How to Make High Waisted Denim Shorts

Women’s denim shorts are not only a summer essential, they’re also a cute fashion staple that is equally as comfortable to wear during the winter months. Of course, denim shorts can be pricey, but you can still make your own for a fraction of the price of a pair at your favorite retailer. Here’s how:

High waisted denim shorts are an instant classic. You can pair them with any kind of top and they still look great. But they have one problem. They make your thighs look enormous. Now, that’s not a problem if you’re tall, or even medium-sized. What is a problem is if you’re short. Because your legs will look so much longer than they are.

Denim shorts are one of the most coveted items to have as well as a staple, especially during the warmer months. But what if you wanted to create high-waisted ones instead of regular ones?


Dirty Denims, an Etsy store selling antique high waisted denim shorts, was the first company I ever established. After two years of operating it, I took the tough choice to sell it so that I could devote more time to my lifestyle blog, Desert Bloomed. Every pair in the store was cut and hand-distressed by myself, and it was such a passion project for so long that I never stopped producing shorts, even after selling the business! I’m excited to share all of the tricks I’ve picked up over the years selling vintage denim.

The Purchasing Procedure

All of the high-waist shorts I’ve ever worn or sold were from Savers, Goodwill, or other thrift shops. I have a mental checklist to assist me rapidly scan the inventory and choose the best pair to transform into attractive shorts. You’ll want to bring a tape measure with you since the size on the label is usually based on historical measurements and isn’t relevant to current sizes. Make sure you’re searching for high-quality denim that’s thick and doesn’t stretch throughout your hunt. Today’s jeggings’ denim does not distress well!


— Look for denim jeans or shorts with at least a 10-inch rise. Look for Levis, Lees, or Wranglers, since they have traditionally been the highest-quality denim brands. – Stick to white, black, or blue denim instead of color-dyed denim. It’s just the waist that has to fit, so don’t be scared to try items on!


The Method of Cutting

Step 1

Button up your grandmother’s pants (or shorts!) on a level surface. Pull the front down just enough to show the tag for more booty coverage, and the back will be cut longer.

Step 2

Make a tiny note where you will begin cutting the inseam you want. I suggest a 2′′ inseam for anything with a waist less than 29′′ and a 3′′ inseam for anything with a waist of 30′′ or above. I’m between a 29′′ and a 30′′ waist, so I typically go with 2.5′′!


Step 3

Cut the shorts from the inseam to the outseam at a little diagonal angle. Make sure they’re completely flat the whole time to get a perfectly straight line. Fold the jeans in half and repeat on the second leg, trying to match the initial cut as closely as possible.

Step 4

A box cutter and a tiny piece of cardboard are all you need to distress. Place the cardboard between the shorts’ legs to avoid cutting a hole straight through or slashing a pocket (I’ve done it!). Make 2′′ horizontal slices in the areas you want to distress, but don’t go over the same place too many times or it’ll wind up looking like one huge hole!

Step 5

Once you’ve done trimming, toss your shorts in the washing and dryer. This brings out the fraying while also removing any impurities (they are secondhand after all).


The Completed Product

When you take them out of the dryer, you should have wonderfully distressed high waisted shorts with approximately 1/2 inch of fraying on the hem. If you want a heavier fray on the hem, wash them again, but bear in mind that each time you wash them, they will distress a bit more!

Because of their versatility, they are one of my favorite wardrobe essentials. Wear them to the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, the beach, I wear mine 9 months of the year, especially now that I live in Phoenix!


Please let me know if you like this high waisted shorts DIY, and I’ll make more in the future!

In recent years, high waisted shorts have been all the rage. And with good reason. Not only are these shorts comfortable, but they also provide an excellent shape that flatters a woman’s hips and tummy. But what if you don’t have the typical hourglass shape?. Read more about how to make shorts more high waisted and let us know what you think.

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To make high waisted jean shorts, you would need to cut the bottoms of your jeans off and then sew them back together.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do you make high waisted skinny jeans into shorts?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
You can either hem them, or you can buy a pair of shorts that are shorter than your usual jeans.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do you make jeans high waisted?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make high waisted jean shorts?

To make high waisted jean shorts, you would need to cut the bottoms of your jeans off and then sew them back together.

How do you make high waisted skinny jeans into shorts?

You can either hem them, or you can buy a pair of shorts that are shorter than your usual jeans.

How do you make jeans high waisted?

Jeans are high-waisted by default.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • high waisted distressed denim shorts
  • high waisted shorts
  • high waisted shorts vintage
  • vintage high waisted shorts
  • distressed denim shorts
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