From small rips to jeans that are completely destroyed, distressed denim is making a come back. The trend is totally 90’s grunge, but there are smart ways to style distressed denim making it appropriate for today. Completely thrashed jeans are obviously not an appropriate item for the office (or most offices), and you certainly wouldn’t wear them to dinner or a black tie affair. But, there are ways to dress up ripped jeans for a more modern look – perfect for casual events, or just strolling around the city.

There’s already a very masculine, grungy, almost punk rock feel to the pants. So, unless that’s your style or the look you want to go for, try to stay away from band tees, flannel or plaid shirts. It’s become expected and even dated. Be bold and try pairing your distressed jeans with a collared shirt or button-down to balance out the grunge vibes. You can even go a step further and throw on a light scarf or cardigan. Another option is wearing it with a solid color blazer over a simple jersey cotton tee. This would make for an effortless look great for a date or night out.

When choosing shoe options, slip-on shoes make for a great casual look with distressed denim. You can also try a simple boot, like a Chukka or even a Chelsea. If you pair with a high top sneaker, or lace up boot you start to fall into that expected category. When ever sporting a retro or revived trend, it’s important to still be true to your own style and always bring something fresh and surprising to the look.

-Dalton Primeaux