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Distressed Jeans and Ripped Jeans: Is There a Difference?

Many people think that distressed jeans and ripped jeans are one and the same. Although the two may have a resemblance, ripped jeans and distressed jeans are not interchangeable, neither are they the same type of clothing. They both may have a worn and faded look but they are two different styles.

Speaking of faded jeans, this trend first came in the 1980s when rock bands with big hair and all damaged denim reigned in both the fashion and music industries. The style dwindled in the early 90s and then returned with a vengeance. These days, people pair ripped jeans or distressed jeans with a shirt, vintage shirt, crop top or T-shirt as it creates a very fashionable look. But many of them do not know the difference between both jeans. Let’s look at them.

Difference Between Distressed Jeans and Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans are jeans that have holes or rips in the denim. The rips can be found anywhere but are usually around the knee part of the jeans. Many popular fashion brands have penetrated the market by producing ripped jeans that actually look like they’ve experienced many years of wear and tear. Nonetheless, you can easily create your own ripped jeans after wearing and washing a particular pair over a period of time.

On the other hand, distressed jeans may also have a worn-out look but rather than have holes, they have fraying. This fraying is made with a frayed fabric. Many distressed jeans even have frayed seams, a faded look and bleached spots. You can also create your own pair of distressed jeans by distressing an old pair of jeans all by yourself.

When creating or buying your distressed jeans and ripped jeans, it is important that you go for a pair that has a reasonable amount of rips or distress. Go for jeans that have around two and half holes or distressed parts, with the half being a single scrape just so you can avoid wreaking fashion havoc.

Forms of Distressed Jeans and Ripped Jeans

Distressed jeans and ripped jeans usually come in three forms and they are:

1. Scrapes

Scrapes are tiny scratches. They are usually the first sign of a worn-out pair of jeans. You can cause a scrape on your old pair of jeans by allowing it happen naturally or cut or shed the denim yourself.

2. Holes

Holes begin at the knee. They shouldn’t be more than an inch when you are standing up and they shouldn’t be wider than the entire breadth of your legs.

3. Shreds

Instead of holes, the threads remain in shreds which are places where the fabric has been torn. Shreds are mostly seen in distressed jeans.

How to Style Distressed or Ripped Jeans

You can style your distressed jeans and ripped jeans by rocking them with a crop top, flannel shirt, vintage shirt, T-shirt, polo, etc., and a pair of sneakers to create a street style effect. You can as well pair them with blazers and a pair of flats or heels to create a semi-casual look. Whichever works for you, distressed jeans and ripped jeans are a very fashionable pair.  

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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