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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Project Live Your Life Week Three Winners

Here they are! The final wrap up of the Project Live Your Life winners! Read on to see what makes each one of our winners I’MPERFECT in their AEO denim!

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Here we go!  I’MPERFECT in my #AEOJEANS because…

Day 12 Winners:

Megan:  They have a fit and wash for every style, so I can be comfortable being me everyday!

Paola:  They give me comfort and are also perfect for all-day combining it with what I like.

Steph: They’re effortlessly chic.

Rachel:  They help me stand out in a world that wants you to be like everyone else!

Day 13 Winners:

Apple:  #AEOJEANS allow me to be shameless like the sun.

Leah:  They’re the perfect fit for all of my adventures!!

Mellissa:  Style meets comfort.

Kim:  They make me feel so good, I radiate positive energy.

Erika:  Summer is made for adventures and exploring and so are my AE summer shorties!

Kirsten:  They help me embrace my curves and feel confident in my own skin.

Day 14 Winners:

Cindy:  They allow me to express myself, and there’s nothing more beautiful than being yourself.

Jade Nicole:  They always allow me to be creative and comfy.

Alieai:  No matter what style I decide to wear, I can always be myself.

Payton:  I always look stylish and cute with them on.

Abby:  Once you find the perfect fit for you, you never want to take them off

Day 15 Winners:

Evan: I feel so comfortable in them I wear them to bed.

Carolyn: They’re the perfect mix of style and comfort for a relaxing weekend!

Amanda:  They’re the only jeans that fit me length wise and allow me to be comfortable with my height

Aisha:  They are perfectly distressed and fit just right.

Stephanie: That’s the way they make me feel.

Tell us your favorite style of #AEOJEANS in the comments below!

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Project live your life week two winners

Here they are! Your week two Project Live Your Life winners! Read on to see what makes each one of our winners I’MPERFECT in their AEO denim!

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Here we go!  I’MPERFECT in my #AEOJEANS because…

Day 7 Winners:

Cassidy: They allow me to feel comfortable in my own skin while expressing my love for fashion!

Thomas:  I am American Eagle. Head to toe, everywhere I go. Love my job, live my life.

Lori: They have a great feel and I can style them just how I like.

Aiyana:  I’m comfortable and confident in the way I look.

Philicia:  It completes any look!

Day 8 Winners:

Nick:  I worked hard to fit in them!

Sarah:  These fashionable, comfortable, versatile jeans come in all sorts of sizes and washes–so I can get the fit and color that fits my every mood.

Chrisslee: They go with everything in my closet and my dog.

Bri:  They make me feel confident of & flatter my feminine curves.

Renee:  They hug and accept every part of me, making me feel effortlessly beautiful.

Day 9 Winners:

Chris:  Denim is always the perfect choice if you want to keep it casual or even class it up. My #aeojeans are versatile and always reliable.

Jacquelyn: When I wear my jeans, I feel beyond confident and free. Thank you @americaneagle for creating the world’s best jeans known to civilization.

Ellen:  It gives me length to my petite frame #AEOStyle.

Stephanie:  They give me confidence to be myself, no matter where I am.

Jeimy:  They give an edge to all my outfits.

Day 10 Winners:

Emma: They make me feel comfortable and safe, that I never want to take them off!

Jenna:  They give me confidence to go out and face the world.

Alma:  My beauty comes from having my own style, living my own way and knowing my own mind.

Emily:  They are the perfect fit for wherever my adventures take me.

Jorshua:  I can be comfortable and chic at the same time! That’s a double win!

Day 11 Winners:

Ali:  I LOVE my @americaneagle black skinny jeggings, especially for hanging around on the weekend!

Hadassah:  Together we can conquer the world (and hike to Arthur’s Seat).

Keilan:  They are unbelievably comfortable and give me tons of confidence!

Sierra:  They are perfect for going on adventures and exploring the world!

Kelsey:  They give me the ability to become a confident ostentatious dresser.

Tell us what makes you I’MPERFECT in the comments below.

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Project Live Your life week one winners

Here they are! Your week one Project Live Your Life winners! Read on to see what makes each one of our winners I’MPERFECT in their AEO denim!

PLYL_COLLAGE

Here we go!  I’MPERFECT in my #AEOJEANS because…

Day 1 Winners:

Aimee:  They are the dose to perfection.

Lisa:  I’m comfortable all day and ready to take on life’s beautiful adventures in style.

Michelle:  I feel very sanguine in them!

Reed:  They make me feel confident and comfortable.

Day 2 Winners:

Silas:  They make my imperfection’s look effortlessly cool.

Michelle:  I’m free to be me! Loving the AEO sky high shortie!

Deborah:  I fight against crohn’s in my daily adventures. (photo credit to @tayalexandersmith)

Anna:  They are perfect for all occasions and have THE best washes and styles!

Shirley:  I’m one of a kind!

Day 3 Winners:

Anh Dang:  They make me feel comfortably and confidently me. Seriously, these are my all time favorite  skinnies!

Emily:  They give that boost of confidence in any look.

Levy:  They are my base of confidence.

Jaime:  I can be cute,  confident, and comfortable.

Lauren:  They make me feel like I can conquer any moment.

Day 4 Winners: 

Taryn:  They make me feel ready to take on whatever life throws at me!

Wendy:  I don’t  have to sacrifice comfort and still be in style.

Gina:  All beautiful things are young and free.

Nasaya:  Imperfection’s are beautiful and even with them, AE jeans fit me perfectly.

Taylor:  They make me feel perfectly comfortable in my skin… and my jeans!

Day 5 Winners:

Sarah:  They keep me effortlessly cool!

Caitie: They fit me just the way I want!

Samantha:  They were perfectly made for me!

Aaron:  The brand allows me flexibility through my own personal style.

Rachel:  There’s a fit that’s just right for every style I love.

Day 6 Winners:

Pricilla:  Just like me, they’ve evolved over time to fit my personal style.

Lindsay:  They help me find the beauty in myself that I see all around me!

Emma:  I live, love, and laugh everyday!

Anna:  Every pair feels like they’re personally made for me.

Shannon:  They let me express my own personal style!

Inspired yet? It’s not too late to enter for your chance to win 1,000 dollars! Check out www.ae.com/IMPERFECT for more information.

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That’s a wrap: Behind the Scenes of Our New Commercial Shoot

We headed out to El Mirage Lake in the hot (we’re talking 110 degrees hot), dry, beautiful California desert to film our Back to School commercial for the launch of I’MPERFECT. We featured and used over 200 pairs of jeans showcasing our entire denim collection which includes, 22 fits, 81 washes, 84 sizes!

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Getting ready!

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AEO CMO, Michael Leedy (second from Right) with a few of the crew members

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The crew hard at work

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AEO Stylists, Preston and Lauren trying to survive the desert heat

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The dust storms were so intense that production was shut down for half a day

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That’s a wrap!

Check out the commercial for our newest campaign I’MPERFECT below and tell us what you think about it in the comments below.

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I’MPERFECT

imperfect

One size doesn’t fit all. Never has. Surely 99% of the world is a better measure of perfection than the 1%. We put our blood, sweat and tears into designing the best fits, the latest washes and sizes designed for everybody. And our #AEOJEANS are the perfect fit.

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