I’ve gushed before about how cool of a magazine ShopSmart is. The no-ad publication is put out by Consumer Reports so it’s trustworthy and it is geared towards savvy-spenders. When it arrives in my mailbox it’s a little bit of heaven.
The March 2010 issue has a cool story (p. 7) on making new jeans look worn-in. Did you know distressing jeans is a huge part of the cost of designer denim? I didn’t. ShopSmart has s number of tips to get a worn-in designer jean look, which I’ve summarized below:
1. Soften your new jeans by washing them several times with fabric softener and a clean pair of tennis shoes.
2. Don’t over do it. Wear your new jeans around the house to see where they naturally crease, then emphasize those lines with the tricks below. Seams on the side, back pockets, and knees are natural wear spots.
3. If you use bleach, put a layer of plastic wrap in the leg so you don’t get mirror bleach spots on the other side. Place a block of wood other other durable material inside the leg to protect the rest of the fabric.
4. Sandpaper will create a “fuzzy effect” when you rub it on the denim. A pumice stone is also a good tool to wear down spots. A cheese grater will do greater damage, creating rips and snags. Test a small patch, look at the effect, and work slowly.
5. Snip the hem and pocket edges with small scissors to create a frayed look.
6. Change the color of your jeans by lightening with small amounts of bleach (apply with a rag or sponge, ShopSmart says). Or you can darken for a “dirty” look with fabric dye, such as Rit or strong coffee.
7. If you’re not sure what distressed look you want, flip through magazines, fashion websites, or take pictures of jeans you see in stores.
This sounds like such a fun project! I can’t wait to try it on my next pair of jeans. On second thought, I may try some of these techniques on older pairs of jeans that I don’t care much about, then apply my new skills to a new pair.
This could also be a great project for a teen who wants jeans that are 100 percent unique.