If there’s one must-have item for the dog days of summer, it’s a pair of ripped denim shorts. There are countless options out there, but the few that really do that vintage, worn-in look right (like that good ol’ Rag & Bone pair that’s always sold out) can set you back over $200. I have found it to be challenging to find a pair in a lower price range that does the perfect rippage – they tend to either be too scaled back and safe with one or two tiny frays, or they go way over board, with huge gaping rips making them suitable only for those under the age of 20. But there’s good news: it’s SUPER easy to make your own. Just grab the nearest pair of less-than-stellar denim boyfriend shorts (mine were $25 on sale for the 4th of July at Gap, but they have special offers pretty much daily) and a pair of sharp scissors, and let’s get started!
1. Choose the right shorts. There aren’t really any restrictions on what kind of shorts work for this project, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, go for a pair that doesn’t have a lot of stretch. The stretchy denim doesn’t fray as well as the non-stretch – a little bit is ok, but the less stretchy the fabric, the more they will fray. The rolled up cuff is big this year, so a pair with a secured roll will look fresh.
2. Start cutting. It helps to look at a picture of another pair you love for inspiration of where to cut, but definitely be sure to avoid the general crotch area first and foremost. I know that seems obvious but it’s easy to forget when you’re holding the scissors. You can make bigger cuts along the bottom of the shorts for that extra holey look. Try a few different kinds of cuts but keep it to mostly straight, horizontal slits – careful not to make them too big because the rips will naturally expand a bit over time from wearing and washing. You can also create little specs of fray by poking the end of the scissor into the fabric, which I like to do in clusters with a few cuts. Don’t forget the area over the pockets and on the bottom edge of the cuff, where you can get some added drama and hangy frays (yes, that is the technical term) without revealing something you don’t want to reveal. Be sure to keep the right and left sides different from each other, so it’s not too symmetrical. Lastly, don’t forget to give the backside a little love. I opted to keep those cuts mostly to the pockets and cuffs. This whole process should take no more than about 5 minutes. Adding bleach or white paint splatters would be a fun touch too…
3. Wash and dry em! This is where the real work is done, and all you have to do for it is catch another episode of Orange is the New Black before they’re ready to wear. It’s important that you wash AND dry them in the dryer because the majority of the fraying happens in the dryer. They will continue to fray with more washes, which is a big part of the fun.
Annnd voila! Boring shorts they are no longer! Try them on and feel free to pull on any of the holes if you want them to be a bit bigger. Let me know how your DIY ripped denim shorts turn out! I plan to wear mine nonstop this weekend and break in those rips even more.
I recently had a closet epiphany. OK true, I have them about once a week, but that doesn’t make it any less special when it happens. This time it had to do with casual shirts. I realized that most of the tops in my closet are either throw-and-go t-shirts (I do love a worn-in tee) or fancy tops. Both are key to any wardrobe, but where’s the happy medium? What about those days when I’m heading out for Saturday errands and want to be comfy but feel too dressed-down in a tee and yet I also don’t want to wear something that has to be dry cleaned. Whoa. This is a huge hole in my wardrobe. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m on a mission to fill the void with some casual cotton non-tee everyday shirts. This one from Alternative Apparel serves that purpose perfectly. I love how it’s easy and comfy yet it has a smart shape and structure to it that makes it feel more elevated than a tee. The key to its success is that unlike a t-shirt, it doesn’t need a lot of layering and accessorizing to avoid looking sloppy. Just throw it on with a pair of ripped jeans and it’s perfect for just about any ol’ day. Now I need to find more summer shirts that fit these criteria.
Alternative Apparel top / Standards & Practices jeans / Dolce Vita sandals / J.Crew hat / Valentino bag / J.Crew bracelet (sold out but love this one) / Karl Lagerfeld watch
Creepy crawlers in the coolest of ways – these glamorous bugs dance the line between fab and frightening. Take the sweeter side with an intricate butterfly or an edgy route with golden beetles and sparkling spiders. These are the only bugs you’ll allow to make a home in your dresser.
