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Look casual or elegant in ripped jeans with these stylist-approved tips

From slashes to hole-y details, you'll rock the look like a pro.
Old Navy / Free People / Madewell

A pair of distressed denim with deconstructed details always gives laid-back, retro vibes. Whether the ripped details are placed on the knee, pockets or hemline, this denim-slashed style is usually linked to anti-conformity and rebellion — a nod to the '70s, perhaps.

But no matter how ripped jeans may appear, this style continues to remain popular. Google Trends has seen a rise in searches related to ripped mom jeans, along with straight and wide leg styles, over the last 12 months. Trendalytics has also predicted an extreme volume uptick of the style in coming months.

From huge slashes to smaller slits, there are numerous ways to style this specific style for day and night. We talked to experts on how to wear the look and how to shop for the right pair of ripped denim.

How to style ripped jeans

No matter the season, distressed denim is a solid garment choice that complements a wide range of basics. From white tees to silk blouses, ripped jeans can be worn for different occasions when accessorized properly.

Plus, according to stylists, ripped jeans offer plenty of versatility to dress up or down. For a casual look, you "can pair it with a vintage tee, a crop top, a fun graphic tee or a black or white bodysuit with [sneakers]," shared Brendan Brown, lead stylist of Style with Bree.

If you're leaning more toward a classier look, you can elevate ripped denim with some heels. "You can add a solid or patterned pump, or go for a strappy pair of stilettos" that you can tie up in the back of the hemline, he added.

You can also include more elegant-looking pieces like a "faux leather blazer, oversized teddy coat or a pair of slingback stilettos with a sexy blouse and a bralette underneath," shared style expert and Amazon Live host Katie Sands.

How to shop for ripped jeans

When it comes to shopping for the right pair of jeans, you should always keep the fit in mind, along with where the holes are located. According to Sands, it's important to make sure "the holes aren't huge as they will continue to get larger over time. Also, take note of how far apart the holes are from each other. If they are too close together, they may rip into each other over time and it will change the entire look of the pairs."

"It's [important] that you look where the rips are placed, as it’s extremely easy to put your foot through the hole and rip them straight down," Brown recommended. "Lastly, I wouldn't select any distressed denim that has holes or shreds below the mid-shin section."

"The holes should never be wider than the leg of the jeans, and they look the best when they are created horizontally across the leg," he added. Instead, opt for jeans that have shreds to keep the look more conservative and beware where the holes are located.

For those looking to add a bit of personality to their everyday wardrobe, here are several shopper-approved ripped jeans to add to your collection.

Ripped jeans for women to shop

Universal Thread Super-High Rise Vintage Cropped Straight Jeans

According to style expert Denise Caldwell, "your holes shouldn't be larger than a bald fist. Naturally, most denim has a form of spandex and lycra fabric included, and this causes the holes to expand over time."

This pair of distressed cropped jeans from Target will keep things wild yet edgy with the modest yet bold slits across the leg.

Sincerely Jules Juniors Dad Jeans With Holes

The boyfriend fit is always a classic style to wear day or night. This pair has a hole on the knee with a light wash to complement your favorite concert tees. You can also glam it up with a pair of strappy heels to elevate your look for an evening out.

Free Assembly Women's 90's Original Straight Denim Jeans

"Start with minimal slits, as they will expand with frequent wear and wash," Caldwell added about strategically shopping for ripped denim. This pair from Walmart is ideal for those women that want to keep things covered but add a hint of subtle distress.

Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Rockstar 360° Stretch Super Skinny Ripped Jeans

These Old Navy jeans won't stress you out when you put your leg through. It features a high-waisted style with shreds that still cover your legs. "The holes aren't too much and are easy to put on without your foot falling through," added one verified buyer who gave this pair five stars.

H&M Loose Straight High Jeans

This loose-fit style from H&M is excellent for the classier lady looking for more edge in her life. Pair it with a white button-down shirt and chunky dad sneakers for a chic look.

Urban Outfitters High-Waisted Baggy Jean

If you're looking to expose more of your knee area over time, these baggy jeans from Urban Outfitters will keep things torn apart. While the style comes with shreds, it can expand to a bigger hole to create a more deconstructed look.

Rachel Rachel Roy Girlfriend Jeans With Knee Destruction

When you buy ripped jeans, make sure you choose a "pair with holes that are no wider than your actual leg underneath. You don’t want the denim to sag," said Brown.

This ankle-length style from Marshalls is made of cotton and offers a boyfriend cut to complete your go-to weekend look.

American Eagle Ne(x)t Level Ripped Low-Rise Flare Jean

Nodding the '90s, these American Eagle jeans offer a flare design with a low-rise cut. Pair it with your favorite band T-shirt and a pair of cowboy boots for your next concert outing.

Levi’s 501 Ripped Straight Leg Jeans

This classic pair of straight-leg jeans from Levi's will offer versatility to all your looks. With a 100 percent cotton material that feels soft to the touch and a high-rise silhouette, these ripped jeans are the perfect addition to your capsule wardrobe. Also, it gives your legs enough room to move around the town with ease.

Peace Love World Regular Flare Cut Jeans

This pair of flare jeans offers the perfect amount of retro and modernity. They have a bit of distressing without being too grungy. Plus, it has a row of buttons and enough pockets to keep your things accessible.

7 for All Mankind High Waist Cropped Straight With Long Side Hem

If holes aren't your thing but you're still craving the distressed look, choose a cropped style like this one from 7 for All Mankind. The pair offer a luxurious feel thanks to the cotton blend.

Liverpool Los Angeles Crop Straight with Destruction

Caldwell suggests purchasing jeans with a little stretch in your denim so they don't fit too snug. This pair is perfect if you're looking for versatility while adding a taste of destruction. The jeans have scrapes in the front and shreds in the back that aren't too noticeable.

Jen7 Slim Boyfriend Jeans

For the woman who needs a bit of support, this pair of slimming jeans offers a shaping panel that instantly sculpts your figure while flattering your waist. They are a little slouchy, but they're made to keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean in Denman Wash

The iconic mom style is back, and this Madewell pair is the right solution to give your wardrobe more oomph. The style combines horizontal slits and a high-rise cut to pair with your favorite cropped tops and blazer.

ética Scarlet Mid Rise Slim

These form-fitting jeans provide movement and breathability with a bit of room through the leg. The style is made with GOTS-certified organic cotton that will feel soft while you wear it. Also, it combines the right amount of stretch to move around in comfort.

Agolde Cherie High Rise Straight

Enhance your curves with this pair from Agolde. These jeans "fit really nicely even though they are a looser type fit because they are fitted in all the right places," said one verified buyer. Also, since the wash is darker, you can get away wearing them in formal settings.

Free People Ksubi Playback Skream Trashed Jeans

Feel effortlessly edgy in this pair from Free People. The style offers a loose silhouette with shreds on the leg. "They’re so flattering and not stiff whatsoever," said one buyer.

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