In 2016, apparently, if your jeans aren’t almost completely destroyed – as in hanging off your knees by a thread or two – you need to rethink your wardrobe.
Bother to DIY:
Walk into your nearest high-street chain today, and expect to see rows of neatly pre-frayed jeans. A good frayed hem is a little bit scraggly, a little messy, a little bit punk. Do it properly yourself, for goodness’ sake.
Get your lengths right:
Frays might be back, but three-quarter-length trousers are not. In the rare chance you actually want to look like you’ve borrowed your nephew’s jeans, stop reading now. For the rest of you: make sure your shoe-to-frayed-hem distance is no more than two inches.
Use the right tools:
Tool-up, or your foray into the fray is going to sting. Find yourself a sharp pair of scissors, a ruler and a stick of chalk. Measure the distance you want from heel to hem, and mark your new hemline. Cut with precision – there’s nothing more distracting or embarrassing than someone who has noticeably self-frayed. Avoid this by sticking to long continuous cuts along a straight line. If you want to get the frays going, pick some out with tweezers – but don’t get too excited (see below).
Go over the top with fray lengths:
You want people to be able to see your frays, but you don’t want people to be scared by them. Avoid turning your hems into wispy spider legs by pulling gently at three or four freshly frayed threads until they dangle down an inch or so.
Fray everything you own:
Don’t harvest your entire jeans collection; save a few pairs for stand-up meetings and wakes. Also, avoid fraying off-piste: frayed denim jacket collars, yes; frayed ties, hats, waistcoats etc, no.
Bother fraying super-skinny jeans:
Afford your frays a flappable amount of room around the leg: after all, you want people to be able to notice them. Don’t mix old and new trends by hacking off the ankle-clamping hems of your super-skinnys.