Last summer I had no money for clothes but wanted another pair of shorts, so I hunted in the back of my closet for a pair of jeans I could turn into cut-offs. I found this pair; it had a pretty high waist, which of course made it a dinosaur in the age of low-rise (a.k.a., your ass is showing) jeans. Even worse, it had a full thigh, which meant it was an unflattering dinosaur at that.
So, I chopped ’em off. Woohoo, cut-offs!
Then this summer happened, and I started following twenty somethings on fashion blogs. (This is a wonderful thing, let me tell you, if you too happen to be old enough to no longer know intuitively what is “in” and what is MOST DEFINITELY NOT; you can relax and know that the twenty year olds won’t steer you wrong.)
And here’s the thing: it turns out Mom Jeans are back in style.
Well, almost-Mom Jeans. These new versions do have the “high” waist (or regular waist, as I like to call them), but they don’t have that super full thigh that our old jeans used to have. I would sigh in relief, but the full thigh will probably be popular next year.
So, since now my mom jeans cut-offs are so timely and hip, I thought I would share them with you. Dig in the back of your closet! Maybe you have a pair back there just waiting for your scissors!
How to Turn Your Mom Jeans
Step 1: Try on shorts you already own to figure out about how long you want your cut-offs to be. Then use a ruler to measure from this length to the spot where the pant legs come together. This is called the inseam.
Step 2: Add an inch and a half or so to this number. This gives you extra room if a) you mess up your cut and want to try again, or b) you decide you want to wear your shorts folded up.
Step 3: Mark this point on the inside of both pant legs of your mom jeans using a pencil. This will be your starting point for the cuts.
Step 4: Cut one pant leg off, cutting perpendicular to the seam.
Step 5: Try on your pants/shorts (ports? shants?) to see if you like the side you just cut. Make any adjustments you think are necessary.
Step 6: When you are happy with the cut side, fold your jeans in half so that the uncut pant leg is on the bottom, and the cut leg is resting on top of it. Trace the line of the cut leg onto the uncut leg.
Step 7: Cut the second pant leg along the line you just drew.
Step 8: Try on your new cutoffs to make sure they are more or less symmetrical.
Step 9: Wash your cutoffs and pick at the edges to encourage fraying.
Tip: If the thigh is still full after you chop them, try folding them up like I did; it cuts down on the fullness.
I know it’s September, which is not exactly typical shorts weather. It’s still nearly 100° here, so you’ll have to forgive my endless-summer attitude. Even if it’s chilly where you are, you can wear your cut-offs with tights. So cute!
© Amy Daniewicz