The Ultimate Guide to the Many Styles of Ripped Jeans

The distressed denim trend, also known as ripped jeans, has been popular for years since punk bands and grunge musicians rose to prominence. They sprang to prominence during the heavy metal era in the late 1980s and have been popular ever since. Distressed denim jeans are a trendy way to wear otherwise standard jeans since they offer a dress-down, informal approach to wearing jeans.

Ripped jeans are now so ubiquitous that there is a proper and wrong way to wear them; it appears extremely easy to get them wrong and look incredibly sloppy or out of place. So, if you’re looking for your own pair, you might want to check out this ultimate guide to ripped jeans.

Types of Ripped Jeans


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While they vanished off the racks of most clothing stores before the turn of the century, they have recently witnessed a revival in favor. Partly part of a broader 90s fashion rebirth, but also because they’re still as fashionable as ever.

There is, however, more than one style of ripped jeans. There are several designs to pick from, and finding the appropriate appearance for you is essential, even in the world of distressed denim apparel.

Ripped and Repaired Jeans

Ripped and repaired jeans are a type of distressed denim in which holes have been ripped into the fabric in strategic areas (usually one thigh and both knees, though various combinations have been seen), and the tears have been partially fixed in some way. Certain designers have utilized denim patches to entirely repair the holes, often contrasting colors. It might be a striking design, but it lacks the classic, ragged aspect that most people like in their ripped jeans.

Another option that more closely resembles the historical style is to use a backing fabric that appears to have been sewed and torn, giving the rips a ragged appearance. It’s a classic look that works especially well with spray-on and skinny jeans.

Destroyed Jeans

Destroyed jeans are the polar opposite of ripped and repaired jeans, with a pair of huge holes above each knee. This is the traditional rock star look, and it indicates some serious distressing. There will be no repair work (although some go for a combination of both, with one knee destroyed and the other fixed), as the goal is to give the appearance of a complete denim blowout, including ragged edges and the widening of the tear.

While ripped and repaired jeans and standard ripped jeans can be donned as part of a smart-casual attire, destroyed jeans are best worn as part of a completely casual day-look. When paired with a T-shirt and a basic pair of boots, the destroyed jeans become the focal point of the ensemble, just as the holes are the focal point of the jeans, giving the combination an edgier feel than it could have otherwise.

Knee Rip Jeans

If destroyed jeans are at the extreme side of the ripped jeans scale, plain knee rip jeans are the more restrained form of this style. Instead of large gaps in the fabric, the knee rip style has a single cut or tear at the lower edge of the knee.

It’s just enough to allow for a little skin flash while walking, but it might easily go unnoticed if you’re standing around in a club or restaurant. It’s a glimmer of insurrection in what would otherwise be a mundane item of legwear.

Ripped Jeans Buying Guidelines

a woman wearing a yellow top and ripped jeans leaning against a brick wall

Rips Come in a Variety of Styles

Ripped jeans can come in a variety of styles. It can refer to anything from complete holes to scrapes. Understanding the various styles of distressed denim can help you make an informed decision.

Ripped jeans may have a hole, a noticeable gap in the fabric that often exposes some skin. Shreds denote where the cloth has been torn, though threads of fabric still remain to conceal the hole. Scrapes are little abrasions on the denim that are usually only surface-deep and do not reveal any skin; scrapes are typically relatively modest.

Distressed jeans can sometimes mix and match the numerous varieties or keep to one. It’s crucial not to go overboard, as this can make you look ridiculous!

Positioning of the Rips

When purchasing a pair of ripped jeans, it is critical to evaluate the distressed areas. It should appear natural, so shreds and holes are frequently used around the knee.

Holes on the upper thigh of the jeans may appear out of place and unnatural, while shreds or holes around the shin area may appear to be bitten by a dog on your way out!

Scrapes are a very subtle accent that may be applied anywhere on your jeans. They are especially popular around the pockets, appearing to be natural wear and tear.

How Many Rips?

Make sure you don’t go overboard with the distressed patches on your jeans, or you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. You also risk revealing too much of your leg, which contradicts the purpose of wearing full-length jeans!

Choose between two and four ripped patches, whether they are two shreds, a hole and a scrape, or another combination that appeals to you. You’re good to go as long as your jeans don’t have rips all the way up the leg.

What Should You Wear With Ripped Jeans?


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Ripped jeans are fashionable and edgy. They’re ideal for folks who want the versatility and comfort of jeans but also want to stand out.

They are edgy because they are ripped. If you’re concerned about the rips, you may still embrace the trend by opting for the more softly ripped styles.

Here are some of the best outfit combinations with damaged jeans:

With a Coat

Coats are not only fashionable but also practical. When paired with ripped jeans, they elevate an otherwise casual look and make ripped jeans outfits look extremely fashionable.

Regardless of what you’re wearing underneath, a coat of any kind always lends a sense of refinement to an outfit. A camel tone and neutral coat with ripped jeans will never go out of style if you desire a sophisticated and effortless look. However, if you want to spice up this style, try more vibrant coats.

With a Cardigan

Ripped jeans are typically edgy, but a cardigan over your top can bring a feminine touch to a ripped jeans ensemble.

Cardigans are cozy and charming, and aside from their practicality, they may also be trendy pieces because they now come in a variety of pleasing designs. It’s a simple look that anyone can pull off.

With a Plain T-shirt

Wearing your ripped jeans with a simple t-shirt provides your outfit balance because you’ll be discreet at the top and all out at the bottom.

