Ripped Jeans: Classy or Trashy?

By Natalie Saltares

Have you ever wondered why your grandma smirks with disapproval at the holes in your favorite pair of distressed jeans? For whatever reason, the look has been deemed as unprofessional. When you decide to put on that distressed denim you will often receive comments like: “Did moths get to your pants?” or, “Do you need some money to buy a new pair of jeans?” These remarks can be fairly aggravating, especially when you believe you are wearing a current trend.


That being said, the ever popular ripped jeans trend (the one your grandmother will never understand) was not always so popular. The Apparel Search Company explains, “The reality is that long before people were wearing torn jeans to express personal style, people [were] wearing torn clothing out of necessity.” Before the 1970’s, ripped jeans were worn by poor individuals who had to wear their clothing down to the last thread because they couldn’t afford new clothes. This is why older individuals have a hard time viewing the holes in your pants as fashionable.


Ripped jeans became fashionable around the 1980’s when heavy metal rockers showcased their talents on stage with ripped jeans and wild hair styles. It was the grunge era that brought a change in opinion about the holes being fashionable. As we can see, fashion has a way of repeating itself. By 2010 the trend became popular once again and walked right across runways of prominent designers such as Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and many more.

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This trend is still popular with both men and women today and it is leaving its mark on wardrobes around the country. Fashion is always changing and improving. Just because something wasn’t popular in the past, does not make it trashy in the present. Granted, there is a time and a place for all fashion trends. Knowing this, it would be wise not to wear ripped jeans to a job interview. Although you may be strong in your beliefs that ripped jeans are not trashy, your employer may have another perspective. With the exception of that interview, wear the trends regardless of if the people around you approve. When it comes to fashion, the only opinions that matter are your own.

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