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Updated: Jul 6, 2020

As seen in the Sunshine Coast Daily Life & Style Weekend Magazine

Who can wait for denim to fade? Here's a recipe for helping your duds ripen.

One of our favourite seasons staples is a pair of denim shorts. Like fine wine, denim gets better with age. As it ages and with every new adventure come wonderful signs of wear. But because we live in the land of impatience and possibly because by the time it’s aged beautifully so have we... We need a recipe to ripen our darling denims super-fast.

First, we forage.

The fastest way to age denim is to get your hands on some that have already cuddled someone else’s buns. Look for good quality jeans, don’t waste time with disposable denim, it’s not made to last, will not hold its shape and doesn’t have the same effect when you’ve finished your operation. Start your search in family or friends’ wardrobes, recycled shops and markets.

Once you’ve found quality threads, it’s time to operate. There’s no need for a denim doctor. You can DIY.

Cut them.

Find a pair of shorts you already own at a length you like, to use as a guide. Always use the crotch as your matching point for length, never the waist. This will keep your bottom coverage consistent if the waist height varies. Cut the new pair a touch longer than the existing pair. It’s much easier to further shorten than add length, if you’ve been a little over excited with the scissors. It also gives you room for fraying without flashing.

Grate them.

If they’re not already distressed, get out the grater. My preference is a parmesan grater, it’s a less brutal, easier to manage and gives a more natural worn look. Grate areas that would be consistent with wear.

Wash them.

Some suggest you freeze denim over washing, to preserve colour and make them last. Whilst the freezer will keep your denim fresh by removing suspicious scents and killing germs, we’re going for the worn look so throw them in the wash. Especially when perfecting raw edges, you can help the fray along by pulling threads before washing.

If you happen to be impossibly impatient, many labels have already done all of this for you, but where’s the fun in that?

Before I go, a magic trick - Your denim shorts are probably already a little cheeky so I doubt you need an inappropriate zip that won’t stay up! Secure the sassy little thing by putting a keyring through the zipper and loop it over the button, button jeans as normal. Done!

Magic Zipper Remedy

Righto off you go, time to sift through your Dad's duds.


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