Ever wondered what it was like when the first non-celebrities wore ripped jeans as fashion? Can you imagine the stares, whispers, and remarks such as, “what is the world coming to?” and “well I never!”
To this day, people receive looks of disapproval when they wear ripped jeans. So why are ripped jeans popular?
Table of Contents
What exactly are ripped jeans?
These “imperfections” are often on the thighs, at the knees, or on the calves. These pants have the appearance of natural or manipulated wear and tear.
They’ve become commercialized so you can purchase them. Or if you prefer customization and DIY projects then grab a pair of scissors or a blade and rip to your heart’s content!
Origin of ripped jeans
You may not be surprised to learn that ripped jeans had a not-so-glamorous past. Before the 1970s, people weren’t wearing torn jeans to express personal style- they wore them because that’s all they had.
Back then, the poor wore their clothing down to the last thread because they couldn’t afford to buy new clothes frequently. So, their ripped jeans were a result of over-wearing
In the 1980s there was a turning point concerning the perception of ripped jeans. As you know, heavy metal rockers take pride in their appearance which may be considered wild, eccentric, and “too cool for school.”
They took their unconventional style of fashion a bit further by wearing ripped jeans while performing on stage.
Afterward, the rest of the world caught onto the 80s ripped jeans trend. The grunge culture in the early 90s also added gas to the flame so there was no slowing down.
With their scissors in hand, teenagers all over the country carefully carved out cuts and holes in their jeans as a form of self-expression.
The trend lost a little steam afterward but like with most fashion trends, the ripped jeans have come full circle and are back in full force.
Why are ripped jeans so popular?
As it pertains to ripped jeans, there seems to be no middle ground – you either consider them a fashion “must-have” or you’re totally repulsed by them.
Why do people wear ripped jeans? Fans of this trend wear them for various reasons. They’re a hit for some folks because the cuts and the incisions symbolize their resistance to conformity.
This can be political because it may be perceived as a form of rebellion. For the rest of us, we wear ripped jeans because they complement our personal styles. We love to be edgy, stylish, cool with a hint of “rule breaker.”
Or some of us have FOMO so we must jump on the latest trend to achieve a sense of belonging. People can’t get enough of ripped jeans. You can find rips on skinny jeans, flare jeans, bootcut, baggy boyfriend, and even mom jeans.
Designers have given the people what they asked for by also ripping other items made from denim such as jackets, shorts, and skirts
Types of ripped jeans
You have options when it comes to the types of ripped jeans. Let’s check them out:
1#. Ripped and Repaired Jeans
This look is achieved by tearing holes into the material in strategic places (typically both knees and one thigh, etc) with the tears being partially repaired in some manner.
Some designers have actually placed denim patches in contrasting colors to fill the holes. It’s not the typical ragged look, but hey, some folks like it.
Other designers use a backing fabric that looks as though the incisions have been sewn and split, to achieve a more realistic, aged, and tattered look.
You can rock both versions as part of a conservative casual ensemble.
2#. Destroyed Jean
Here’s a look that says, “Go hard or go home!” Destroyed jeans consist of a pair of gaping holes, one over each knee, along with signs of major distressing.
Usually, they don’t include any repairs. The widening of the tears and ragged edges are complementary to the complete denim blowout look.
They’re best suited as part of a fully casual day look.
3#. Knee Ripped Jeans
The simple knee ripped jeans are the tame versions of the destroyed jeans.
This style consists of a single cut or tear, just at the lower edge of the knee, instead of gaping holes torn out of the fabric.
Sometimes you will see a flash of skin, especially when walking. The rips are a lot more pronounced when you sit but are barely noticeable when you are standing.
Are ripped jeans classy or trashy?
Even though ripped jeans are edgy and sassy, they may not be appropriate for some occasions.
You may get away with wearing modest versions of the knee ripped jeans at a work retreat, but you may not be so lucky with a pair of destroyed jeans.
Some older folks will shred you to pieces, just like the rips in your pants!
Ripped jeans are also a huge no-no for some offices when it comes to casual Fridays and at schools that allow students to dress in casual wear.
However, they can look super chic if you pair them with a flowy blouse and simple, elegant heels.
The classy man can pull off the look with a dress shirt, with or without a blazer, and some understated sneakers.
At what age should you stop wearing ripped jeans?
You’re as young as you feel so you should be able to wear ripped jeans, no matter how old you are.
Some older folks may prefer to wear knee-ripped jeans or ripped and repaired jeans instead of the destroyed ones.
We believe that anyone can own the look by adding their personal flair.
As we conclude, we can agree that while ripped jeans aren’t for everyone, they’ll not totally go out of style because they’re such a statement piece.
If the ripped jeans craze dies down tomorrow, you better believe that history will repeat itself simply because we love to express ourselves.