If my obsession with cropped flare jeans has so far gone unnoticed, it's about time I remind you. Recently I spent an entire lunch break desperately scouring the vast abyss of the online shopping world for a pair of perfectly frayed blue cropped flare jeans. Unfortunately, my efforts were wasted and the best I could find was a pair of £12 at a ropey looking website with models in questionable poses. Gathering that there's a highly large chance this website would steal my card information and all of my money (although, I'm sure they'd be bitterly disappointed as my bank statement reads more like a love letter to Topshop rather than that of a healthy, sensible working woman), I decided I'd cut my losses and buy a nice looking non-frayed pair from Miss Selfridge. How hard can a little DIY fraying be? Turns out, it's a hell of a lot easier than getting winged eyeliner even. With all designers chipping in on the denim trend, and customising reaching new kinds of popularity, there's no better time to grab yourself some jeans, scissors, tweezers and a cheese grater, and get fraying. Oh, and for the ultra-crafty, it works just as good on everything else denim, so why not try it on skirts or the hem of a shirt to really make something your own?
You Will Need
If you're chopping your jeans a lot shorter, mark how much you're taking off with a ruler and chalk. Personally, I wouldn't bother as things are meant to look roughed-up and messy. As I was taking mine just above the hem, I used this as a guideline of where to cut.
Now you're left with two neatly cut-off legs (that sounds weird), it's time to get fraying. Although this is a super simple way to customise your denim, the next part can be a little time consuming. So put on your favourite new album, grab a mug of tea (wine????) and get started!
(Soz about the nails...)
With the tweezers, start pulling the horizontal threads out of the jeans. You can see a close-up of the inside in this second picture of how it looks. Keep pulling away at these being as messy or neat as you like. I found it easier to keep trimming some of the white frayed threads away to stop them from tangling.
Once you've done as much as you like, rough things up more by pulling at the threads really quickly with the tweezers, leaving more little white threads hanging down amongst the blue frays.
Not rough enough? Go at the hems with a cheese grater! Use the smaller side that's best for zesting lemons (don't I sound sophisticated?) as the sharp pieces of metal really pull at the threads.
Distress and fray until here's what you're left with!!
8pm, Friday Night, London - nothing says weekend like going out-out for overpriced cocktails. A quick dash into Sainsbury’s to pick up the mandatory Prosecco for predrinks (are we still calling it predrinks? Is there not a more grown-up word? It feels so university) and I arrive approximately 45 minutes late to the girls’ house. I walk through the door and oh, right… meet my four clones. Standing before me are my friends, all dressed in an identical uniform of a black polo neck top (sleeved and sleeveless variations) a black skirt (fitted or flared - both welcome) or black skinnies, and finally, of course, the perennial wardrobe-pleasing black ankle boots. Oh, and let's not forget there’s 8 pairs of dark smoky eyes staring right back at me. Despite us all having totally different sartorial taste by day (like the Spice Girls), by night, my best gal pals and I morph into copycat clones - a gothic girl band, inappropriately dressed funeral guests, Posh Spice x 5.
When you’re going out-out, finding the appropriate balance between what looks sexy, what looks effortless, what’s appropriate for the dress code, and what looks cool is no longer a little bit of an issue, but a huge challenge that would have Gok Wan running away quicker than you can say “waist-cinching belt.” Apply all these filters to your wardrobe and what’s left? A semi-sheer blouse. Skinny jeans. A slinky sleeveless top. And a skirt. All in the deepest darkest shade of black, of course. Now where's the imagination in that?
It all starts with a dress code. And with the death of so many nightclubs, it makes it a hell of a lot harder to figure out what this mystery going out-out dress code is now that the generic rule of ‘little dress and high-heels’ no longer exists. Now that we've all grown out of clubs - or they are all closing down - we go to bars (then leave when we realise it’s populated almost entirely with couples on painfully awkward Tinder dates.) Alternatively, we go to pub-clubs (the type that at some point between 10pm and midnight, usually around the time your friend coerces you into reliving uni life with a Jaegerbomb, the furniture magically disappears, a DJ shows up and the whole place begins to resemble a club inside your Granny's house, complete with old oak tables and weird red walls.) Last time I checked, there wasn’t a dress code for the pub. So what the hell do you even wear? Someone give me some rules to abide by? The sartorial struggle is so real it's making my brain hurt.
The most frustrating thing is that I look to my wardrobe and see it bursting with interesting things – and there is a fashionable rep to keep up somewhere. There’s a few jazzy dresses, but strangely, they feel a bit too well, dressy… a bit too wanker-banker that would be more at home during a boozy client dinner in the City. Jeans and a T-shirt feel too slobby, like you just don’t care (and not even in a cool, effortless way.) Actual high heels are way too inappropriate, as let’s face it, pub floors are gross and the chances are you’re going to step onto something – or someone – that you won't want to be peeling off when you're hungover tomorrow. And jumpsuits? One word: toilets. It's a clear no-go. There’s a time and a place for everything in your wardrobe, but when you’re heading out-out, it all just feels a little bit wrong. Nothing seems to fit, and with that there’s no other option than to go back to black.
If someone has Gok Wan’s phone number, can you tell him that I need his help?
Here's my failsafe Friday night outfit and some colourful clothes just in case you too are stuck in this trap tonight.