Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cut-Off Jean Shorts

Yesterday afternoon I came downstairs wearing denim cut-offs and Laura said, "Whoa, Mom, you cut your jeans?" I was like, "Yes honey, but it's been a while. I cut these into shorts a long time ago." She looked confused. I broke it down for her: "They used to be jeans, but then I cut the legs off. And made shorts." She had an amazed look on her face, like I'd told her I could turn lead into gold.

I said, "Go get all of your jeans with holes in the knees and we'll make shorts." I don't know why I hadn't thought of doing that for her before. Increasingly these days, she gets holes in her jeans and I hate for her to wear holey jeans to school. So she brought a pair of jeans out onto the back porch with some scissors. She put them on and pointed to where she wanted them cut, right above the knee. I fixed them up for her and made sure they were even, and she loved them. Loved them so much she had to go stand on the end of the driveway and sing songs for several minutes. Thou once were jeans/but now are shorts/t'was blind/but now I see. (That wasn't the song.)

My question is, do you think cut-off jeans are appropriate school attire for a third grader? We are fast approaching shorts season here. We don't have uniforms here. I don't think the school dress code prohibits cut-offs, I think its only rule is about shorts/skirt length. But do your ideas of propriety prohibit them? I think Daisy Duke shorty cut offs or ragged ones would be an automatic no for me, but these look so tidy on her that I'm just not sure. I think they are preferable to holey jeans but I'm not sure by what mom logic I've arrived at that feeling.

These are the burning questions of our times.

30 comments:

Ms Batman said...

If you cut them off below the knees and cuff them they can pass as capri's which will pass any dress code. My girls do it all the time. And once school is out, we cut them shorter for shorts. Problem solved.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

Agreed - we cut them off just at/above the knee and then cuff them (Annabelle is 10, 5th grade) and they look great! And by the way, she often goes to our driveway to sing/dance ... that is so funny.

Kelly said...

It sounds like they are plenty long enough to be school appropriate. I would much rather see my kids wearing cut offs than raggedy jeans. I'm sure they're adorable anyway, so I say go for it!

Judy said...

If they're allowed to wear shorts, then neatly cut jean shorts should be fine. I can't imagine you allowing her to look scruffy, nor her wanting to do so. (The worst that can happen is they make you bring her something else to wear) BTW, I LOVE the lead into gold analogy. Savor these moments when you are the source of all knowledge and wisdom.

aimeewrites said...

At least HALF my boys' shorts used to be long pants. I can't see spending money on shorts they'll mess up when I have perfectly good ,albeit holey-kneed, jeans waiting for me to whip 'em into shape. (Can't decide whether I'm cheap or brilliantly budget-minded. I'm hoping it's the latter.) Sometimes I hem them up, and sometimes I stitch around the bottom to keep them from unraveling too much.

Jane said...

One more vote in the "sounds fine to me" pile.

Michele said...

I've been out of the school clothes biz for quite awhile now so I won't be any help. I'd say it would be okay.

Did you throw away the bottoms of the jeans? There are several fun summer projects you could do with them.

gretchen said...

I am sitting here slightly stunned that I have never thought of doing this with Jude's jeans. And I was totally raised in the days of the cut-off. I mean, I wore those Daisy Duke ones. The shorter and the more butt cheek hanging out the better. Because Jude not only wears out the knees, he gets too tall for them. He's kind of tall and skinny, and always ends up with high waters that still fit him in his scrawny little waist. This is so liberating! I'm going to go cut off his old jeans!

delaine said...

I much prefer cutoffs to holey jeans. After all you are instilling the recycling ethic in Laura. I never minded my students wearing cutoffs as long as they weren't too short. Go for it!

Amy said...

Well, I thought cutoffs were in style like just last year. As in, buy-them-in-the-store style. I say go for it. Hem and cuff? Well, if you've got time & energy to spare. But isn't the fringey bit part of the fun??

Beth said...

I think cuffed would be fine-- but I wouldn't hem, good grief, NO. Just roll em up once or twice.

We do have a uniform at the 6 year old's school, and many of his pants have holes in the knees. Which, of course, he doesn't wear now. Do you think I could cut them off for summer? They're chino type pants in navy and tan-- do you think that'd fly for a short?

Lisa Lilienthal said...

Just to clarify, we don't hem, just cuff and then you have the cut fringe part showing. Adorable!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Burning question, indeed. I hope you have started a return to a second life for jeans. I hadn't thought of cutoffs in ages.

Suburban Correspondent said...

If you are feeling ambitious, you can sew a bit of eyelet or other trim to the cut parts so it looks neater and dressier.

mbaumbick said...

I too am astonished that I had not thought of this brilliant idea. I am constantly putting the holey jeans into the "play only" pile. I am on my way upstairs to create a summer wardrobe!

my adventures after said...

