For the first summer ever, have been living in cutoffs. I had always admired them on others, but for someone like me who has thicker legs, any pairs off the rack I would try that should have been my size would fit my waist, but would be far too tight (and very unflattering) on the thighs and in the seat. So I decided to go the old-fashioned route and went thrifting for denim that I could turn into cutoffs. While I’ve always heard that the Levi’s 501s are the gold standard for vintage denim and cutoff creation, I discovered a different fit worked even better for me: Levi’s 550. This is a super relaxed fit, and I was lucky enough to find two vintage light blue pairs, and one white pair at my local Goodwill. When looking for denim for cutoffs, make sure the jeans are made from 100% cotton. Often times denim has elastane or other stretchy synthetic fibers added for better fit and stretch, but for a great fit on cutoffs and for good edge fraying, you don’t want any stretch in the fabric at all.
To make the cutoffs, I folded the jeans in half with the button on the inside. I measured a 3” inseam on one pair, and 2” inseams on the other pairs. With a piece of chalk, I drew a straight line across the jeans. With a pair of fabric scissors, I cut the first leg off, then following the line of the cut, cut off the second leg. After cutting to give them a distressed look, I washed them on warm and tumbled in a hot dryer which instantly frayed the edges (but for regular care, I just lay them flat to dry). The pairs I got ranged from 2-4 sizes larger than my normal size so that they wouldn’t be too tight on my thighs. With a belt, I could have made them work, but I really wanted them to fit perfectly, so I brought them to my tailor who detached the original waistband and added darts to fit my waist. For less than $75 for the cost of 3 pairs of thrifted jeans and the expense of tailoring, my summer wardrobe is complete!