DIY high-waisted shorts in five simple steps

In addition to sun-kissed skin, which is (by far) the best accessory to wear in the summertime, this season begs all fashionistas to invest in a solid pair of high-waisted denim cutoffs.

Perhaps you noticed the ’80s trend trickling on down from the hipster ivory towers into the ‘wardrobe of the mainstream,’ but fret not because every pair of these vintage-inspired shorts can be made completely unique. Unless, that is, you buy yours pre-made. And really, where’s the fun in that?

You can get a great pair of of the high-waisted denim cutoffs from Urban Outfitters (Urban Renewal cutoff short at right), but why pay $44 when you can create your own for $2-3 and have the priceless bragging rights to show for it?

That’s the question my friend Mariel and I pondered as we pulled into our local Goodwill Industries International, Inc. We immediately headed for the mom jeans and were amazed at the plentiful selection. All colors, shapes and sizes awaited us, and once we envisioned the jeans in their shortened state, the selection process became that much easier.

Before I transformed my mom jeans into a completely new pair of summer shorts, I decided to document the process for future reference. Check out how easy it is:

Step One: Once you’ve purchased your jeans, draw a line where you’re guestimating you want the shorts to start. Chalk, pencil, pen- it doesn’t really matter, since you’re cutting it off anyway.

Step Two: Using a pair of fabric scissors, cut from the bottom of the front pant straight up to where your line is (only on the front portion of the pant) and then, horizontally to the seams on the left and right. You can see I cut a few inches below my line to be safe. You can always cut more off, but you can’t add the fabric back!

Step Three: When cutting the back portion of the pant, scoop the cut an inch or two beneath the front cut’s length. I’ve found that when cuffing the shorts later, leaving more fabric in the back to gather allows for a tighter, more form-fitting look.

Step Four: Repeat  steps 1-3 on the other leg.

Step Five: Cuff ’em! This step all depends on your preferences. Thin cuff, thick cuff, you can do whichever one you like here. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to slip the shorts on and off, re-marking and trimming them several times, until you find that perfect shape for your body. If they bunch awkwardly, then there’s probably too much fabric in that area and a small trim should take care of it!

I decided not to cut holes in this particular pair, but if you would like some, cut a thin slit where you want the rip to be and throw them in the wash! Simple as that. The shorts will emerge with perfectly frayed rips, right out of the ’80s and smellin’ fresh.

Easy alternative to pricey pre-done shorts, right? And much more authentic!


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