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We realize there's no such thing as a free lunch, but there are a few things that pain us to spend money on. A cover charge in order to drink at some chi-chi bar? No thanks — we'll be at the dive down the street. Putting down cash to upgrade our airline seats to the window side? Mile-high robbery! And, when it comes to denim cutoffs, something just feels off about paying for them. Sure, expert denim brands might do it better, slicker, and fancier. But, nothing screams "Summer, I'm coming for you!" quite like a "new" pair of cut-and-frayed jorts you just made from your well-loved (okay, raggedy) jeans.
No one understands this sentiment better than our own editors, and we tasked seven of them — with varying degrees of craftiness and a rainbow of tastes — to take scissors to their own jeans. The challenge? They each weren't allowed to spend more $10 total (but they could root around in their closets for pants to retire), and had to create a style they'd actually wear. Ahead, the seven pairs they started out with, and the cutoffs they created.
Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh