DENIM SPOTLIGHT: A Guide to Men’s Ripped Jeans

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Since the early 2010’s, ripped jeans have come back with a bang as a sort-of 90s revival with its own unique twist. Commonly introduced as distressed, modern ripped jeans are more complex than their 80s or 90s counterparts.

Fortunately, we’ve put together a definitive guide to buying or DIY’ing your next pair of ripped jeans.

Types of ‘Rips’
If you’re surprised to read that there are multiple types of jean rips. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:

1. Holes – areas on the fabric where there is an actual visible window through the jeans (as a result, to your legs).

Rules to follow:

a. Jean holes should never be wider than the leg width.
b. Holes should always be horizontally across the leg.
c. Holes should never be more than an inch high when you’re standing, and a couple of inches when you’re sitting.
2. Shreds – tears in the fabric where the threads remain, covering up the hole.

3. Scrapes – small abrasions or scratches on the surface of the fabric, usually less than an inch in size.

If you are going to be DIY’ing your next pair of ripped jeans, then it is recommended you watch some YouTube tutorials on how to create shreds and scrapes for men’s jeans. Creating holes are easy, but leaving threads or creating scrapes require a little bit more skill.

Now that’s the basics out the way, here’s where things get a bit more technical.

Placement
This is the tricky bit, where most guys fall victim. They know they want a pair of ripped jeans, but they end up buying or creating a pair where everything is out of place!

If this sounds like you, then you need to ask yourself an important question before placing your next order. Can these rips of actually been created in real life? In other words, if they’ve got a massive hole exposing your thigs or shins – then something has gone wrong. Similarly, holes and shreds below your mid-shin are a no-go, unless you were attacked by a small dog on your way out.

Scrapes are an exception to the rule, they’re small in size and don’t expose your legs to the world, meaning they can pretty much go anywhere. In fact, many designers feature scrapes in and around the pocket area.

Rip Count
Whilst there are no definitive guidelines to how many rips a guy is allowed to have on their jeans, it is advised you error on the side of caution. Too many holes and shreds will make you look like you lost a fight with a lawnmower, whilst too little holes may only marginally affect your fashion style.

In instances where you are unsure, it is advised you draw inspiration from a top jean-wear designer. Most designers of ripped jeans rarely exceed three rips and shreds, whilst the amount of scrapes can vary widely.

All images from MMSCENE PORTRAITS exclusive online sessions tarring model Jonathan Skeesick at BMG Models photographed by Mark Mendez – see the full shoot.

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