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A Broke Girl’s Guide to DIY Boyfriend Jeans

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WMU chapter.

Hi, I’m a stereotypical broke girl and also a fan of boyfriend jeans. But boyfriends jeans in stores- from Forever 21 to Urban Outfitters to American Eagle and more- all cost an arm and a leg, and I know I don’t have $50+ to spend on a pair of jeans. So I created a detailed guide to thrift shopping, for all my incredibly broke girls who also want boyfriend jeans but don’t want to spend more than $20 for two.


Step One: Have patience

It took me two tries at the same Goodwill before I found a couple of pairs of boy jeans that I liked the look of. The key is they have to look nice before you make them into destroyed denim, or you won’t like them after, either. On the second attempt, I found a pair of Calvin Kleins mens jeans and a pair of Levis mens jeans. The Calvin Kleins actually fit incredibly well on me, and all that I have to do is destroy them. The Levis were pretty tight, so I had to let the waist out, and the destroying process included making room for my nice big thighs. My process for choosing a pair was looking at the smaller mens jeans (30-34) and then choosing the ones I liked the look of already. The size you choose depends on your size, and since I’m fairly small, I went for a smaller pair. I eyeballed them, and ended up with a pair that was too tight, but I fixed them.


Step Two: Destroying

The Levis were the first pair of jeans I started with. They were a little tight- I wouldn’t be able to sit down or breathe in them- so I let the waist out by cutting triangles into the waistline, and sewing more jean fabric into them. This made it so they actually fit right, and I can finally breathe. I also had to destroy the thighs because my thighs were still a little suffocated in them, so I ripped one long hole from upper thigh down to mid calf in one leg, and the other leg has a few holes/rips in them. They’re now comfortable, and after step three will look just as nice as designer boyfriend jeans.

Step Three: washing.

Wash your now destroyed jeans two to three times before wearing them, to get all of the fabric loose and distressed looking, and to smell good. They’ll look just as cute as the designer jeans your friends wear, and unless you repost this article, no one will know you made them.


Next week: a detailed look at how I modify the Calvin Kleins jeans, including a step-by-step tutorial.

I'm studying English and Art at Western Michigan University. I aspire to be an author. I want to move to Australia after college. I love reading, writing, and working out. My favorite artists include Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Highly Suspect, Modern Baseball, and The Front Bottoms. I currently waitress, but I'm hoping to get an internship next summer for editing. I'm from Paw Paw, a small town about half way between Kalamazoo and South Haven. My favorite season is summer, because that's when my birthday is. 
Johanna is the campus correspondent for the WMU chapter and a senior at Western Michigan University. She is studying journalism and political science. She hopes to spend her life writing and influencing the world around her with her words. A member of the Western Michigan University Marching Band, Johanna has been in love with music for as long as she can remember and tries to balance out her busy life between writing and playing music.