[inspiration alley] denim destruction.

Part of my DIY-ing adventures stem from the fact that I’ll see a piece — something basic, or maybe not so much — and instantly think of its potential. Mind you, whether or not the potential plays out is another story.

collage denim

denim on the runway / style.com

I have to admit that one of the pieces I’ve held onto for several months (ok, a year now) is a denim shirt uncovered in the clearance rack at Target. Seriously, how ridiculous.

I had this moment in the store that day, a moment which could have been graphically illustrated with the typical light bulb over my head, a comical zig-zag framing to indicate the sudden burst of an idea. I saw the shirt, I saw the price tag, and I conquered.

Ok, that last bit isn’t quite true. I mean, can I really say I conquered the item if I haven’t even pulled it out of the closet? In over a year?

:hanging head in disappointment:

Since we’re heading into that weird late summer/not quite fall part of the year, I figured now is as good a time as any to determine what I wanted to do with the shirt.

Denim is such a versatile and timeless material, it was killing me that I had simply abandoned it out of… fear? confusion? distraction? Nonetheless, I headed over to Pinterest, the “Holy Grail” of mood boards and ‘inspiration’ galore to see what could possibly spring forth from this denim article. I wanted to create something with more kick than the usual denim, but without locking the piece into a box of trends that would ultimately relegate it into the shame-space at the back of my closet.

Of course, the first population of images were the usual J.Crew-adjacent compositions: denim shirt + leggings/skinny jeans + scarf/statement bauble. A few were comprised of skirts of varying lengths + a denim button up that was casually but carefully tucked just so, finished with a pair of sleek heels.

There were a few which DID catch my eye — simple dresses with a denim shirt acting as a jacket, secured at times with a fitted belt. Its just a matter of swapping out one article for another, albeit a thinner fabric with a seasonal appeal, but it worked. Still, I felt something had to come from this little reveal in the images.

If I could take a new denim shirt and just… muss it up, add some personality. Destroy it.

Denim jeans can be shredded, ripped, and practically cut apart, but why not apply a similar hand to a button-down version?

destroyed denim shirt where did you get that blog

taking a blade to the fabric / wheredidyougetthat

cut out shirt pair and spare

chic cut outs / apairandaspare x vogue aus

But beyond just slash-and-cuts, I wanted to incorporate a punk-esque element to the shirt as well. After all, distressing is only a single dimension to be considered. Rivets, studs, patches, and pins are add-ons which would not only further express the persona behind the denim, but also make it truly one-of-a-kind. The best part? Finding the add-ons is easier than you’d think.

gypsy warrior jacket

brass tacks / gypsywarrior

Fullscreen capture 912014 10213 PM.bmp

seen on the street / manrepeller

denim jacket riveted luulla

riveting back / luulla



gold studs and pale denim / park & cube

Today, I’m conquering this shirt. Tomorrow… the reveal.

Off to have a productive-even-on-my-day-off day!

— Nita


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