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Frayed Denim feat. Alex Crawford

November 4th, 2013

If you’ve been following Articles of Style lately, you’ve probably noticed that our Art Director Alex has been really upping his game. One of his new favourite moves: cutting the bottom of his jeans.

“It all started when I had a pair of Uniqlo jeans that I really loved, but they shrank 2-3 inches in length and eventually became too short to wear… Honestly, they may have been fine as a pair of no-break jeans, but I felt like a Thom Browne fanboy in them. They faded into the back of my closet, getting worn less and less. Then I saw a blog post by Noah Emrich, a fantastic photographer who we met a while back in NYC, in which he cut a pair of his jeans. I decided to try it. I wasn’t wearing them anyway, so I had nothing to lose… They’re now one of my favourite pairs and I’m wearing them multiple times a week, once again.”

Here Alex put together three looks featuring his newest accessory: a frayed hem.

    1. 80s Lo-Head Baby


    “One of the first things I learned, and continue to learn, from Articles of Style (aka Dan) is a discerning eye for style. It’s incredible how much a tiny subtle detail can change the overall mood and appeal of an outfit. For example, I wouldn’t wear this look without the frayed hem on the jeans. Even with the hat (which I bought off a homeless man on Mission Street in San Fancisco) this look seems a little too ‘typical prep’ for my taste.

    The cut-off denim adds a ruggedness and un-tidiness that gives the look more personality, in my opinion. It makes me feel less pigeonholed into the ‘prep’ category and more like myself.”


    “I owe almost everything in this look to my father’s great taste. My dad was a BOSS in the 80’s. He owned his own company, was president of the local country club, and stayed fresh in custom-made suits and Ralph Lauren everything. He still has a suit collection that could rival Dan’s, although his are roomier and more padded (it was the 80’s in Texas, after all).

    The bengal striped shirt and herrinbone cardigan vest were both gifts from my pops (RL, of course). The gold rolex and two-tone tassel loafers, on the other hand, both belonged to him in his heyday.”


    “My mom, who also has great taste in clothing, sent me these awesome socks for my birthday recently. When I was putting this look together for the post I was originally sockless, but Dan saw them laying on the floor of my office and said something along the lines of: ‘GUY, those socks are going to make this look! …that’s a little too much foot anyway, with those low-ass-vamp 80’s loafs’.

    I put them on and wasn’t fully on board at first. Dan told me to wear them around with the look for a bit… ‘We can shoot it both ways and decide which you like better later’. By the end of the shoot I was loving this combo.”


    • Brown Felt Hat bought from a homeless man in San Francisco
    • Blue striped dress shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Brown Herringbone Wool Vest by Ralph Lauren
    • White 511 Jeans by Levi’s
    • Southwestern Print Socks by Anonymous Ism
    • Vintage White and Brown Tassel Loafers by Cole Haan
    • Vintage Watch with Crocodile Band by Rolex

    2. Fashionable Farmboys


    “I bought this Carhartt barn coat and this Orvis felt hat more than seven years ago when I was still living on my family’s ranch. They were both purchased solely out of necessity and at the time I thought they were super unfashionable (this was before workwear became so cool and trendy). These pieces were meant to kept me warm and dry while I was shoveling horse shit or mowing the 7-acre lawn in the winter.

    You see, I don’t follow style trends…style trends follow me. haha.”


    Thinking of chopping a pair of jeans? Here’s a few tips first:

    • Make sure they are fully broken-in and stretched-out first
    • If they are jeans that go through the wash, chop them immediately after washing and drying (when they are most shrunken)
    • To figure out the perfect length, fold the hem inward until they look & feel just right (making sure you’re standing straight and naturally), then mark the fold line with chalk or a pin
    • Mark only one side, then lay the jeans flat (one leg on the other) to match the length properly
    • When in doubt, always cut longer vs shorter. You can always cut again. It might take a few attempts to get the length just right.
    • When you first cut them, they won’t be frayed right away…and you don’t want to wear them with a crispy clean cut. Best way to get the threads to start dangling: wash them.


    • Brown Felt Packable Hat by Orvis
    • Khaki Work Coat by Carhartt
    • Brown and White Sweater by Martin & Osa
    • Light Wash Blue Denim Shirt by Martin & Osa
    • Vintage Watch with Crocodile Band by Rolex
    • Blue Jeans by Uniqlo
    • Brown Dress Boots by Allen Edmonds

    3. West Coast Side Effects


    “This is a look I would never have worn back in New York…

    The way most people dress, and how style is approached, here in LA has had some interesting effects on me. One thing I don’t see very often here is a tailored blazer worn casually. In fact, I hardly see any blazers on the West coast at all, which only makes me want to wear them more.

