Fla$hy or Tra$hy?

When ripped jeans became cool in 2004 (Abercrombie-cool, mind you, so bear with me here), I dropped one night’s worth of my side-hustle baby-sitting dough on a pair of hyper-distressed denim with gigantic holes in the knees. My step dad’s response?

“I could have made you those in the backyard for free.”

It’s true that paying for pants that look like they’ve been gardened in, run over, struck with lightening and pulled through a shards-of-glass party seems sort of dumb. But good decisions don’t necessarily always equate to smart decisions: on Saturday, for example, I ate an entire prosciutto and arugula pizza by myself. It was definitely a good idea, but two hours later when I had to lie down in the shower because I was too full to stand, I realized it wasn’t the smart idea.

Cut to me in Topshop a few weeks ago when I was there for the purpose of finding a dress. Instead, I left with a pair of white, high-waisted jeans dappled with enough holes to strain an aardvark salad through. They were an impulse buy that screamed “summer” at the time — I had visions of my hair instantly lightening and imagined all the ways I’d evade the question, “Where do you go surfing?” but when it came time to don the actual juans, I felt a little exposed. Or like my step dad could have made them in the backyard.

But I stand by them. And when I pair them with sportier items (like the Saint James knit per the photo above) the rips retain the beach-casual feel that I originally pictured. However, I wouldn’t go to bed unless you said goodnight, and I can barely start my day without your hellos so tell me, please: in your honest opinion, are these jeans fla$hy or tra$hy?

— Amelia Diamond

  • brit


  • jls.

    These are great on you. Let it rip, girl.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • carrie

    Absolutely great, I wanted to buy a pair for myself but didn’t find some yet, you look great! 🙂

  • Schmatta

    I think the rips are better and more flattering lower on the leg, like around the knees only. That said, this is still a great outfit and you should definitely go for the ripped denim look.

    • Amelia Diamond

      yea knee rips rule

  • C.

    too tight! i also have full thighs and i avoid tight ripped jeans instead i went with one teaspoon white ripped bf jeans.

    • Amelia Diamond

      You’re so right because they’ve actually loosened from wearing and entire-pizza-eating and now I like them better!

    • kate

      disagree. they look awesome, amelia.

      • Amelia Diamond

        kate = code for my mom??

  • Sarah A.

    I am all for ripped jeans and for the record they were cool long before 2004 (think Alicia Sylverstone in the Aerosmith videos). Ripped jeans were the epitome of “cool” and “badass”… I know I tried at the age of 13 (back in 1995) to rip my own pair during my rebelling stage…

    • Amelia Diamond

      You are so right, 2004 is just when I personally realized they were cool. Before that my world basically revolved around uniform khakis and plaid skirts (also the uniform kind, lame).

  • lkrisp

    Flashy, for sure, but I’m biased. Distressed denim has become my go to. I love pairing them with a tailored or super feminine shirt and fancy flats. It’s a great contrast.

    • Amelia Diamond

      flats would be great, if leandra didn’t have baby feet i’d steal her red ones

  • Dominique

    Definitely flashy!



  • it seems its probably one of those things where the exposure is more felt than seen. these look great! i would feel exposed too, naturally, but you styled them well!

  • Emilia Petrarca

    More like ‘thrashy,’ cause it looks like Wolverine went at those jeans (in a good way).

  • GapToothedGirl

    That’s fashy! I like this king of distressed!!

    XOX, Gap.


  • Those tears at the very top almost make me uncomfortable, until I remember that my cut-off denim shorts basically hit me at vagina level (and also could have been rendered in the backyard with a pair of garden shears). In summary: I’m for ’em! Fla$hy!

  • lovely!! Looking amazing Amelia!

    • Amelia Diamond

      all for you girl!

  • kfizz

    They are the exact kind of thing that only works if you believe (completely) that it works. So work em.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Nico

    To me are great!!

    Stripes and orange for a Summer look on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • I’m not onboard with overly distressed jeans but these are cool & you are rocking them 😀


  • Dads & boyfriends say that because they somethings don’t get it. I like them. Class act! :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

  • EmmaM147


    Emma x


  • rockin’ em

  • Evie

    I love distressed jeans……I can’t help it!!

  • ee_by_cc

    You do you! These work because of what the almighty Diana Vreeland once said. “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste. No taste is what I’m against.” Bad taste for everyone!!!


  • You look fly as fuck, $. Did you pair your a&f pair with a double popped collar so that the inside polo color matched the moose color on the outside polo?

    • Hahaha…..Don’t give anyone on here any ideas, CJ. We already dealin’ with high levels of Cheese Factor in this great nation.

      • 2004 was rough, Emma.

