fraying denim shorts


Who doesn’t love a stylish pair of fraying denim shorts? But finding frayed shorts in the right style and fit at a retail outlet can be quite challenging. If you have the right pair of denim jeans in your wardrobe, you can easily create your own trendy frayed shorts just by cutting them to the right length and fraying the bottom of jeans until you get your desired effect. By cutting jeans into shorts with a fringe, you can control how you want the material to look and end up with a perfectly distressed and comfortable new pair of shorts.

How do you fray jean shorts? You’ll find plenty of tips online – from how to fray denim to how to create fringe jean shorts at home – however, not all these tips can help you get the perfectly frayed shorts. 

Don’t ruin another pair of perfectly good jeans. In our guide, learn how to cut jeans into frayed shorts the right way.

how to cut jeans into frayed shorts

Steps On How To Fray Shorts

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fray jean shorts:

Step 1: Choose A Denim

The first step is to choose the right denim. Select denim in a size larger than your normal size. This will give your frayed shorts a more relaxed and comfortable fit. Frayed shorts generally come in a loose, hip-slung fit. However, if you’re looking for a more form-fitting look, consider going with your normal size.

Also, look for boxier or wider leg options, like girlfriend, boyfriend, or straight leg denim. While you may feel tempted to transform your old skinny jeans into a cool new pair of frayed shorts, you will likely end up with more of a tight, bike shorts look. Remember, denim with a lot of stretch typically has a tighter fit, so you’ll likely want to avoid starting with such a pair.

Step 2: Adjust The Length

Instead of guessing, try on your denim and look in the mirror to help you decide the length of your shorts. You don’t want to end up with shorts that are too short, right? So try on your starting product in front of the mirror to avoid such mishaps.

Use chalk to mark how short you want the shorts to be. You can make a dot or a small line on the front and back to indicate exactly where you want the short to end up. This step will help ensure that you don't end up with too long or too short frayed shorts.

Now, it’s time to draw the cutting line. You should cut your denim a bit longer than you want the final product to be. This will give you a little room for error, as well as room to fray the shorts to your desired length. Also, if you want more coverage in the back, draw the line about half an inch further down the leg so that your shorts are slightly longer in the back.

Step 3: Cut Along The Marked Line

Using scissors, start cutting from the outside seam of the denim and cut along the chalk line. Once you have cut all the way across, fold them in half to make sure that both legs are the same length. 

Now, try the shorts on again to ensure your cuts are even and to assess the length at this point. If you find that they are too long, draw another chalk line and use scissors to trim the bottom of the shorts.

Step 4: Distress Your Shorts

Use sandpaper or a razor blade to distress the denim. Lay the shorts on a flat surface. Use sandpaper and rub along the bottom of the shorts if you want to add softer, more controlled fraying. Or, run a razor blade along the bottom if you want your shorts to be more distressed.

For an evenly frayed pair of shorts, apply the same amount of pressure all across the bottom. To add a little variety, you can pick a few spots to distress a bit more by rubbing harder and/or longer with the sandpaper or razor blade.

Step 5: Wash Your Shorts

To get the bottoms to look naturally distressed, wash your shorts about 1 to 3 times before wearing them. If you find that your shorts are still a bit too long after washing, or that you want a more frayed look, you can trim and fray with sand paper or a razor blade a bit more. 

Wash again after making any alterations. Remember, the more you wash and wear your shorts, the more naturally frayed they will get. So it may take some time for you to end up with perfectly frayed shorts.

No spring/summer wardrobe staple is more timeless than a perfect pair of frayed denim shorts. It’s also an instant boost to your wardrobe at little to no cost. 

Now that you have a new pair of shorts, check out our selection of women's tops to pair with it!

Looking for the more shorts for women? Shop now from our huge selection including pre-distressed denim shorts.