Ask A Baltimore Expert: How To Distress Your Jeans

June 10, 2014 6:00 AM

(Photo by Elizabeth And James via Getty Images)

Many Baltimoreans are looking for ways to spruce up their wardrobes. Although a shopping spree is a dream come true, it is not a reality for most people. Getting creative with the clothes you have can be fun and the end result can be rewarding. For summer, try the trendy distressed jean look. But don’t go spending $100 on a new pair, instead distress your own with a few helpful hints from Baltimore native Rasheda aka The CurvyGirl Diva. She has five tips on distressing your jeans yourself. Follow these tips and you will distress your jeans like a pro.

The CurvyGirl Diva
Baltimore, Md.

Rasheda The CurvyGirl Diva is a full-figured fashion blogger who has more than 10 years of experience as a professional writer. She’s a California girl by birth but has made her home in Baltimore. Her blog focuses on fashion and social issues that affect the plus-size community. You can also hire Rasheda as a fashion consultant as well.

According to the CurvyGirl Diva, “One of the coolest and trendiest styles in denim wear today is the distressed jean.” She says that distressed jeans can be “played up with a cute pump or wedge and played down with a hot sneaker or a pair of flats.” So whether you are going on a date or just going grocery shopping, you can sport your distressed jeans, but be mindful of your shoe pairing.

(Photo by Elizabeth And James via Getty Images)

(Photo by Elizabeth And James via Getty Images)

Here are Rasheda’s tips to distressing your jeans.

Try on the pants when you are making your markings for holes

“You want to make sure that the rip in the knee is actually on your knee or that the tear right below the butt cheek isn’t showing any cheek (well, that is unless you want it to show). Do this while standing not sitting so you get where your natural knee is. Mark each side of the natural knee with safety pins. Make markings so that when you start distressing, they are in the right areas.”

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Don’t over cut the holes at the knee

“Make a small slit. You can always make them a little bigger, but you can’t make them smaller. Rough it up with a sand paper block or cheese grater, which can make the hole bigger and can cause the saggy look even before your first wear. Also, if you are taking a pocket off, don’t just tear it, use tweezers or a seam ripper to take if off. Otherwise it can make holes you don’t want and can’t fix.”

(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Mark Von Holden/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Mark Von Holden/Getty Images)

Reinforce the inside of the hole at the knee to make sure it does not get any bigger

“This really helps with the saggy look you sometimes see with distressed jeans. Get a piece of iron-on patch and iron pieces to the sides of the hole and above and below it on the inside. This keeps the hole secure and prevents it from tearing further. You can also opt to reinforce by stitching.”

Use bleach

“I think this really is a fun aspect of distressing jeans, especially if you are like me and like the medium to dark wash. I like to take the bleach and make a faded look at the thigh part on the front and back first then start the distressing process. You can also spot bleach holes to make some areas really pop.”

Wash them.

“You have to. After you’ve finished distressing and especially if you used bleach, throw them in the washer, run on cold and dry on low. This is the finishing touch to making them really authentic.”

The CurvyGirl Diva says there are many more tips but the tips above are her top five. She also suggests that if you do not have time to DIY, purchase jeans at Forever 21. You do not have to spend a fortune to be fashion forward. Check out the photo gallery of The CurvyGirl Diva and her distressed jean shorts.

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Ada Orie is a Maryland native who loves God, her family, friends and Ravens. You can find her work at

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