As much as we love denim cut-offs—aka the quintessential summer staple—they're not without their own set of problems. In fact, shopping for them is almost as difficult as looking for that elusive pair of perfect jeans. Some aren't high waisted enough; others are too low. And why is it that nearly every pair of cut-offs we've come across are cut obscenely short? We've found that it's much easier to take matters into your own hands, because, tbh, summer is too short to waste it on a lost cause.
DIYing your dream pair of cut-offs starts with jeans that not only you can bear to part with, but ones with a waistline you like. Perhaps it's a pair with a silhouette you never truly, madly, deeply loved (which is a shame—as the great Marie Kondo would say, everything you should own should spark joy), or maybe you always secretly felt that the pair had a better chance at fulfilling its denim destiny as shorts. Whatever the case, once you've found these jeans that you can chop, scroll through for an easy four-step guide on how to turn them into shorts.
1. What You'll Need
A pair of jeans you want to cut into shorts
2. Step 1
First, slip on your jeans and use chalk to mark your desired length. (Pro Tip: It's easiest to make the mark along the inseam.)
Take them off and lay them on a flat surface.
Make your second mark (on the other side of the leg) at a one- or two-inch diagonal for the most flattering hemline (as opposed to one that's cut straight across). Connect the two marks on each side with chalk. Use your ruler for help.
To make sure both legs are symmetrical, measure the length from the inseam and from the waistline to help you pinpoint where you should mark on the opposite leg.
3. Step 2
Cut along the chalked angled line with fabric scissors.
4. Step 3
Tease out loose denim fibers with your finger.
5. Step 4
Brush sandpaper along to edge to create a frayed hem.
6. Et voilà! Slip into your new shorts, grab yourself a frozen treat, and bask in this glorious summer weather.
Your perfect not-too-short (or, enter your dream length here) shorts.