How to Alter Jeans

How to Alter Jeans

Alter your jeans so they fit your unique style. Discover our favorite alteration techniques, like how to release the hem of your jeans to let down your denim, cut a side slit and customize your cutoffs.

Tailoring jeans you already own means you can get those new-clothes-vibes just by reimagining a pair that’s already in your closet. Beyond the savings, denim tailoring makes for an easy and fun creative project. Try out the three DIY tailoring techniques below to alter jeans.

Hemming Jeans: Letting Down

You may already know how to hem jeans to make them shorter, but did you know letting your hems down can totally change the look of your pants?

Take some inspiration from the grooviest decade and let down your jean hems for a laid-back, casual look. Women’s jeans that have been let out pair perfectly with wedges. And both women’s and men’s jeans go great with boots with a heel. Try out the style by following the simple steps below.

Letting Down Your Hem

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need: Denim, iron, seam ripper

How To:

  1. Use your seam ripper to carefully rip out the stitching (every 4 or 5 stitches is fine).
  2. Pull out the loose threads and use your iron to go over the hem so it’s flat.
  3. Now you’re ready to rock your new retro-inspired jeans.

Hemming Jeans: Adding a Slit to the Sides

Show off your boots! Add a slit to the sides of your jeans for a style that’s uniquely your own. Not only is adding a slit the perfect way to alter denim to showcase your shoes, but you can get this personalization project done and dusted in just three fast and easy steps!

Slitting the Sides of Your Jeans

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need: Denim, pins, measuring tape, scissors

How To:

  1. Measure from the hem to your mark on both legs.
  2. Cut along the seam.
  3. You’re ready to rock your jeans with side slits.

Hemming Jeans: Adding a Hem to Cutoffs

Customize your cutoff shorts by creating a simple and stylish angled hem. Adding a hem will give your jean shorts a sharp, finished look, but be aware that a hem will change the overall length of your shorts. Plan for at least an inch of length lost when adding a hem, and you’ll love the finished look.

Pro Tip: If you’re not looking for tips on how to shorten jeans that have already been cut off into shorts, then you may want to start with our tips on cutting jeans to shorts before revisiting us here.

Hemming Your Cutoffs

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need: Cutoffs, needle & thread, pin, measuring tape, scissors

How To:

  1. Measure one inch from the bottom of your shorts and mark with a pin.
  2. Cut along the seam to the mark.
  3. Fold up on an angle and iron in place.
  4. Sew an X to keep the hem from falling down.
  5. Repeat on the other side and enjoy!

We hope you’ve impressed yourself with all the ways you’ve been able to alter your denim to create one-of-a-kind jeans. Be sure to tag us with pictures of your finished customization using #myAriat. Try out our other approaches to DIY denim, like making ripped jeans, or shop our complete collection for the best blue jean style inspiration!