DIY: cutoff shorts

by Kristen Joy

Early last week I was invited to go thrifting and while there ran across these two pair of amazing vintage Levi high rise jeans that I bought collectively for about $3.50 (amazing right ? I know !) to make some cute cut off shorts to wear on my trip to Canada. While on vacation I received a lot of compliments and this inspired me to write a cutoff shorts tutorial, because although it may seem simple, if not done correctly it can go wrong.

Step 1: Finding THE RIGHT PAIR OF JEANS. The best type of jeans for cutoffs is known as “mommy” jeans. These jeans are best because they have a higher waist and tend to go out more towards the thigh area so when you cut them they won’t fit tight and end up looking like booty shorts. This type of jean is most easy to find at a local thrift store (or maybe even an older relative).


To determine where to cut, you can either A. try them on and while looking in the mirror and mark the desired length you want them to be either with a sewing pin or light marking pencil or B. What I like to do, is place a pair of my favorite shorts (cutoff or not) on top of the new jeans and mark a little less than a quarter of an inch beneath them to leave room for fringing.


After you have completely marked across at least one leg, slowly begin to cut at your mark. You can then try them on to see if the length you cut is satisfactory before cutting the other leg. If so, fold jeans and cut away the other leg with the already cut leg as a guideline.

Step 4: FRINGE or CUFF

After the jeans are cut on both legs you can use a small steak knife and go over the bottom of the newly cut hem to create your desired fringe. When done throw shorts in the washing machine for a 20 minutes rinse and dry and VOILA ! Your cutoffs are done! If you are not a fan for of fringe, you can roll up the bottoms of your shorts to make cute cuffed cutoffs instead.