Ah, the winter shorts. So contradictory and impractical of a trend that it’s spread like wildfire. Even J.Crew can’t help pairing their shorts with blazers, classic cardigans, or crisp button downs (just see above for proof). So who am I to fight it? I actually love the winter shorts trend because it’s just like wearing wool tights with skirts or dresses only better; No worrying about your skirt flying up in the wind or your dress static-clinging to your nyloned legs. You get the best of both worlds.
Since I’ve been getting so much mileage out of my recently purchased tweed shorts, I decided to take a pair of scissors to an old pair of jeans and gift myself a second pair of winter shorts. A denim cut-off pair. I think it was around the mid nineties that I last turned a pair of jeans into cut-offs, so I proceeded with caution and recorded the transformation for your benefit as well. In just a few easy steps, you too can be the proud owner of a pair of denim cut-offs…
- Old jeans to be cut up
- A pair of well fitting shorts for comparison purposes
Pick a pair of jeans that you won’t be sorry to cut up. Of all the jeans I brought abroad with me, I was most willing to part with these black DKNY ones that I thrifted a few years back. Since I’m really liking a narrow or skinny jean cut as of late, I decided to breathe new life into this flared pair by converting them to shorts.
It helps if you already own a pair of well fitting shorts that you could use as a measuring guide. These don’t have to be jean or dress shorts, even a pair of workout shorts would do if you like how they fit and the length is a good indicator for how long you’d liked your new pair to be. I love the fit of these tweed shorts, so I used them as my measuring guide. I found this to be easier than trying to mark the jeans or to indicate with pins the length I’d like to achieve.
Simply lay your model pair of shorts on top of the jeans and cut a few good inches lower. Make sure your jeans are laying the same way as the shorts – with the hem seams lined up. The front waistband will be lower when the hems match up (see top image for example). Don’t match up the waistbands because this will result in uneven leg seams once the shorts are on (you need more fabric in the tush area).
Once you’ve double checked that the shorts and jeans are lined up correctly, start cutting a good section below the hems of the model shorts. Account for rolling the hem if that’s what you want to do and err on the longer side with your first cut.
Once you cut both jean legs off, roll the cuffs for your desired end effect and try them on for fit. Trim another inch or two off if they’re too long or enjoy more of a trouser shorts look. Style as desired.
Now, any tips on what to do with that left over jean fabric?