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Ask A South Florida Expert: How To Distress Your Jeans

Fashion industry pro Amy Berkowitz shares her tips for distressing jeans with style. These tips include some great classic methods as well as some little-known or unconventional methods. Distressed jeans are always in style because they're all a matter of personal taste and expression. Everything from high-glam ensembles to oddball hipster looks turn out fabulous with the right distressed denim.
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Amy Berkowitz
Ready-2-Launch Co-Founder
West Palm Beach, FL
(610) 405-8884

Amy Berkowitz is a fashion professional with 25 years of industry experience. She is the Co-Founder of Ready-2-Launch, a wonderful company giving fashion designers the assistance and resources necessary to get their lines going with the strategies and tools required for success. She is a professor at Miami International University of Art & Design for the fashion programs and she works as a fashion designer herself as well as art director, creative director, promoter, manufacturer, licenser, textile developer and product developer. Some of the companies Amy Berkowitz currently works with or has worked with in the past include Nordstrom, HBO, Showtime, Bloomingdales and Williams-Sonoma.

Use sand, acid or even burn the denimSand can be used to grate or give texture to sections of the jeans. Sandpaper is even easier to use for more precise control. Acid washing jeans is as simple as making use of pumice stones and chlorine bleach. Burning denim gives it an even more unexpected and edgy look.
Distress with sand and rocks or pebblesOnce again, sand may be used for great distressed texture and points of interest. Rocks and pebbles also may be used for different types of distressed textures for more variety in the look. Scraping is a good technique but there really are so many different ways to come up with great results. It's a good idea to get stones of different shapes, sizes, finishes and textures for a good range of options.
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Utilize bleach, beets and glue

Color play can enter the picture with the use of red staining beets and whitening bleach. Distressed jeans leave the norm with a bright and bold color palette. The potential for creativity is endless with these materials. Well-placed glue adds raised texture and may even be incorporated into the design.

Related: Top South Florida Fashion Blogs

Distress with coffee grinds and a grater.For lovers of vintage clothing and vintage-inspired looks, coffee is a great solution. Staining denim in strategic sections with coffee grinds allows them to get that great antiqued look that many expensive designer labels like to offer. The small abrasions that come with years of natural wear and tear to jeans may be added instantly with a grater (even a cheese grater may do). The end result is an impressive pair of jeans with an antiqued, vintage look.
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Studded snow tires can make a great distressed look

Probably the wildest sounding tool for distressing jeans, studded snow tires are capable of contributing plenty of added style to denim. Of course, snow tires are not something utilized in Florida, but they are available for purchase in stores. The studded versions literally have metal studs sticking out of them for snowy winter road conditions. The jeans can be wrapped around the tires for a short distance such as the driveway to reverse and drive back in to park for some great texture.

Related: Top Spots To Pick Up A New Pair Of Shades

Chanoa Chen is a well-published blogger and online journalist on topics ranging from luxury lifestyle living to fashion shows and trends. A self-proclaimed Miami Beach fashion expert, she is also working on launching her first jewelry line, Boki Love. Her work can be found at

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