The Right Way To Cut Your Jeans Into Shorts For The Summer

From skirts to shirts to accessories, full denim looks are happening. To avoid looking like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa 2001, properly styling denim on denim is super important. Denim is a wardrobe staple, and it's almost always trending in some way. Whether it be a denim jacket or a particular style of jeans, denim is evergreen. Even denim eye makeup is a thing!

With trends coming and going at all times, it can get overwhelming to keep up. Sometimes it may seem like you just bought a pair of jeans and the style is suddenly not cool anymore. You likely have at least one pair of unloved jeans in your closet, and you might not know what to do with them. If that's the case, don't worry — and don't get rid of them just yet.

Upcycling your clothes is the most affordable way to get a completely new piece from something you used to love. Reworking a denim piece isn't the easiest DIY out there when it comes to fixing up old clothing, but making jeans into shorts is definitely doable with just a little preparation, a steady hand, and the proper tools.

Prepare yourself for the big cut

Denim is a sturdy fabric to cut through, so the basic scissors in your kitchen drawer probably won't be sharp enough to do the job. Make sure you use quality fabric scissors to avoid any mishaps while cutting and to get a nice edge. It may seem trivial, but a clean cut depends on the sharpness of the shears' blades. The best scissors to effortlessly cut through heavier fabrics are dressmaker's shears or tailor's scissors.

Once you have the right scissors, try on the jeans before doing anything else. Decide on the length you want your new shorts to be and whether or not you'll leave the hem raw. If you opt for a frayed or folded hem, make sure to leave about an inch of extra fabric, or more if needed, to avoid making your new shorts too short.

When you've considered those elements, mark your jeans with chalk, which will be super easy to wash out later. It may help to make a small mark at the length you want while you're wearing the jeans; then, take them off and make a chalk line across the leg. If you don't have the steadiest hand, use a ruler or another object to help you draw a straight line. To help you evenly mark the other leg, measure the length from the inseam of the jeans and from the waistline to the line you already drew. Nobody wants lopsided shorts!

Ready, set, cut!

As the saying goes, "Preparation is half the battle won." Now all you need to do is cut the jeans into shorts. Cut along the marked line, starting at the inseam and working your way outward. Just to be safe and avoid snagging, do each pant leg separately because the scissors will glide easier through two layers of denim instead of four.

If you opted for a raw hem, you're done. A frayed hem will need a little bit more work, as will a folded one. For a more distressed edge, pull out some of the denim threads with tweezers or your fingers. Depending on your preference, you can choose to make the fringes longer or shorter. Creating a cuff on your shorts will require more skill. Fold the edge up twice to hide the raw edge — or fold it just once to let the raw edge show — and then hand stitch it into place from the inside at the place where the original seams go up the sides of the pants leg. There's no need to stitch it all around each pant leg.

That's it! You made your new summer shorts. All that's left is to style and wear them. The possibilities are endless — style them with your staple denim jackets, pair them with cool boots, or dress them up with glamour pieces for a night out. Anything goes, and your denim will thank you for giving it a new lease on life.