Hey Becky, I'm a new visitor referred to your blog from Michele at Must Be a Full Moon and have read the last couple of your posts, which I loved! Your attitude in the face of adversity is awesome. My lame blog has been empty since the day I created it over a year ago or I'd invite you over!

Re: cutoffs, what a great thing, especially for those stretchy ones that I just can't feel comfy wearing anymore at age 47! But they somehow look okay as shorts! I agree that the leftovers make great craft items and can be used for everything from notebook covers, which you could decorate, to satchels/purses, using an old or new/cheap leather belt as a strap. Great for summer bags, even if you can't sew well, like me, who has hubby sew on the missing buttons b/c I couldn't take the humiliating look on the face of the woman at the dry cleaners anymore! Anyway, I look forward to reading your blog, and maybe one day I'll invite you over to mine!

Becky said...

How funny about our driveway dancers, Lisa! And I like the fold-once-so-fringe-shows idea too.

Now Laura wants to go get fabric paint and jazz 'em up. Why not? I think maybe stenciling could be cute.

Beth, I think cut off khakis for boys are very Crewcuts and totally great for summer!

Gretchen, you reminded me of the last pair of booty cut offs I ever wore. I was 19. Sigh.

Becky said...

Hey my adventures! Thanks for coming over! I am glad I'm not the only person intimidated by the lady at the cleaners!

Mad Woman said...

if she's not allowed to wear them with the cut off bit showing, you could always just roll them up a bit...but I think they're fine. And 3rd grade? Awesome for cutoffs

M said...

It sounds like your daughter's cut-off jean shorts are going to work just fine. However, do not let your husband wear anything that even approximates jean shorts now or ever in a public place.

My teenagers have been the jean short police for several years now and they will go to any lengths, all puns intended, to hunt down and publicly scoff at any adults they locate wearing jeans shorts.

I am somewhat startled by the fervor they exhibit on this matter since I think my generation was actually wearing jeans shorts, especially cut-offs, as some kind of rebellion against their parents' stodgy attire.

Who knew we would then give birth to a generation that was going to lead a revolt against adults engaging in this practice??? And who knew jean shorts for adults was ever going to be deemed stodgy?

Some days you just can't win for losing.

Mary

Michele R said...

Good morning! This brought me back to the early 70's when there is photo evidence of my pants cut off into longish shorts. But they weren't jeans--they were purple and floral, or groovy almost neon colors. Just 5 days ago my middle son did this. But he decided they didn't look good because they are too "skinny". Skinny jeans for skateboarding are OK, but not made into shorts....

The Messy Mom said...

I vote yes. I was just thinking about cutting some of my own pants. Cut offs are making a comeback. I went to a really preppy PUBLIC school and cutoffs were not allowed. It was a really strict school though, so I think that is the exception.

The Stiletto Mom said...

How on earth did I never think of this? Brilliant! Looks like you are getting back to normal...I'm so glad!

The Dental Maven said...

Nothing wrong with wearing cut-off jeans to third grade in my book.

Pam said...

That is so funny and cute... why not cut off jeans for school? Just wait until high school, then you will be dealing with the Daisy Duke issues! When my son was a second grader he had one pair of black jeans cut off at the knees and a blue polo shirt with a little lego man on it. He wore that same outfit to school every single day until he outgrew it - at least 4 months. if I ever tried to get him to wear something else it would result in a fit of such force that he usually couldn't get on the bus... I would definitely let her decorate with fabric paint and embroidery. Sounds like she has some good fashion sense!

Sara said...

Ahhh. Gone for a couple weeks and I am greeted by cut-off jean shorts. You never ever disappoint.

We cuff them, too. Sometimes the results are way better than store bought shorts.

I love a spontaneous song.

Rebekah said...

I give my approval for cut off shorts too. If you're crafty and live in SC, you could get some cloth and add a flouncy hem and make some monster size bows that match. My kids won't even wear jeans yet, so we're not there. They still wear skorts all the time.

Casey said...

I don't see anything wrong with jean shorts, no. I LOVE cutoff jeans. Sometimes I even cut the bottoms off instead of hemming them and I love the frayed look. But I'm a dirty hippie so don't ask me.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I think they're perfectly fine. But if you're worried, you could sew (or glue or . . . staple?) a grosgrain ribbon around the cuff.

Fred said...

Most school dress codes use the "arm length" rule so if you cut the pants or jeans and make the finished hem at that length, that's perfectly acceptable. Most school dress codes don't allow for frayed shorts, but it seems to be seldom enforced and my kids prefer them to be frayed. Saves me a lot of work because I can cut their pants each spring and leave the edges raw and after a few washings, they fray out to a point and stop.