Denim cutoffs are a girl’s wardrobe staple. In my opinion, every one needs a pair (or two) as they go with absolutely everything. I love wearing my cutoffs with a turtleneck or chunky cable knit sweater and ankle boots. But they can also make the perfect addition to a bikini if you need something to wear to and from the beach. I love them with a structured blazer and I love them with just a simple vintage tee. Once you have a few pairs, you can even sew patches on them or draw on them with a fabric pen – whatever! You see, you can’t go wrong when it comes to denim cutoffs.
Where to buy them? That’s the hard part. Don’t bother with the nouveau-type from high street denim brands as they always look too clean, too fitted and brand new. You want to either make them yourself or purchase a vintage pair. Don’t worry I’ve got shopping (and DIY) tips because I’ve done both.
If you’re going to DIY, I suggest getting a pair of vintage mom jeans. (I literally took my mom’s CK jeans from the 90s and turned them into sweet denim cutoffs). You want to cut one leg off first in a diagonal line so it’s coming high from the hip and lower into the crotch. Then fold the jeans in half and trace the same line to cut the other leg (so they’re even). Never cut too short as they will shrink in the wash. Next, take a pair of scissors and begin to fray along the cut you’ve made. Just run the blade against the denim grain for about two centimetres. Last? Throw them in the dryer and let it do the rest of the work. You’ll have perfectly frayed cutoff shorts in no time.
If you want to buy the perfect pair instead of making them yourself? There are a few places that sell vintage Levi’s and Wrangler denim cutoffs. In Toronto, you can find them at Aritzia at Toronto Eaton Centre, at getpreloved.com or here. If you’re in Los Angeles, all the vintage stores sell them. What Goes Around Comes Around has a massive markup so I bought them at American Rag for $50 USD, and they are the perfect colour. They shouldn’t cost you more than $75 CAD.
Generally with vintage sizes, you have to go up a few sizes. (Because they were created before vanity sizing). I normally wear a 24-25 waist so in my vintage Levi’s 501 cutoffs I wear a size 28. I love when you can roll them up, too, instead of having a frayed edge. I would buy one pair frayed and one pair rolled.
There is only one brand that I will trust with contemporary denim cutoffs that look just as good (if not better) than the vintage version, and that’s One Teaspoon. Their denim shorts are often imitated but in my opinion, never duplicated. If the above two options don’t work, you can find One Teaspoon jean shorts just about anywhere and they will get the job done. You can find a sweet pair of distressed One Teaspoon cutoffs right here.
Know another source for vintage denim cutoffs? Lemme know! Leave a comment below!