When I saw these $1,500 Saint Laurent Chain Embellished Jeans, I knew I would make them mine. Well, I knew that I would one day make my own, so filed them into my DIY queue and kept them in the forefront of my thoughts when denim sale shopping. That day has come.
I bought a pair of Rag & Bone jeans on sale for $60 at Saks.com that were in need of a little something, and this DIY is a lot of something. I love the look of these paired with classic simple pieces. Then again, they would also be perfection with a vintage tee concert tee and boots. Check out how Nicole Richie, Miranda Kerr, and Kim Kardashian rocked their pairs.
Wanna take a pair of drab jeans up a few notches?
1 Pair of jeans
About 96″ of flat curb style chains*
1 Needle that is thin enough to fit through the chain links
1 Pair of fabric scissors
1 Spool of thread in a color that will blend in with your denim (I used navy)
1 6″ square of medium grit sandpaper
1 Pen or pencil
*You can get chains like these by the foot at most hardware and craft stores. I found the perfect necklaces at Forever21, and since they were multi-layered and on sale, buying two turned out to be cheaper than the hardware store chains. This one would be an ideal money saving match as well.
1. Once you’ve selected the pair you want to update, put them on and while wearing them, mark where you want your holes and rips to be lightly with your pen or marker. Take them off, and lay them flat on the ground to assess whether you should add or subtract from the map you’ve made.
2. Begin making your cuts. They shouldn’t be too clean, so if the cuts are too straight, snip the edges of the openings with the tips of your scissors. This will help give them a more authentic distressed look. Put the jeans back on, and adjusts your cuts as necessary with extreme caution, cutting away from your body. Please don’t snip your skin!
3. Put the jeans back on, and begin rubbing the thigh and knee areas as well as the holes with the gritty side of the sandpaper for about ten minutes. This will help not only to give them that worn in look, but it is also a great way to soften any denim.
Again, be careful. If you sand your skin, you’ll get a mean rug burn (trust me, I know). To get the edges of the holes, just lift the denim away from your leg before sanding.
4. Take them off and lay them flat on the ground and look them over to ensure that you’re happy with the level of distressing. If not, repeat step 3.
5. Cut your first pieces of chain using your scissors or a wire cutter. A good rule of thumb used by YSL for this design is the larger the hole, the more chains. Lay the chain on the area you are about to fill, and cut once there is about a 1/2″- 1″ extra chain on each side of the opening. Remember to vary your chain lengths as pictured below to get the draped look.
6. Pull your thread through the needle and make a double or triple knot at the end of it. You won’t need more than 4″ per hole, as you are going to close the stitch each time. Pull the needle and thread through the end of all of the chains so that it looks like this:
7. Sew the needle with the chains at the end of the thread through the upper corner area of the hole at least 1/2″ away from the opening, pulling first through the inside of the jeans, and then threading once back through the front so that the needle is now back inside the jeans. Cut the thread and tie a double or triple knot on the inside of the denim. Repeat this threading pattern on the other side to attach the chains, and continue this step on all of the holes and rips.
8. Once you’ve finished sewing the chains across all of the holes and rips, hang them on a hanger so you can assess whether or not you need to add or take away. Do this step before adding any of the free hanging single chains.
9. Add any straight dangling chains sewing them on one at a time using the technique from step 6.
You’re done! You can now enjoy your cool edgy chain embellished jeans and spend the $1,440 savings on some wardrobe classics to go with them.
Are you dying to try this DIY or is it too wild for you?
See how I styled them here.