For as long as most of us can remember, jeans have been a wardrobe staple. They’re comfortable, long-lasting and versatile enough to match almost any style or occasion. Different washes and fits come and go, with the ripped jean seemingly here to stay – a plain white tee with trainers and ripped blue mom jeans is a staple daytime outfit, whilst a black skinny jean with ripped knees and heeled boots will take you through to the evening. Ripped jeans are effortless to wear, but need some TLC to keep them looking their best for as long as possible. The team at ACE has some tips for taking care of ripped jeans.
1. Reinforce the holes
If you put your foot through the knee hole when getting dressed, or bend down a bit too far, your subtle rips might just turn into gaping holes. This can also happen in the wash more slowly as the frays gradually extend further and further towards the edges. Denim only rips sideways, so you only need to reinforce the sides to keep them strong.
You can do this one of two ways – either by sewing along the edges (hand-stitched or with a machine) or use iron-on patches. You can get these from a haberdashery or online, and you can either apply patches to the outside to personalise your jeans or inside for a clean and invisible finish. This won’t affect your ability to wash jeans normally. Some people recommend applying them with hair straighteners – but be careful of any leftover residue! You may want to use a thin tea towel as a protective layer between the jeans and the hot surface.
2. Double up
Jeans aren’t always the cheapest to buy, but if you invest in a good quality pair you’ll be wearing them for years to come. If you’re wearing them regularly, and if you can afford it, it makes sense to buy a couple of pairs so that you can rotate when some are in the wash. If you’re washing each individual pair less often it’ll decrease the wear and tear – and you’ll save energy by washing less!
3. Upcycle old jeans
Some retailers charge through the roof for ripped jeans, but you can easily make them yourself with a pair of plain jeans and scissors. Put the jeans on, then mark with a (closed!) safety pin or pencil where you’d like the rips to sit – across your knees is a good place to start. Take them off again, and carefully cut horizontally across the fabric. You only need to cut a small amount, then gently rip the rest for that frayed effect. This is ideal if you’ve accidentally ripped a pair – embrace it and work it!
4. Protect the colour
Dark jeans, in particular, can lose their colour fast. To stop black jeans fading to grey, always turn them inside out before you wash them and put them on a cool cycle. If they do fade over time and you want them to be a bit darker then try buying a home-dye kit (lots of supermarkets stock them) and re-dying them.