I’ve Been Posing on the Railroad

I was talking with one of my best friends on the phone the other day (who talks instead of texts these days? I guess I do) and she asked what I was up to. “Just ripping up a pair of jeans,” I said. To this, she laughed and asked if I was finally going through the stereotypical teenage rebellious phase I never went through in high school. I answered her honestly that I am not going through a rebellious phase and that at this point, considering that I am sometimes called “the mom” of our group, I’ll most likely never go through such a phase. I was simply ripping up some old jeans so that I could wear them to take pictures by an abandoned railroad and climb up on an antique train that had the words DO NOT CLIMB ON LOCOMOTIVE painted on it. 

Hmm. Maybe I was being a little rebellious.

My friend then praised my new fashion blog in her own unique way. “Modish Marie looks bomb AF,” she said. For the sake of keeping this blog post rated PG, let’s just say she intended “AF” to stand for “as flapjacks.” I was very flattered.

Anyway, since basically the very day I started Modish I’d been thinking that a railroad would be such a cool location for a photo shoot, so I went for it. I struggled with deciding what outfit would mesh well with the scenery; my first thought was to go for a vintage vibe, or emulate the sort of Rosie the Riveter-esque look that working women wore in World War II. (What an alliteration that was.) But eventually I chose to combine chic and modern with rugged and worn. I put together a pair of semi-faded ripped jeans, black sandals from Target with an elegant design made of gold and silver studs, and a loose-fitting sheer top in a symmetrical, almost tropical neon green and black pattern. I knew the top was definitely on the bold side, though I had no idea it would match so well with the green trees behind the train! What luck!

Sans the insane heat, I had a blast taking these pictures and breaking the rule of not climbing on the locomotives while singing/humming “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” the entire time. I think the modern-urban look of the outfit as a whole combined with the antique, old-fashioned nature of the trains really gave me the aura I had imagined for these photos.

If you’re after a similar modern-urban feel in your wardrobe, I highly recommend hitting up stores like Urban Outfitters, Top Shop, and H&M, which all have some modern pieces with hints of retro. Or, if you’re a bargain hunter, stop by your local thrift shop for really unique garments that you can easily alter or embellish so that it looks like new and fits your own personal style.

If you’re just looking for a really decent pair of ripped jeans—which I consider to be one of the staples of any modish dresser’s wardrobe—I strongly recommend you don’t buy pre-ripped jeans. 

Why? Well, first of all, they look like you bought them pre-ripped. If you’re going to wear any distressed garment for aesthetic purposes, make sure it actually looks distressed. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’d be spending big bucks on a brand new item that’s supposed to look old. If you want something to look worn, it just makes sense to get something that actually has been worn, plus you could be saving major dinero. Below is a quick 3-step tutorial for ripping jeans at home.

How to Make a Decent Pair of Ripped Jeans in 2 Minutes (Maybe Less)

  1. If you have some already worn-out or faded jeans in the back of your closet somewhere, dust them off and grab some scissors. Otherwise, get a pair of used jeans at your local thrift or resale store. (To create my own ripped jeans, I got a pair that somehow got trapped in the back of my closet under a couple of Build-A-Bear stuffed animals from the 90’s.)
  2. Using the scissors, cut a small (about 5 cm or 1 in) slit in each knee of the jeans. Make sure the holes are at the same spot on each leg.
  3. Stretch out the slits until they become bigger, making holes. Really tug at the threads so that they become loose and frayed.

VOILA! You have some ripped jeans that actually look ripped and not like you accidentally bought them for $129.99 at Abercrombie & Fitch without checking the price because you got distracted staring at the black and white pictures of shirtless male models hanging on the walls. It’s strange that it’s a clothing store with models who usually don’t wear much clothing in the ads, isn’t it?

Until next time, stay modish.

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