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5 Best Distressed Fashion Items To Lift Your Style Game

Is the world ending? If Kanye West and his dystopian Yeezy line are anything to go by, you better spend all your money now, eat food you actually like, and tell your mum you love her.

Distressed fashion is shredding-it-up this season. And it’s bigger than Kanye (just don’t tell Kanye that), the whole Hunger Games franchise and Orwell’s 1984 combined. We tired of logo prints – and preppy jock colours seasons ago, which lead to us into minimalism. Nowadays, muted colours are appearing among the monochrome, and rustic, earthy fabrics are giving back a sense of authenticity in fashion. What’s next? Cutting, ripping and washing our – rather expensive – clothes.

More than a few tears in a pair of jeans, we’ve got the five best distressed fashion items to work into your casual wardrobe this season. Let’s get ready to rough it for a while.

#1 Vintage Tees


Moth-eaten and faded is no longer a terrible thing. Thin (never stained) cotton t-shirts have been purposefully washed down, giving rise to tears and minor holes in basic t-shirts. It’s all fed by our need to look a bit different this season. And distressed gives us that from a wear perspective.

As well as the holed-out fabric, the shirt shapes had been transformed to appear used. The wash-factor, meanwhile, creates a transparency in the weave: light and airy for summer or a barely-there layering piece in winter. Not into plain? Laid-back surf shirts in washed cotton jersey come in a range of faded prints for a retro-vibe and the patterned-at-heart.

These shirts aren’t designed to sit under a casual blazer and cotton trouser; more with a denim jacket and jogger pants and leather boots or sneakers, for fresh street feel. Keep the rest of your gear new-ish, to avoid looking like you’ve just come out of a brawl.


#2 Ripped Jeans


Ripped jeans are the go-to distressed fashion item for men this season. And they come in a variety of forms. Stepping into the un-reigned attitude of rock ‘n’ roll, stretch-denim comes cut in a skinny-fit, and of course, considerably faded and ripped at the knees. Worn with a white tee and leather perfecto, wear these to toughen-up casual looks, interchanging sneakers for crepe-sole lace-ups (for the Mods among us) or suede Chelsea books.

Other times, go smart. Interchange the leather for a camel topcoat (trench or chesterfield) and slip on e button-down and cashmere sweater. Make sure the rips are tasteful; that is, not thigh-high with the slits or gregariously gaping at the knee like a blown out tire.

RELATED: How To Rock Ripped With Class


#3 Repair Shirts


Denim shirts aren’t new. We’ve all got a classic chambray. Or a press-stud Western tucked away for an impromptu hoe-down. But, the indigo button-up gets a second life (literally) as a reborn, repaired shirt.

Boasting a vintage Americana aesthetic, the shirt comes cut and then sewn together again for a worn in, used aesthetic. Others are heavily washed to look old, and come faded in sections using authentic indigo-dyed techniques.The crafty-part? Patchwork, resembling a favourite toy being fixed, again and again.

But don’t let the kiddy-ness fool you. The shirt’s got smarts. Style it with chinos and brogues and a tweed or jersey blazer for play on texture and tailoring. Or opt for selvedge jeans for a winning double-denim look.

RELATED: How To Stay On Top Of The Denim Shirt Trend


#4 Garment Dyed Sweater


Your loungewear staple – the sweat shirt – is taking on a distressed aesthetic via special dyeing and washing processes. Garment dying techniques – where the hoodie or jumper is dyed after it is made, not beforehand as a single cotton yarn – means sweats come in unique washes and faded finishes for a faux-worn out look.

Brands are also using organic cottons with a raw, slub-like texture, brushed back and washed after production to enhance the fade. Plus, the tops won’t shrink as they’re already washed pre-purchase. And they tend to be incredibly soft.

The best way to embrace the sweater fade is in earthen colourways – blue, green, brown, black, grey. Pair with selvedge jeans and brogues for smarter look. Or for a nineties-street edge, play with sweater proportions; looking to boxy fits and even longline, paired with tapered jogger pants in wool or jersey depending on the weather. Just add sneakers.

RELATED: How To Wear A Smart Sweater


#5 Patchwork Jackets


Patchwork is becoming one of the biggest denim trends for the season ahead. While it’s prolific on jeans, a more typical canvas for distressing, we’re fans of patchwork on one of fashion’s major items this year, the shirt jacket.

Brands are releasing the work-wear inspired jackets with multiple textures and mix of fabrics. Cotton-fabric inlays with eye-catching patterns and jaunty colours, give an indigo-blue jacket a sense of personal style. The Japanese are purveyors of the DIY-look; experts in craftsmanship – seen in the finely cut and sewn construction –  and their appreciation for the finer details.

Wear the jacket buttoned-up over regular blue jeans (not distressed) or neutral chinos, opting for white sneakers for an off-duty look. For smart casual events, keep the jacket open and the rest of your outfit regulated: crisp cotton shirt, trousers and leather lace-ups, but loose the tie and belt to minimise excess clutter against the patchwork.




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