Just The Tips: D.I.Y. Guide to Instant Vintage Denim

Follow our step-by-step guide to get this worn-in look for your jeans without paying designer prices.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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If you're looking for some new jeans, we'd usually suggest a nice pair of raw, unwashed denim. There's nothing better than buying a new pair, breaking 'em in, and watching 'em transform into a unique denim tapestry with rips and abrasions exclusive to you, and you alone.

But these days, everything's about convenience and speed. If you want to skip the whole process and get that worn-in look from the get-go, we could put you on to a number of dope vintage jeans, but most of them are crazy expensive. Don't fret, my dude, we got you. You can get that vintage look for...free. Free? Yup, like a mixtape or streaming porn. The technique is called light abrasion and can be executed with a couple of tools and a little bit of free time. (Sound like your usual weekend repertoire, yeah? Ayo!) Keep reading and we'll show you how you can fake it 'til you make it...

Illustration by Sophia Chang

• Gather the tools of the trade: Water in a spray bottle, coarse sandpaper, a crayon, and untreated denim.

• Mark the area you want to work on with your crayon and draw the desired pattern.

• Start to "abrade" the area by distressing the marked area with sandpaper. Spray water and repeat.

• Launder your denim inside-out and tumble dry. Who needs to spend $300 on distressed jeans?

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