Rip your jeans by all means, but learn to sport the look right. Fashion designers tell you what works best for different age groups.
Ripped jeans have been in vogue for a while now. Everybody is sporting them, be it the nubile 20 year olds, or the trendy 30 plus fashionistas and even the 40 plus perennials. But just as one fit does not suit all body types, a uniform look does not work for all age groups. Or does it? If you have a svelte, toned body like Malaika Arora with fab abs and bronzed sexy legs, then you can flaunt every damn hole in your designer jeans and strut around like a stunner. But what about plebians who do not have the figure of a Goddess? Should they be deprived of their right to flaunt a fashion trend? “Ripped jeans has been the rage for its grunge yet edgy sexy look,” says designer Raj Shroff adding, “A well-toned body absolutely carries a pair of ripped jeans with elan. Age is no bar when you know what to do with your toned body — you can go all out and rip them with confidence.”
For fashion aficionados curious about the history behind this trend, here’s the story. If you are a denim junkie, you are most likely to be familiar with the name of the German businessman Loeb Strauss. Yup, he is the same dude who founded every 70s kids’ favourite — Levis jeans. The ripped trend was an offshoot of the defiant punk movement that was popularised by cult bands like the Sex Pistols. In an obvious ripple effect, fans were ripping of their denims to show their cool quotient.
Designer Ritu Pande, who is now based in Singapore and has a fashion line there says, “Ripped or distressed denims have made a huge comeback and can be dressed up or down depending on how they are styled and accessorised. Despite its grunge association, ripped jeans can be glammed up quite effortlessly. High waisted jeans with cropped tops look good on the 20-year-olds, but a button downed shirt would be more appropriate for someone in their 30s. A tunic top with a smart scarf and not so tight distressed jeans works best for women in their 40s.”
This fashion trend was rediscovered at the turn of the century, when clever brand manufacturers, decided to market it as distressed denim. And viola! Every fashion label worth millions invested in this denim line, that has seen everyone — from the fabulous at 40 actress Jennifer Aniston to an uber cool 70-year-old veteran star Felicity Kendal — flaunting this look. So what is the best mantra to follow? How ripped should your jeans be in your 20s, 30s and 40s?
Fashion designer Namrata Bhatia believes that 20s is the perfect time for experimentation. “That’s an age when you’re casual and can sport a crop T-shirt ripped jeans combination. It all works. You can play with your shoes, bags, moccasins, sneakers. The extent of ripping on the jeans can go as far as you can carry,” she says.
Trying to correlate this trend with age appropriate dressing, Namrata opines that, “In your 30s, you tend to have strong goals in life. So whenever you dress, you are projecting an image — casual or formal. For a casual look, wear a crop top, long jackets, sweater, shoes can be bling, sneakers or casual pumps. For a formal image, you can wear a slinky leather jacket or a sequin top, or a formal shirt. Team it with a pair of formal stilettoes, pumps or boots depending on the weather or occasion. A huge trend amongst Indians is to wear the jeans either with flat slippers or gold or silver Kolhapuri slippers. Go easy on the ripped factor,” she points out.
The 40s is the time when most people have achieved a certain stature. Namrata opines, “One should dress your distressed look accordingly. Wear a bright t-shirt, or a cold shoulder too. Whatever be the look, it’s very important to accessorise it right. Whether it is with a pair of earrings, bangles, a bag or shoes, it’s got to be right. A layered look is also a popular trend either with a shrug or a sweater. You can play with scarves over a shirt. To create the formal look, wear a sequin top with a layered jacket, a single long layered top. Match it with the right shoes and bag.
Be it skinny, mom, boyfriend or cropped, wearing ripped jeans is a trend that is still going strong. Designer Neetu Gupta has the best partying shot. “We all agree that clothing is and should be about ourselves. We wear what we feel most comfortable in. More than age, one should concern themselves with personality and body type. These are most often the factors that decide what we can pull off. That being said, 40-year-old dressed like someone in their 20s might not be the best option. Keep your ripped jeans slightly baggy and pair it with a loose antifit top. This is a smart and yet age appropriate way to go about the look,” she adds.