Not everybody has an authentic vintage pair of 1905 Levi’s laying around that did hard labour on your Grandfathers farm but everybody wishes they did! That would be awesome! We want our jeans to look and feel lived in. They should look the way a couple of decades of honest work will make them look, authentic and perfectly aged. But what if your patience caps out at 2 hours and the only manual labour you partake in is hoisting your latte at the cafe around the corner?
Quite simply, it is time for you to embrace your creative side. Have a little fun and achieve the worn and worked in look of yesteryear without the constraints of old man time hanging over your head. It is easy to do, the possibilities are endless and the only constraint is your imagination. By following these simple guidelines you will be hoisting your next latte in triumph as those patrons around you admire your new distressed jeans.
Step one: Be Believable in Your Blueprint
Haphazard hacking does not promote authentic looking wear on your beloved jeans. If you have a fray halfway between your knee and your ankle, chances are everyone will know there is not a chance in jean heaven that it happened spontaneously or through repeated wearing. It is just not believable. The key to achieving that authentic look is to map out your distressing carefully.
Put your jeans on! Wearing your jeans is the only true way to figure out exactly where to distress them. If you guess you will be wrong. While in your jeans mark out the places you feel are most likely to become worn over time. That boney protrusion in your knee, your abnormally large hip bone it doesn’t matter your body type it only matters where your jeans would most naturally wear if you wore them all the time for the next decade or two, so be real.
Once you have figured out your figure and how your jeans fit it carefully seek out all the areas you feel would become distressed overtime and mark them carefully with a pencil or colored marker. This becomes your blueprint for your roadmap to authenticity. Now on to the fun part!
Step Two: What Kind of Wear and Where?
When going for an authentic look you have to understand people’s natural tendencies. We all lean against things, it not that we are lazy it’s just a thing that we all do, it is a fact. So what parts of our jeans are coming into constant contact with rough surfaces like wood and concrete on a regular basis? Well, some of us our side leaners and some of us are rear leaners which one are you? If you don’t know it really doesn’t matter because no one else does either so distress both.
To achieve the most realistic looking wear from years of leaning against things you are looking for real wear and not holes. The best way to create this is to use a razor or a cheese grater on the seams of your jeans. The first area is at the waistband/hipbone part of the seam on both sides of the jeans and then again about 5 inches down the leg on each side. This creates the same distressed effect on your favorite denim as years of as rubbing your hips against various and sundry walls. Next apply the razor or cheese grater to the rear of your jeans where your vertical and horizontal seams meet for a similar effect.
After you have frayed the seems to your liking use either a small amount of bleach or so coarse grit sandpaper to subtly lighten the denim in those same areas, this will add to the overall authentic illusion.
Now get out there and enjoy your new jeans and another latte!