    I’ve also been wearing a lot of black, as you can see from the #WIWT in which I destroyed Dan, Wes, and Towni thanks to your votes ;)”


    “I love blending dressy & casual elements, i.e. bespoke blazer with cut-off Levi’s. That’s why I decided to skip my trademark camera cufflinks and use the twist ties from my dry cleaning hangers.

    As Dan always says, style is much less about what you’re wearing and much more about how you’re wearing it.”


    “Shout-out to our friend Gagan for the leather slip-ons! Perfect for LA.”


    Finally, here are some other looks we’ve recently published of Alex in his frayed denim, in case you haven’t been keeping up!




    From post: Behind-the-Scenes Recap



      Thanks, as always, for reading.

      Yours in style,

      Dan Trepanier


      • http://undefined Dick Lickerson

        Alex, bubby, the youth small trousers gotta go. You like you have a perma-wedgie.

        • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

          Feels good man.

          • http://undefined Dick Lickerson

            Don’t get me wrong… you look good… I’m just concerned about sterility issues down the road, in case you want to pass your style on to some Alex Jr.s or Alexas down the road =)

      • http://www.backdownsouth.com Back Down South

        That 2nd look is stellaaaarrrrrr

        • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford


      • Phil

        I love Alex´s personality in style! Even when I prefer rolling my denim. Btw Are you going to make October giveaway Honorable mentions.

      • Matt

        Love seeing some Martin & Osa! They had some great stuff but unfortunately they closed

      • http://byhookandbycrook.tumblr.com/ Theguybehindthelens

        Just chopped a pair of my black denim since Alex’s black on black on black looks have been so killer. Also it is really great to see the evolution of Alex’s style. He has been completely killing it lately.

      • http://undefined Mack1

        I used to laugh at Alex all the time!!

        Now just look 3 where you look like the scary guy in Poltergeist.

        Honestly great to see you mixing it up with the three Amigos, Look 1 and 2 I love.

        Great Post.

      • Scotty

        I recently cut a pair of tapered jeans and used sandpaper to fray them. Anyways, after I cut and frayed them, I noticed that the jeans had lost some of its tapered shape. They were definitely more tapered like yours before I cut them but now? The taper is just… off.

        Is there any reason behind this?

        • Isaac S.

          It’s because you cut off the taper. By cutting off the bottom, you lost that gradual slimming effect that comes with “tapered” jeans.

      • Jack

        Maybe I’m too anal retentive, but I’d recommend using a ruler to match the height of your mark with the second leg. Just tried out Alex’s method on a pair of jeans I never wear and ended up botching the cutting job. Also, make sure not to start your cut along the stitching.

        • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

          When I first cut my Uniqlo blue jeans the cut was super uneven and they were already so short that I didn’t want to try cutting again so instead I just washed them. Once they started fraying you couldn’t tell (and still can’t) that they’re crazy uneven.

      • http://anorexicescapades.com BougieHippie

        Fashion Farm boys is my fav. I like the layers and consistency of the look, its relaxed but thought out.

      • Khalid

        Alex is looking fantastic! (Has he lost weight? I didn’t think he was 511 skinny!)

        Does the fraying shorten the life of the garment? i.e., doesn’t the fraying lead to more and more fraying rather quickly?

      • Rob A

        Nice learning some of Alexs history and really glad you went with the socks in look 1.

        All this talk of frayed denim inspired me to cut an old denim shirt on the weekend.

      • Mohamed

        2013 should be renamed the Year of the Alex, you’ve been killing it recently! I normally avoid wearing black, but the all-black outfits looks amazing and tempting!

      • chrisd

        I think I’ve read every post of this blog and agree, Alex is kicking some butt these days. He is in his element in look #2, but good to see him try new things.

      • Sergio

        I love the effect (or is affect) that LA has had on you Alex! Keep it up man!

      • Waydownsouth

        Killed it in look 3. Way to go Alex! Horse poop? Really?

        • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

          Unfortunately yes. Often.

      • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

        The all black Levi jacket w/dub monks will ALWAYS be my fav for Alex. Frayed denim is something that I want to try myself. From this post I’d have to say look #2 is my personal go-to. Good work fellas!

      • LouCaves


        Looking good, Alex.

        Thanks, TSB.

      • Fox

        Love it, Alex! Particularly look #2! This is my current style to the T. I’m actually a Texan as well but I live in Paris France. These are very versatile looks that are current in any country. Keep up the great posts guys!

      • http://www.the-bigwig.blogspot.com The-Bigwig

        Never said this before. Frayed jeans suits you well Alex, lol!


      • Raye

        It’s really lovely to see how Alex’s style has evolved all this tie! Stay brilliant