        • It really was. No matter what age, we were all adversely affected. Being as resilient as we are, we were able to move onto bigger and better things like the reincarnation of mom jeans and Jesus sandals. *some sarcasm here, but I am also being like 92% earnest*

    • Amelia Diamond

      obviously cj. or a ribbed tank that matched the moose and came down like, mid-ass.

      • YES. did you also pair THAT with scrunched hair, leaving two long strands straight by your face?

  • On you, Amelia Diamomd, they are flashy and so sexy. Seriously, you look cool. But I’m
    convinced that your aura has more to do with that than anything else. You give off that (or at least what I can sense from inside the computer screen) Americana vibe that will always feel comforting in its tradition while reminding us about the rogue-for-the-time principles that this nation was founded upon. (Note: I am known by many as a socialism-dabbling teen and thus people think I hate America, but that’s actually not the case when it comes to certain aesthetics and principles. )

    So, all this is to say: wear the damn jeans because you look great. Even if your stepdad could have totally duplicated those in the backyard.

    • Amelia Diamond

      thanks emma, and “socialism-dabbling teen” should be your new social media bio.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    You wear them well, clever item, like it wery much! It can be dressed up and dressed down! Nice summer purchase! APROVED
    Btw, your hair! What do you do to it Amelia! Tell me again! Amazing

    • Amelia Diamond

      Thank you!! I huge chunk of my hair is actually grey already, so I get it died all the time. If you really feel like falling asleep though, I wrote a paragraph about my shampoo routine: http://www.manrepeller.com/minor_cogitations/the-way-we-wash-our-hair.html

      • CarlotaLMorais

        I have read it already! But I will for sure do it again because it looks sooo good and healthy!!! And the colour is very natural! Well done Amelia ahah 🙂

  • Adriana M. Parrilla Flores

    They look great even better if you wear them with high heels strappy sandals 😉


  • PeiYun Lu

    i honestly think it looks great on you. However, I would like to see a contrast. Maybe to pair with a not-so-casual pair of shoes. (clogs, maybe?!)

    • Amelia Diamond

      yes!! good idea

  • Vi

    they’re great you’re great keep doin you

  • Sarah

    I just bought a pair, and at first I felt the exact same way. The more I wear them, though, the better I feel. Definitely Fla$hyyyy!!!

  • Rebecca

    So hideous, even by MR standards. Sorry.

  • Honestly, this model is very tricky….


  • before i read the article I couldn’t have cared less about the jeans. BUT THAT WRITE UP DOE. now i want a pair for myself just so i can remember this write up while wearing em.
    here’s MY experience with white jeans.

    • Amelia Diamond

      what are those? they sit at a good hip height!

  • before reading this article i could’ve cared less for white jeans. BUT THEN YOU WROTE THIS BRILLIANT ODE TO BLANCO DENIM, and now all i wanna do is wear it to remember this article. also here is my foray into WJ.

  • judi

    trashy I agree with your step dad

  • Yes!! I have a medium wash pair with weird patches and rips but it’s still cool. I love how yours is slightly loose! TBH the outfit is quite classic. So…fla$hy!

  • mknoun

    you pull them off, but if you’re going for the legit distressed look the slits at the top aren’t really natural looking, and I prefer more knee action.

    • Amelia Diamond

      actually i think that’s a good point, that the rips don’t look natural. UNLESS you’re the hulk. which I am!

  • Dominique Harris

    Bought a pair of these about 4 years ago and wore them to death. Absolutely cringe at the thought of them now!


  • sarah

    the SECOND, i say SECOND i see a kardashian (or cow-dayshun as my mother in law refers to them as, hahahaha) wearing these, I’m out, and I have, in such a bad bad way, so no.never, ever, eveeeeerrrrrrr.

  • Nik

    I’ve got the same ones. I love them.

  • Caroline

    Super trashy…

  • Foyin Og

    flashy! i think those jeans are ripped just enough – i can never quite understand those jeans with giant holes right over the knees, because surely your knees are the things that should be covered to protect them, right? or maybe i just have ugly knees. either way, my mom never let me buy ripped jeans for the same reason as your stepdad, but maybe i can convert her with something like this…

    • Amelia Diamond

      i bet your knees rule!

  • trashy-chic? lol. I like them, I just don’t like the word flashy. idk. I’m getting cheese fries.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Erika

    flashy! You look like a cover girl!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I like you Erika!

  • I love the jeans on you, I’m still searching for a pair of ripped jeans that fit perfectly

    O. R. R.

  • hi_itsgabby


  • Samantha

    Super cute! Not trashy or too flashy, very fun

  • Mariah

    As high as those holes are, I have to say tra$hy. Sorry :/