Do a distressed denim DIY

Do a distressed denim DIY

Denim is a garment that’s all about individuality. Every day that we wear them, they change: telling the story about what we do in them and who we are. It’s why people are so fiercely committed to their favorite pair, wearing them until they practically disintegrate on their bodies.  For people who want a truly unique look but don’t want to wait years and years, denim distressing is something you can do at home with just a few simple tools and tricks.

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Know Your Starting Material:
The type of denim you start with will ultimately affect how it wears over time. Denim can be anywhere from 6 ounces (per square yard) in weight up to 20+ ounces. The heavier the denim, the more resilient it will be to wear and tear. It’s important to know where your denim falls in the spectrum, since the weight and amount of distressing you do will greatly affect how long your pair of jeans will last.

Tools of the Trade:
Because how denim wears is such a part of our love affair with blue jeans, brands purposely fade and age their denim to give it a vintage, worn look. For your distressing project, all you need are some items found around the house.

Sandpaper (preferably 220 grit or higher): For light distressing and breaking down the denim fabric.
Single-edge razor blade: For ‘scraping’ away surface threads and cutting seams.
Scissors: For full-on hole making.
Block of wood or deck of cards: As a backing to ensure an even surface and that you only distress one layer at a time.
Bleach: Only for the bold. Make sure to place cardboard under the affected surface to avoid bleeding.

Know Your Natural Wear:
When distressing denim, it’s important to work horizontally across the fabric, since that will break down the ‘warp’ threads and leave the ‘weft’ (vertical threads) intact. Distress the appropriate areas for a look that’s authentic for you.

The Knees: Work horizontally with light sandpaper to preserve the weft fibers if you don’t want a full-on hole. Or go at it with scissors for a blown-out rock ‘n roll look.
Back Pockets: To imitate ‘wallet wear’, take a deck of cards or block of wood and place it in the pocket before sanding.
Upper Thighs and Backs of Knees: This is where ‘whiskering’ occurs because of how the denim folds and creases. To re-create this look, you’ll have to lightly sand the jeans while wearing them to ensure the right look.
Side Seams: This is an area where ‘less is more’, because they’re a key structural component of jeans. Lightly sandpaper side seam from the knee up for an authentic look, but be careful not to go too far or your jeans will fall apart on you.

Washing:
Though many people may not think about it, how you wash your denim can affect how it looks in a big way. Ultimately, a rule of thumb for increasing the life of your jeans is to wash them once a month or less.
To lock in the color of your denim, add one cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of salt to the wash and follow the wash label instructions.

Drying Your Denim:
Since it’s made from cotton, how you dry your denim can greatly affect how it will fit you over multiple washes.

Outdoor Drying: This is a general no-no, since exposure to the sun will weaken the denim fibers and also ‘bleach’ your jeans over time.
Air-Drying: When air-drying, lay the jeans flat. Since denim gets quite heavy when wet, hanging the jeans will result in stretching, ruining the fit.
On-Body Drying: Purist swear by wearing your denim wet and letting it dry on your body, claiming that it’s the only way to get truly form-fitting jeans.
Machine Drying: While this is okay for pre-shrunk denim, higher-end raw denim should never see the inside of a dryer, since it’s prone to shrinking up to 10%.

Avoiding the Wash:
If you’re going to go hardcore and avoid washing your jeans for months on end, it’s important to give them a break every now and then. Though the concept of a ‘freezer’ wash – putting your jeans in the freezer to kill odor-causing bacteria – is popular, scientists have proven that it doesn’t work. The best option? For every few days you wear them, let them hang in a well-ventilated closet for a day to allow odor-causing elements to disperse.

No Matter What, It’s Going to Take Time:
With all denim distressing, the old adage ‘less is more’ is worth noting. Even though you may want blown-out holes or intense shredding on your jeans, those things will occur through natural wear; all you want to do is get the process started. Go too far with your distressing and the denim won’t last. The best elements that go into making a pair of jeans uniquely ‘you’ come with time and patience.

Source URLs:

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/top-lists/ask-a-dfw-expert-how-to-distress-your-jeans/

http://jeans.about.com/od/Jeans101/tp/The-Ultimate-Guide-To-How-To-Wash-Your-Jeans.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/22/opinion/robbins-you-should-wash-your-jeans/

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Introducing AEO Wear America

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This season, we partnered with extremely talented designers to bring you awesome products that were created in the USA. We will be introducing you to some of these designers over the next couple of months, sharing the inspiration behind their designs and a look into their studios.

