Celebrating its 50th year this fall, the Levi’s Trucker Jacket III has been saving our sartorial bacon for quite some time. On its own, the garment is a solid wardrobe staple but customizing it changes errythang. “As we have seen on the runways recently, denim on denim – or as we know it, the Canadian tuxedo – is a huge trend right now, making it the perfect piece to use as a canvas to customize,” says Maria Stoop, Denim Tailor at Levi’s, Sherway Gardens Mall. “Also, denim is sturdy so customizations hold up nicely on the material.”
A fashion design grad with a passion for sewing, Stoop is tasked with helping individuals create denim pieces that are truly unique to their style and personality. “I love experimenting with different materials and textures. When you think outside the box anything is possible to make your denim truly yours,” says Stoop, “You can incorporate scrap fabrics into embroidery designs, mix and match patches with pins and studs, paint and rip elbows, or use contrasting stitching.” To get you started, Stoop shares her top five stylish denim hacks.
Denim Hack #1: Cut to the Chase
“Cut-offs add great detail to the bottom of your jeans or denim jacket,” says Stoop, “Secure your seams with needle and thread or a drop of clear nail polish, then slightly fray the bottoms with sandpaper. Wash it to complete the look!”
Denim Hack #2: Distress Calls
“Any distressing to add rips and scrapes to your denim pieces can be made with sandpaper and scissors, but be patient and careful!” says Stoop. She suggests wearing down the material with sandpaper first, then making a few horizontal cuts in the desired area before you carefully start fraying the threads.
Denim Hack #3: Patch Maker
“Fun patches, pins, and embellishments can be found at your local craft store. Check out Michaels, Fabricland or Etsy for handy tools to complete your DIY customization—including fabric glue… just in case,” says Stoop.
Denim Hack #4: Sew Good
“If you are confident with a needle and thread, try out some cool embroidery, sew on fabric cut-outs and patches or add some cute charms or ribbon onto your jacket collar!” says Stoop.
Denim Hack #5: Brush Hour
“Try painting your DIY piece using fabric or acrylic paint; just make sure it is dry before you finish it with an iron. Check online for iron-settings and timing,” says Stoop. Using fabric dye or bleach is another way to transform your denim piece. If you try an online tutorial for this look, “just make sure you wear rubber gloves and follow the instructions,” says Stoop.