The Easiest DIY Tutorial For Frayed, Step Hem Denim

Mood board I created featuring some rockin’ step hem jeans, boots I would love to wear with mine and other pretty things.

Mood board I created featuring some rockin’ step hem jeans, boots I would love to wear with mine and other pretty things.

‘Cuffing Season’ is upon us, ladies and gents. If you’re single, that apparently means its time for you to find a subpar, sort-of significant other to keep you warm as the weather gets colder. He/She may also fill in for cute pumpkin patch dates or movie nights in when you remember it’s frowned upon to wear a parka to the bars. Unfortunately, you should also expect this relationship to disappear as soon as the snow does. And they say romance is dead!


For the last several years, “Cuffing” has also dominated the relationship between our favorite boots and the way we wear our denim. Every fashion expert on Pinterest told us that we “DO” cuff the hem of our jeans, and we “DON’T” leave them bunched at the base of our ankles.

While I totally agree with this, there’s a new trend emerging in this season’s denim that literally anyone can wear - and even better, anyone can DIY.

I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.
— Yves Saint Laurent

To prove this hypothesis, I DIYed my own pair of step hem skinnies, using a pair of jeans I scored from ThredUp for just $10 (did I mention they were new with tags?). Step Hem refers to the fact that the hems of the font and back of your legs will be different lengths - shorter in the front and longer in the back. Basically, we’re creating denim ankle mullets.


To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything crazy from a pair of Old Navy jeans, but these bad boys fit me in ALL the right places. Plus, they make my booty look like it actually exists, and that’s always a win in my book.


For this tutorial, you’ll need:

  • Pair of jeans - skinny or straight leg work best!

  • scissors

  • marker or pen

  • tweezers

1. Put your jeans on. Cuff the legs to the length you would like your front hem to be at. (I did mine a couple inches above my ankles)


2. Once each leg is at the desired length, make a small marking at the bottom of the cuff on the inside and outside of your ankles, next to the seams.

3. Take your jeans off and lay them inside-out on a flat surface. Make sure the zipper side is up.


4. Cut vertically along the inside of the seam line (but not on the seam itself) from the hem to the marks you made on either side.

5. Cut horizontally from one marking to the other. Feel free to use a ruler and pen to make sure you cut a straight line.


6. Cut off the hem on the back of your legs. I cut mine about a half inch higher than the gold thread you see in the picture. (I’m sure that “gold thread” has an official name in the tailoring/fashion design world. But i’m not one of those geniuses, I’m just a girl who wanted to cut up some $10 jeans)


7. Try the jeans back on. Make sure you like the way they look. For me, I ended up cutting the back hem up another half inch.

8. Once your jeans are at your desired length, grab a tweezers (or use your fingers) to pull at the WHITE strings in your denim. This is how you create a fray. The more white threads you pull out, the higher your fray will be.

Speaking of the Fray, “How to Save a Life” came on the radio the other day and I was transported back in time to when I was an angst filled 8th grader who only listened to alternative 2000s hits. Not because I was super cool and hipster, but because that was the only music on my big sister’s hand me down iPod nano.


9. Put on your jeans and marvel at your own work. Pair them with booties for the best fall look!


Did you try this tutorial out? Snap a pic and share on your insta story! Don’t forget to tag me so I can obsess over how awesome they are with you - @delaneylaneliving.