In addition to these collaborations, we’re excited to announce our own collection of T-shirts, jeans and more products that we made in the USA. Here is a little back story from our NYC designers about the denim.

“Our women’s jeans are inspired by the Gold Miner jeans of the 1890’s and hand sewn in L.A.,” says our denim designer, Helen K. “Each pair is unique and takes over two days to make… crafted from 11.75 oz. denim yarns produced in our Greensboro, N.C. mill and finished them with timeworn topstitching, busted outseams, vintage metal shanks and rivet finishes.”

We asked men’s denim Sr. Design Director, Clint G., about the inspiration behind the denim and he said, “Authentic, masculine, old-fashioned American jeans! Inspiration came from our very own AEO vintage denim archives, which I have accumulated over the years. It’s a combination of flea market finds and jeans from vintage dealers. These jeans are crafted from slubbed 11.75 oz. and pure indigo 13 oz. denim in our North Carolina and Georgia mills and finished with hand sanded and whiskered details.”

In addition to our Wear America collection, here are the other brands we are partnering with:  Woolrich, Pendleton, Topo Designs, Baggu, Word., The Urban Smith, Muses & Rebels, Pommes Frites Candle Co., The Great Lakes, Wit & Whistle and Knot & Bow.

 

Keep checking the blog for interviews with the designers from these brands.

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#AEOSTYLE Challenge: Original Straight Pant

Our Original Straight Pant is the every guy, every day khaki. Sits low on waist and a perfect match with your favorite T-shirt.

We asked three menswear bloggers: Saul from Trend Styled, Roderick from Uniform Journal and Chimed from NxStyle to take our Original Straight Pant and make it their own.

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What inspired Saul’s look:
A classic never goes out of style. I love these AEO Original Straight Khaki’s because they are just that. Either dressed up or dressed down, these are the khaki’s you’ll be wearing daily so invest in multiple colors!

Meet Saul:
A Texas born transplant living in NYC. Saul is a style and grooming lifestyle blogger and photographer.

Get Saul’s look:
Original Straight Pant
Heritage Flannel (similar)
Hoodie T-Shirt
Canvas Sneaker

What inspired Chimed’s look:
The Original Straight Pants were extremely comfortable to wear so the confidence I had while wearing them came naturally. I tried not to overload colors by focusing on two main colors for the entire outfit. It was little warm out, so I rolled up the pants for some extra breathing room and style points.

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Meet Chimed:
Chimed is a DC-based menswear blogger. His blog, NXSTYLE was founded in 2011 and it eventually grew into a me fashion blog with his partner in crime, Zolo.

Get Chimed’s look:
Original Straight Pant

What inspired Roderick’s look:
I’m all about simple outfits that take little to no time to put together, are comfortable, and classic… There’s nothing better than a pair of khaki’s and a button down shirt. Of course, I had to cuff the pants and roll up my sleeves!

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Meet Roderick:
Roderick Hunt is a fashion blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. He’s worked for multiple fashion brands specializing in visual merchandising and styling. Roderick is passionate about fashion, photography, and writing. He’s constantly editing his personal style and blogging allows him to instantly share all of his interests with the world.

Get Roderick’s look:
Original Straight Pant
Solid Poplin Button Down Shirt
Canvas Sneaker (similar)

Show off your #AEOSTYLE in our Original Straight Pant. Use #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your photo on our AE.com Style Gallery, Instagram, Tumblr or on our blog!

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3 Ways To Update Your Plaid #AEOSTYLE

Fall is in full force and one print that never goes out of style is, plaid. Check out the three looks below for outfit inspiration on how you can update your #AEOSTYLE with the much loved pattern of the season.

Look #1: For an edgy meets classic look, pair your plaid with distressed denim and loafers. Add our Canvas Anorak for fall ready #AEOSTYLE.

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Shop the look:
Plaid Button Down Shirt
Hi-Rise Jegging
Canvas Anorak
BC Wild Imagination Wingtip Shoe


Look #2: 
Go classic with black and white. You’ll love our Box Check Flannel Shirt with Black Jeggings and Booties. Add a pair of Icon Glasses to elevate your look.

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Shop the look:
Box Check Flannel Shirt
Jegging
Icon Sunglasses
BC Stand Up Straight Boot

Look #3: Plaid can also be worn with dressier pieces like our Cropped Tank and Skirt Set. Add a graphic tank, fedora and booties for a super cute rocked-out look.

