How To Cut or Crop Off Your Denim- No Sew Tutorial


TEE- J Crew Factory // PANTS- J Crew Factory // SANDALS- Free People // BAG- Chicwish // CUFF- Forever 21 // EARRINGS- N&S (London Tan Cut Out- large)

For the last year or so I've been a little into a frayed edge, chopped off pair of jeans. You've probably noticed and probably hoped I would move on to something new. But I have not. I just keep chopping. I love an ankle length jean and can't ever find quite the right ready made pair. (Until last week when I found this pair from Loft. They got the length and the cut of these jeans just right!) 

I've had questions about how I cut my jeans off so I'm sharing my easy chop job today. Disclaimer- these are not my favorite pair of cut off jeans I've made. The pair I'm wearing here and here turned out better- but the bad thing is you don't always know until you try. What I have found is that skinny jeans always cut off well and straight leg jeans cut off well if you have a snug fit through the bum and thigh. Boot cut jeans also cut off well if they are a cute, snug fit through the bum and thigh. These jeans are a little too loose through the thigh for my liking. But it's a look. 

So- now to the how to. Start with a pair of jeans that are too long. See above. Technically these jeans are a great straight leg length, but I'm not into them. They needed some work. So I start by rolling the pant leg up to the longest possible desired length. Then made a tiny snip where I wanted to start cutting.

Take off your pants and unroll the pant leg. Find that tiny hole. Proceed to cut straight across the pant leg.

Try on the pants and check the length of the one leg. If you can tell you need to take more off, repeat the process. If you can't tell, fold the pants in half and cut the second leg to match. Then try on the pants again. Possible hiccups will be if you accidentally cut the pant legs at a slight angle or if the front of the pants look longer than the back. You'll have to do a little extra trimming either way. 

After you get the pants to just the right length, throw them in the wash. This will start the fraying and allow you to trim down the longest strings. I don't mind a frayed edge- in fact I love it- but long dangling strings are no good. I prefer not to sew or cuff the edges. 

And that's it. I've cut almost every pair of my jeans and the trick really is that less is more. Cut a little, check the length, and then cut a little more. I find that this cropped length works well with many of my ankle boots during the rest of the year and my cropped skinny jeans still slide right into my tall boots. 

So willing to give it a shot? 


  1. You can also use sandpaper and rub it till the fibers fall apart instead of cutting. I used to teach people how to do it when I worked at the gap in college. Love the cropped length!

  2. Thank you for doing this! I have cropped a few of my jeans and I love the length in the spring and summer, but I'm nervous about them when the weather turns cool... Would love some examples of how you've worn cropped jeans with ankle boots! Thanks again!

  3. Pinned!! This is my kind of fashion DIY! Thanks!

  4. You have such great style. I, too, would like to see cropped jeans with ankle boots for colder weather.

  5. I love making my own custom cut off jeans and shorts! I's short (5'2) and finding jeans that are the right length just don't happen so I make my own! Nice to see others who do too!

  6. i'm obsessed w/ ankle length pants..... you've inspired me to chop one of my favorite pairs and i love the look. i, unfortunately, did it to a pair of white jeans that were perfect in every way but i chopped them a tad too short.... now they look goofy. so sad!! love your blog!!!

    1. Add some lace or ribbon to them to add more length! I'm adding lace to a pair of shorts that I cut off too short!


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