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Bags
"When I was 10, I made purses from the top parts of jeans to sell to grownups in the park for five dollars. None were sold. I've never looked back." - Jenny Achiam, Digital Intern
Skinny Jean Cutoffs
"Back when jeans looked like this, I think DIY cutoffs made sense. But in the age of skinnies, they just do not work. Every time I've tried to repurpose a pair of old, worn-out jeans into hip and casual cutoffs, I've ended up with the equivalent of denim spandex shorts. And I don't care if you're Kate Moss, that is not a good look for anyone. I suppose I could invest (and I use that term loosely) in a pair of oversized vintage 501s, but once I've gone to that effort—which is to say, hunted down the perfect pair of perfectly loose and perfectly blue jeans—it seems like you may as well just buy a $24 pair of pre-cut cutoffs from the Gap or American Eagle—which, incidentally, is exactly where I always buy them. Bonus: by the end of the summer, they'll look like you've had 'em forever" - Verena von Pfetten, Executive Digital Editor
Skirts
"Making cutoffs out of looser-fitting jeans can work—I've done it, which means it's idiot-proof!—but for the love of god, NEVER try to make a kicky denim skirt out of your old blues. Leave the, erm, crotchal region intact and you wind up with a weirdly low front panel that juts out (the jokes will write themselves); cut it off, and you end up with a skirt so short it's essentially a belt. There's a reason the patterns for skirts and pants are different, people!" - Elana Fishman, Senior Digital Editor
Tie-Dye Chambray Shirts
"I rarely mess with clothing, but I recently decided to jump outside of my comfort zone and make a tie-dyed chambray shirt. The process was more tedious than I had expected; it included pinching, twisting, tying and painting. Needless to say, I got lazy and started haphazardly splattering bleach all over my shirt. I put on the final product, and looked like I had gone to war with an aggressive fence painter." - Alicia Hanau, Digital Intern
Distressed Jeans

"In my late middle school and early high school years I was really into distressed denim. It was the early 2000s and Abercrombie and Hollister were at their peak—forgive me! But I was on a budget and would always try to DIY-distress them...which of course always failed. I won't go into too much detail, but I know at one point or another I used: nail files, a cheese grater (my dad was pissed the next time taco night rolled around!), rocks, grass (nothing says hardcore like grass stains!), my parents' driveway and bleach (What? Was I trying to make an '80s statement?). I also remember a couple pairs of pants that featured homemade patches, which is worse than a horror show. I will never DIY anything with jeans again." - Hillary McDaniels, Production Assistant

"During high school I went through a major Abercrombie & Fitch phase...like pretty much every other teenager during the early 2000s. My craving for the brands' distressed denim styles was an insatiable one, so whenever my allowance ran out or my mother said 'no,' I'd try to replicate them myself using old pairs of jeans. It always seemed so simple, but it was always a disaster. Failed attempts include: a frayed mini skirt, frayed short shorts, cuffed bermuda shorts and countless holes and almost-holes at the knee and thigh of various pairs of flares." - Sarah Ferguson, Production Assistant

Ed note: No, our production assistant did not compare note before sharing these experiences with me! I swear the eerily close similarities between these two stories are total coincidence!

 

 

Thongs
"Denim thongs seem like a great idea. Wait, no, they actually don't at all. With material that heavy, everybody is going to know what's going on under your pants. And let's not forget that when a denim thong rides up, you're going to be seriously uncomfortable. Think before you cut. Not speaking from experience, FYI." - John Jannuzzi, Contributing Digital Editor