Keeping with the retro 80s vibe that’s been hot for the last few seasons, distressed jeans are like, totally in for spring 2012. But how do you wear them so that you don’t end up looking like you’ve been time warped directly out of the audience of a Van Halen concert? By pairing them with more modern pieces, of course! Dress distressed jeans up or down, but just as with any other pair of jeans, be sure to always pay attention to cuts, colors, and silhouettes when putting together an outfit to keep the look fresh. Accessories can also go a long way toward taking a strong statement look like distressed jeans to the next level. Here are some tips to keep your distressed jeans on trend.
Distressed jeans come in several silhouettes, including skinny, slouchy, and everything in between. Just because a jean is distressed doesn’t make it the right choice for you. Stick to cuts that work for you in non-distressed jeans to be sure you’re making the most of your body type. Pay attention to where the holes and rips fall. Thighs and calves are better than right under your rear or on the knees, where rips will get bigger quickly. Also, notice whether rips run in a horizontal or vertical direction. If you’ve got long, lean legs, let the horizontal rips rip! If not, you may want to look for distressing in a more vertical pattern to elongate your legs. The degree of distressing should also be a consideration. Some pieces verge on destroyed and are limited in terms of where you can wear them (read: super-casual only!), whereas some have only a hint of distressing, making them on trend but still fairly versatile. Medium to darker washes are also more wearable.
While you shouldn’t plan to wear your distressed jeans to a truly formal event, you can totally dress them up for a night out with friends. Pair some slouchy jeans with a fab pair of heels and a loose fitting top done in a material with a bit of sheen, then add a little dimension with a long necklace or a bold cuff that boasts some evening-worthy bling. For a fun twist, try topping with a super-feminine, fluttery blouse as well.
Distressed skinny jeans can easily look trashy when paired with a super-sexy stiletto heel, so tone it down with a great pair of ballerina shoes or a flat gladiator. If you can’t live without your heels, then balance the look by topping it off with a loose fitting top or chunky cardigan. Pairing distressed skinnies with menswear-inspired pieces like a tailored button-front shirt or a boyfriend blazer can also keep the look in check. Keep in mind that the more distressed a pair of jeans is, the busier it will appear to the eye, so you’ll want to keep your tops and accessories fairly simple to keep the outfit from looking tortured.
Don’t just stick to blues when you’re thinking of distressed denim. Picking up a pair in a trendy color can add pop to your outfit and make it look more modern. Vibrant colors like red and yellow are hot this season, or try a pair in white for a cool, casual look.