The last visit with my cousin, Brooke, led me to a few gems. This awesome color-blocked wall I made her stand in front of (forever the bossy older cousin) was one of them and my observation of how she styled her denim cutoff’s throughout the weekend was another. As she was rockin’ her 90’s vibes, I asked her to share a few denim secrets so we can all savor these last moments of summer as laidback & spirited as her. Brooke’s guide is made up of fresh ideas for styling summer denim on a budget:
Love Urban Outfitters but often find yourself making a beeline to their sale rack searching for anything to fit your college budget (or any budget for that matter)? Yeah, me too.
One of their most expensive items? Denim. Of course it’s the perfectly ripped, damaged denim only a machine can do that makes me sit & wonder what I’ll have to sacrifice this week to justify buying $70+ jeans. This summer, I found myself falling deeper in love with high-waisted denim but refused to let this love affair see the deep, dark void of my bank account. So I made the trek to Salvation Army & began my search for the perfect high-waisted jeans to DIY.
Trying on countless pairs of 80’s & 90’s high-waisted denim had me leaving Salvation Army with seven pairs of my latest obsession (I know, I’m a bit crazy) for little over $20. With my fat stash of denim, I got crafty & made my own shorts to get the same UO look for much, much less. All you need is thrifted jeans & scissors to make your own denim cutoffs. Here’s 3 ways I’ve styled my repurposed denim this summer:
If I had to describe my style, I would say it closely resembles girly-victorian-hippy. I love anything floral, flirty & vintage so I styled my favorite distressed denim with my favorite summer wedges & shirt.
Achieve the Look
Being creative with the location of holes, rips, & tears give your shorts originality. Cut your holes with scissors or find a rough patch of cement to rub the denim until a shredded hole emerges, which I happen to know is a great arm workout!
Perks of The Distressed
- Everyone thinks you bought them because they look too good to have been made from hand & you’re like, “Nope, I made these suckers myself, thank you!”
- I love how this shirt length flirts with the hem of my shorts.
This look is all about the booty. Flaunt it, girl! A little booty never hurt nobody so I take this denim to the beach on the hottest of summer days.
Achieve the Look
Cut your shorts at a length right below your booty, simple as that. I save these shorts for the beach because the shorter the length the more you have to be aware of, if you know what I’m sayin’. I styled my too-short booty shorts with my favorite bikini top, beachy wedges & sun hat.
Perks of The Booty
- Your pockets play peek-a-boo.
- They make a fun cover-up when you want to rock your favorite bathing suit top.
- Everything I’m wearing apart from the bathing suit top is from Salvation Army. I’m serious, you can find anything there!
Every now & then a look comes along inviting me to channel my inner bad ass. I usually gravitate towards softer hues & similar outfit combinations so I love stepping out of my comfort zone with this look. I kept my denim simple to keep focus on the black, red and gold combo of the rest of my pieces.
Achieve the Look
I tend to keep my basics a little more modest for my day-to-day so I cut these to my desired length, adding an extra inch to fold the hem up. A folded hem gives a touch of spice & dimension to my basics, but they look killer with or without a folded hem.
Perks of The Basic
- You won’t be hackled by your family for your booty cheeks hanging out (some don’t understand the perks of The Booty, *sigh*).
- Salvation Army & Goodwill are hot spots for flannel, as well. This flannel? $5 from Salvation Army!
In the last two years, I’ve had to get crafty with, well, my entire wardrobe (thanks college education!). You don’t have to sacrifice style just because your budget is small. In fact, the challenge has made me more resourceful & creative, allowing my style to constantly evolve. I’d love to see how you’ve styled your own cutoffs & secondhand finds so share them with me on Instagram @brookenicolewatz with the #brokegirlsdenim tag. I can’t wait to see your denim beauties!
Here’s to the pickers, the searchers & the wanderers of the local Goodwill & Salvation Army. Until next time braves ones,
Brooke Nicole Watz