Choosing the perfect wedding gift can sometimes be equally as tricky as finding the perfect outfit. Sure the registry is there to make things easy for us, but sometimes you run into roadblocks. The item you have your eye on has already been purchased, or maybe you just feel that couple would appreciate something with a little thought and creativity behind it. I’m actually a fan of registries because when people get married, they want to build their own perfect home rather than a hodgepodge of random people’s tastes. It’s a way to make it very easy on their guests to pick out something you know for sure they want. But sometimes – and you’ll probably know when it’s one of those times – it’s just nice to go off the beaten path. I recommend only doing this if you feel you really know the couple’s style and are comfortable choosing something that suits them and their home. These are a few items that you likely won’t find on a wedding registry but are sure to make memorable and stylish gifts for the wedding, or even the shower or engagement party.
This past Saturday we were getting ready for back-to-back BBQ’s and all I could think about was how I wanted to be comfortable. Cute was important too (as with any party attire) but it was a HOT day and the thought of sweating in a restrictive outfit was just the worst thing in the world to me at that moment. Then I remembered this dress I had bought on major sale at Intermix right at the tail end of last summer, and I hadn’t gotten to wear it yet. It’s the yummiest flowy silk tie dye in the perfect shade of blue for summer (yes, that blue again – I’m serious about it). There are some boob harnessing issues with this dress which I’m still figuring out, but in the meantime I thought why not wear it as a skirt? There’s an elastic waist band, so a little tucking of the top portion and the addition of a tank, gladiator belt and sandals – bam – 2 pieces in 1. Girl, you know how much I love a double duty piece! The best part is that I was so breezy and comfy all day long. I think this dress just became my new summer best friend.
Gap tank / Gypsy 05 dress, worn as a skirt / vintage belt / Stuart Weitzman sandals / American Apparel clutch / Margaret Elizabeth bracelets c/o (1, 2, 3) / Bauble Bar bracelet / Nadri bracelets (1, 2) / Ray-Ban sunglasses / Karl Lagerfeld watch
In case you’ve been around these parts for a long time, chances are you already know that there’s a certain shade of blue that’s the only exception to my “no color” ways. Maybe it’s because it makes me daydream about lazy days wandering around Santorini, or maybe it’s the fact that it sometimes seems like the only color that complements fair skin and dark hair in a way that manages to maintain some edge. Whatever the reason, Grecian blue is my jam. When summer comes around, it’s almost like another neutral even though it’s so delightfully bright and saturated. At the very least, a solid silk dress in this color is a must for every summer wardrobe. It also makes a great handbag or shoe investment since it goes with so many other colors. Do it in stripe, do it in tie dye. Whatever you do… just do it.
Whenever I’m putting together a list of my top must-have wardrobe staples, denim is always front and center. I’m not just talking about jeans – it’s everything from jackets to vests, rompers, and shirts, which are all perfect things to have on weekly rotation. And the best part is that you don’t even have to avoid wearing more than one piece in an outfit. While “denim on denim” used to spark bad thoughts of cowgirl costumes or that horrendous Justin/Britney matching denim moment, there actually are countless chic ways to mix your denims which the world is embracing now. The biggest key in rocking this trend is to mix up the weights and/or the tones of denim you’re wearing. So if it’s a thick pair of jeans, you can easily wear a lightweight chambray on top. If you’re wearing mid or darker toned jeans, you can definitely rock a bleached jacket, and so on and so forth. Just avoid wearing a top and bottom that are the exact same color tone and texture, and you’re totally good to go.
1. Rag & Bone jacket / 2. Hat Attack baseball cap / 3. Frame Denim skinny jeans / 4. Accessorize Millie Chambray shorts / 5. Current/Elliot pencil skirt / 6. J Crew western shirt / 7. Frame Denim le garcon jean / 8. Madewell top / 9. Robert Rodriguez crop top / 10. Gap chambray romper / 11. Current/Elliot chambray shirt / 12. J Crew pants / 13. Top Shop midi skirt / 14. Current/Elliot overalls / 15. J Crew shorts / 16. Current/Elliot vest