s an ever-growing pile of pants by your bedroom door that never quite make it into the well-trained hands of a tailor. Perhaps it’s out of sheer laziness or frugality (that’s my reasoning), or because you’re still holding out on growing an extra inch or two in the comings years; whatever the motive, one thing’s for certain: getting your pants hemmed is inconvenient. So, when I discovered the most magical, effortless denim trick of all time during a recent trip to the Levi’s showroom, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself. No, I had to share it with all of you so you could conveniently crop your jeans without spending a dime (or leaving your house, for that matter).

Intrigued? You should be! Scroll down to see how to crop and fray your jeans using one tool and one tool only.

The Before Shot

Photo:

Hallie Gould

Behold: the bunchy bottoms that plague so many of you out there. I'm five foot five inches tall (really four and a half inches, but who’s measuring?), so unless I buy jeans that explicitly say “crop”, I can pretty much count on them running a bit long on me. For the record, I don’t endorse this look, I just don’t buy jeans that end up looking like this in the first place (which is tragic because that cancels out a ton of great options). 

The Ingredients

Photo:

Nicole Kliest

But today isn’t about dwelling on my shortcomings, no, it’s about taking action. So first things first, here’s what you’ll need to replicate Levi’s trick. Wait, what? That’s all I need? Did you put the wrong photo in your story, Nicole? Nope. This is it! Your super long jeans and a pair of scissors. I suggest a heavy-duty pair of scissors. I stole these from my roommate’s cooking set.

Photo:

Nicole Kliest

The next thing you’ll need to do is put on the jeans and roll the hem up to the point where you’d like them to hit on your ankle. I’d do this in front of a mirror so you can eyeball it.

Then, take the jeans off (carefully!) and lay them on a flat surface. Double check that the hems look even, and then cut away. Since you’re going to fray the jeans, I don’t really think it has to be the most precise straight line in the world, but if you’re a perfectionist, I’m sure you’ll find a way.

Photo:

Nicole Kliest

Like I said, not necessarily the straightest most exact line you’ve ever seen, but thanks to the deconstructed denim trend that’s taken us by storm as of late, this isn’t an issue. In my opinion, a little imperfection is cool.

Photo:

Nicole Kliest

Okay, so here’s where the fun comes. Once you’ve cut your jeans, grab them by the belt loops and then slam the jeans—hard—into the ground. It sounds crazy, and slightly aggressive, but it works. For this pair in particular, I did it about seven times (I lost count because everyone in my office was cheering me on, it was great). You’ll be amazed by how perfectly it creates a cool, effortless fray at the bottom with no complicated seam ripper methods involved whatsoever. 

Photo:

Hallie Gould

Once your jeans have reached a desirable level of fray, try on your cool new jeans and ooh with delight. I tried doing a skinny cuff with mine, and quite enjoyed the look (see above). 

Sure, this method doesn’t have the same exacting results as getting an original hem at the tailor, but in my opinion, this is a fun way to personalize your look, and what better way to do that than with denim? 

Achieve a similar look when you shop Levi’s best jeans for fall. Oh, and here’s where you can buy my Dear Frances pumps, too!

Opening Image: Style du Monde