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Shop the look:
Cropped Tank and Skirt Set
Photo Graphic T-Shirt
Plaid Jegging Shirt
Stacked Heel Bootie
Glory Hats by Goorin Francis Fratelli Fedora

Now that you’ve seen three ways in which we love to wear plaid, we want to know how you style it! Tell us your favorite way to wear plaid in the comments below.

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Music Monday: De Lux Interview

For our final installment of AEO Up Next, we bring you the post-punk stylings of the LA-based duo, De Lux. The 22-year-olds, Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco met while skateboarding and after experimenting with a different band, decided to form the Talking Heads influenced project, De Lux.

Get to know more about how they met and what they thought of opening for Calvin Harris.  And be sure to check out the video for their song “Better at Making Time“.

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Sean Guerin and Issac Franco from De Lux

AEO: Can you name one album or artist that truly affected your path in music?

Sean: David Bowie’s “Low”

Isaac: I’m gonna have to go with, Television’s “Marquee Moon.”

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AEO:  Where was your first show together and what was it like?

De Lux:  Our first show together? It was at this café in Echo Park. We actually promoted the show as a different name, as Speedboat. That’s kind of like our secret name. It was a really small place. We had seven guys playing with us so it was really jam packed in there. It was really fun. There were like 50 people or something.

AEO:  Very cool. How long ago was that?

De Lux:  Our first show was probably just a little over a year ago.

AEO:  Can you tell me a little bit about how you found each other and started making music together?

De Lux:  Well, we met in high school. And Isaac was making hip-hop beats. But after high school was when we really started making music in my basement. And he would come over and record a little bit. Then I started a band with a girl and had Isaac play bass with us. Then maybe two years into that band, we just kind of started making the De Lux kind of stuff.

AEO:  Can you tell me the craziest or funniest tour bus story to date?

De Lux:  So we were in France, and we were playing a show opening up for Calvin Harris. And some dude came into our room. We were chilling in the green room after we played and the guy was like, whatever you guys are doing, when I call your name, you have to drop what you’re doing and go meet Calvin. And we were like, “ah, no. It’s cool.” And we just left.

Now that you’ve gotten to know De Lux a little bit better, get their #AEOSTYLE too!

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#AEOSTYLE inspired by De Lux

Shop the look: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |

1: Legend Henley T-Shirt
2: Dark Denim Jacket
3: Men’s Skinny Jean
4: Leather Strap Watch
5: Leather Belt
6: Denim Workwear Shirt
7: Canvas Sneaker
8: Skinny Jean- Tinted Red Overdye
9: Legend Crew T-Shirt

Want even more De Lux action? Check out their in-store curated playlist on Spotify.

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#AEOSTYLE: Bloggers and Editors Love

We have a double dose of #AEOSTYLE: Bloggers and Editors Love for you this week! We found some of our favorite fall fashions in the coolest mags and blogs from InStyle and Nylon to Refinery29.

Our Sky High Jeggings were spotted in People Magazine, our Half-Sleeve Button Down Shirt was featured in InStyle and Life & Style Magazine is loving our boots this fall.

20140926_EDITORS_LOVEShop the looks:
Sky High Jegging
Doc Martens Hackney Floral Boot
Bed Stu Riding Boot

Nylon has a sneak peek of our newest collaboration coming later this month in their October issue and Chloe Bridges can be seen wearing our Sky High Jegging in Life & Style.

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Shop the look:
Sky High Jegging

Seventeen.com chose our Buckle Strap Bootie as one of the Cutest 20 Boots for Under $100, our Sky High Jegging was one of InStyle.com’s Best Jeans Under $100 and Glamour.com is styling our V-Neck Jegging Sweater with our jeans this fall.

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Shop the looks:
Buckle Strap Bootie
Sky High Jegging
V-Neck Jegging Sweater

An InStyle insider, wore our Jegging Button Down Shirt to Fashion Week (as seen on their Tumblr) and Refinery29 featured our Heathered Raglan Crew Sweater, Printed Legging, Hi-Rise Artist Jean, Boy Jean, Mock Neck Sweater Dress AND our Jegging!
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Shop the looks:
Jegging Button Down Shirt
Heathered Raglan Crew Sweater
Hi-Rise Artist Jean
Printed Stripe Legging
Boy Jean
Mock Neck Sweater Dress
Jegging

We want to see what you’re wearing this fall from AEO. Use #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your photo on our AE.com Style Gallery, Instagram, Tumblr or on our blog!

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