DIY Ripped Jeans: How To Customise Your Strides, With Denim Expert Donna Ida

DIY Ripped Jeans: How To Customise Your Strides, With Denim Expert Donna Ida

Denim never goes out of fashion but if you are feeling a bit bored of your old faithful jeans, here are 4 tips on how to customise them like a pro...

The best thing about denim is that is never goes out of fashion. Other trends may come and go but this one's here to stay. Brands like Levi's and Lee are style staples but newer designers like Marques’Almeida are reinventing denim.

Marques have made ripped denim a trend in itself and their pieces have become a fashion industry obsession. Their label is synonymous with cool girls, and just mixing one of their heavily frayed pieces in to your existing wardrobe can totally revolutionise your look.

Picking up on this mania for distressed denim, London based denim guru Donna Ida now has an in-store customisation expert, and for £15 you can make your jeans completely unique (the store stocks amazing denim brands like J Brand, Frame Denim, Paige, Hudson and her own increasingly popular label, Ida). This week our fashion editor and self-confessed denim addict went for a customizing masterclass with Donna. Here are our top 4 tips on how to make your own jeans unique. 

1. Frayed Hems


Frayed hems are a way of upping your cool factor. The way to do it: using a very sharp pair of scissors, cut the hem off at the desired length and then use a pin to gradually pick out all of the white bits of thread (see above). This will leave more of the vertical blue threads bare, which will then ’fluff up’ over time. They will fluff up with time, and gentle washing.

Donna says: "Make sure the cut is level. If there are jagged edges the jeans won't fray easily. Use tweezers or pins to pull threads."

2. '70s Patches

As we all know, the '70s are back. Donna has a great range of '70s patches that can be sewn on to your denim. We recommend addings them to flares or a shrunken denim jacket.

Donna says: "Iron on are the easiest way of achieving this look."

3. Aging Your Denim

You want that worn-in pair of jeans or shorts but you don't have the patience to wait for 15 years (neither do we!). The way to hurry things along is to place something flat and solid (like an old magazine or a small chopping board) inside the leg of your jeans or shorts (to make sure you don't age the back of your jeans too) then rub the denim gently with a piece of sandpaper, removing the fluff that comes away as you go. Be careful not to rub too hard in one place as there is no going back! Another technique is to go wild with the distressing and then patch from the inside, which can be done in store at Donna Ida.

Donna says "Always put something between the front and back of the jeans, so you don't create a whole in the back as well!!  Dependent on thickness of jeans to coarseness of sandpaper."

4. Ripped Knees

While wearing your jeans, mark the place you want the knee rips to be with a safety pin. Using a sharp heavy pair of scissors, cut across the knee of your jeans. Once you have cut the rip use a pin as in tip 1 and pull the threads out until you have the desired effect. When you have finished, put the jeans on and do some moving around – we recommend some quick squats and some dancing – to make the rips feel a bit more authentic and lived in.

Donna says: "Always try on the jeans and mark up where you want to rip. Don't rip too close to the seam."

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