Which ripped jeans are best?

Usually, finding a hole in the clothing you just bought is a big red flag, but in the case of ripped jeans, that’s a feature, not a bug. Ripped jeans offer a cool, casual aesthetic. Just about every jeans manufacturer makes at least one pair of ripped jeans, but the best one is Levi’s Women’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans. The tastefully placed rips and slimming fit make these jeans eminently wearable with a modern edge. 

What to know before you buy ripped jeans

When did people start wearing ripped jeans?

Ripped jeans first became popular during the early days of the punk rock movement in the 1970s. In those days, denim clothing was an integral part of the punk rock wardrobe, and creating rips in the fabric was seen as a way for people to personalize their style and rebel against societal norms. In the early 1990s, ripped jeans saw a major resurgence with the birth of the grunge movement in America. Since then, ripped jeans have continued to be a staple of youth fashion all over the world.

When is a good time to wear ripped jeans?

Ripped jeans are an excellent choice for when you’re hanging out with friends, going out to a bar or seeing a concert. Any time the atmosphere is casual and low-key, a pair of ripped jeans can be the perfect way to complete your outfit. That being said, it’s important to note that some upscale restaurants and nightclubs don’t allow ripped jeans in their dress codes. Be sure to check that you won’t have any dress code issues before you head out for a night on the town in ripped jeans.

What pairs well with ripped jeans?

One of the best things about ripped jeans is their versatility. Unlike other types of pants, they can accentuate an outfit in a wide variety of contexts. If you want to go for a vintage punky look, pairing ripped jeans with a distressed denim vest or band graphic T-shirt is the way to go. Alternatively, ripped jeans also look great when contrasted against traditionally formal clothing such as blazers, cardigans or blouses. The opportunities for mixing and matching with ripped jeans are practically endless.

What to look for in quality ripped jeans

Rip quantity

It’s certainly possible for jeans manufacturers to go overboard when designing ripped jeans. Although they look hip and fashionable, the rips in the denim are actually compromising the overall integrity of the pants. That’s why it’s important to choose a pair of jeans with a reasonable amount of rips in the right places. Not to mention, through years of use and trips through the washing machine, rips may become larger over time. “Less is more,” might be a good mantra to keep in mind when searching for the perfect pair of ripped jeans for you.

Jean cuts

You’ll want to consider which jean cut suits you best before you purchase a pair of ripped jeans. Jeans manufacturers make ripped jeans in all types of cuts. Whether you like skinny jeans, boot cuts, bell bottoms, “boyfriend” jeans or straight legs, you can find a pair of ripped jeans with that cut.


Although denim is the most common material you’ll find in a high-quality pair of jeans, it’s not the only fabric that manufacturers use. Oftentimes, manufacturers will blend denim with other materials such as polyester and spandex. Polyester is an exceptionally strong material that can make a pair of jeans more durable when blended with denim. It also makes the pants more rigid with little to no stretch. Manufacturers add spandex to denim when they want to increase the stretchiness and flexibility of a pair of jeans. Spandex is common in skinny and slim-fit jean cuts. 

How much you can expect to spend on ripped jeans 

Depending on the brand name, ripped jeans range from as low as $15 to well over $1,000.

Ripped jeans FAQ

Why shouldn’t I just rip my own jeans?

A. While you definitely can rip a pair of jeans on your own, the process is quite harder than it looks. When ripping jeans at home, you run the risk of ruining a pair of jeans you spent a lot of money on. To ensure that you get that classic frayed denim look, it’s a safer option to buy pre-ripped jeans.

How can I stop rips from opening more?

A. Rips tend to get larger over time, mainly due to repeated cycles in the washer and dryer. The best way to avoid this is to stitch denim patches around the rips on the underside of your jeans. The denim patches lock the rips in position and prevent them from widening. This can be a time-consuming solution, especially if your jeans have a lot of rips, but it’s the most effective defense against this problem.

What are the best ripped jeans to buy?

Top ripped jeans

Levi’s Womens’ 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans

Levi’s Womens’ 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans

What you need to know: These stylish, form-fitting ripped skinny jeans from Levi’s are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

What you’ll love: The rips are carefully placed and unlikely to widen in the wash. The small percentage of elastane in the fabric blend helps give these jeans a comfortable amount of stretchiness.

What you should consider: There are some ripped options, but others within the same listing aren’t ripped, so choose accordingly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top ripped jeans for the money

Best Levis Womens 501 Original Fit Jeans

Levi’s Women’s 501 Original Fit Jeans

What you need to know: The classic cut won’t go out of style and thanks to their durability, these jeans can last you years. 

What you’ll love: You can find ripped options in black, white, mid-blue and light blue, with varying degrees of ripping. They have a high rise and a straight fit. 

What you should consider: Only four colors have a ripped option. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Guess Mens Slim-Fit Tapered Stretch Ripped Jeans

Guess Men’s Slim-Fit Tapered Stretch Ripped Jeans

What you need to know: These slim-fit jeans from Guess have a modern aesthetic and tasteful rips.

What you’ll love: The rips are noticeable but not excessive. The strong fabrics and dyes prevent the denim from fading in the wash.

What you should consider: There could be more color choices. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Nick Rezzonico writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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