If you want to draw attention to your bottoms, a basic t-shirt is a terrific choice. If you’re unsure about the color of your t-shirt, stick to nudes and blacks.

With a Graphic T-shirt

a woman wearing a graphic tee and ripped jeans

If you want to wear a stylish style, match your graphic t-shirt with ripped jeans. A graphic t-shirt is an excellent method to express yourself simply via clothing.

You may complete the look with sneakers for a more laid-back vibe. If you want to dress up your ripped jeans look, ankle boots are the perfect finishing touch.

It’s advisable to keep the rest of your shoes and accessories simple with this outfit.

With a Plain White T-shirt

Still on t-shirts, a basic one gets its own mention because it can be worn with whatever you possess. Pairing your ripped jeans with a plain white top is the best way to make them appear terrific, whether they’re slightly ripped or the rips are more visible.

The simplicity of the rest of the elements in this ensemble helps you look trendy and even chic. You might also wear simple sandals or heels instead of sneakers.

With a Blouse

As the name implies, every lady needs a pair of blouses in her collection to wear for days when she wants to seem fancier. When a t-shirt just isn’t going to cut it.

You can dress up your ripped jeans with a blouse, which is more feminine than a casual top like a T-shirt. With the right top, this ensemble can be worn in various ways. You can go from a blouse to any stylish top with an off-shoulder, ruffled top, cold-shoulder, or other spectacular design.

The trick to putting together this outfit is to consider how ripped your pants are. This is vital so that you may choose a trendy top that isn’t too over-the-top, as you don’t want your ensemble to be too busy.

With a White Button-down

Kylie Jenner wearing a white button down shirt and ripped jeans while holding her hair up

Because a white button-down is so simple and flexible, it also looks great with ripped jeans. Everyone should own a white button-down, just like a basic t-shirt. It can effortlessly dress up or down any outfit, depending on how you wear it.

You may wear a button-down with your ripped pants buttoned all the way down, unbuttoned, or with the front half tied into a knot.

With a Knit Top

A knit top is another fantastic piece to pair with ripped jeans. It can be a simple top in plain colors, but you can easily swap it out for any prints or patterns you like. The trick is to ensure that the top is properly fitted.

They make you appear dressy, but you don’t have to worry about wearing an overpowering ensemble. Because it is minimalist, this is a safer combo that looks really nice, especially if the jeans are only slightly frayed.

With a Tank Top

Tank tops are typically extremely simple in style, which is why pairing one with a pair of ripped jeans is such a good option.

A tank top is a terrific piece to wear on warmer days, but it can also be worn beneath your coat on colder days. This arrangement allows you to be more versatile in the sort of ripped jeans you choose. Because the top is so simple, there isn’t much chance that it will be too much.

Remember that your ripped jeans don’t have to be slim all the time. They could also be referred to as mom jeans.

With a Plaid Shirt

a woman wearing a plaid shirt and ripped jeans while dancing on top of her bed

You can wear a plaid shirt with ripped jeans. If you want to seem scruffy, plaid shirts are the way to go.

Plaid, whether on plaid pants or plaid shirts, is a lovely fabric that ladies of all ages may wear. That could explain why they’re making a significant comeback in the fashion industry.

If you prefer to go for a more laid-back vibe, pair your sneakers with fun casual attire. Remember that plaid shirts don’t always have to be red and black, as they come in various colors.

With a Vest

When combining ripped jeans with a top, such as a shirt or a sweater, you can add a vest to complete the style. Vests are a terrific last piece to layer on top of your ensemble, and they come in a variety of styles, so the one you choose depends on your preferences.

If your shirt is informal, a casual vest is preferable. If it’s a formal occasion, a blazer-style vest will suffice.

With a Crop Top

Crop tops paired with ripped jeans can transform an otherwise “boyish” bottom into a playful and flirtatious style. Crop shirts look great with almost any bottom, including ripped jeans.

Depending on your shirt’s design and the shoes you wear, this outfit can look casual or dressed up.

Lace and other form-fitting crop tops liven up an ensemble. If you wish to go for a more laid-back and relaxed fit, there are crop tops with a more relaxed fit that you might wear.

With a Leather Jacket

For a fashion-forward blogger appearance, mix ripped jeans with a leather jacket, a classic garb that will never go out of fashion. It complements everything you own. When paired with torn jeans, this ensemble flatters every body shape and is ideal for the fall and a night out.

While high heels dress up this look, you can also wear casual shoes with them.

With a Blazer


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A blazer may give a sense of refinement to any look, formal or informal. The nice part is that your ripped jeans can also be worn with a blazer. If you want to look more put-together, wear a black jacket worn over a neutral shirt.

Depending on how ripped your jeans are, this is a look that might work for a fancy occasion or a casual Friday at the office. Just make sure your blazer is well fitted. The more fitted and structured your blazer is, the more refined the ripped jeans appear.

With a Pullover

In the fall, you can wear your ripped jeans with a pullover, either fitted or somewhat oversized. Pullovers are no longer reserved for school-age children or their teachers. In fact, because they can be worn in so many different ways, they have become a must-have item.

If you’re unsure about what colors to wear with this ripped jeans style, going matchy-matchy is a good option.

As you’ve seen, ripped jeans are stylish and exciting, and they’re fantastic pieces to have in your wardrobe.

Aside from jeans, there are different types of denim to choose from, so here’s a guide to wearing jeans, and with jeans comes belts, so here’s a guide to wearing belts.