D.I.Y: Proenza Schouler + J Brand Denim

Our Style Gurus continue to impress me even after they graduate from the CollegeFashionista family. Check out our recent PSU alumni Style Guru, Meridith and her take on creating her own Proenza Schouler denim. 

Meridith: Hello Fashionistas and Fashionistos! It’s great to be back, despite my alumni status. Since I’ve graduated from Penn State I’ve been keeping myself busy by job hunting of course, but one of my favorite things to do in my free time is a D.I.Y. project. I’m sure most of you are painfully aware that some of the clothing items and accessories that are on trend from season to season are simply not in a student or recent grad’s budget, so why not “do it yourself”? I saw this Proenza Schouler and J Brand collaboration denim line while on Twitter one day and realized not only did I have some old jeans in the garage waiting to go to Goodwill, but also that The Fourth of July was coming up and I would need something festive to wear! Dying with color or bleach dying is really simple and fun. For my jeans I used:

1. An old pair of skinny, bright blue jeans. Any denim will work; any color or regular wash. Forever21 has cheap jeans that you could experiment with!

2. One bottle of RIT dye in “black”. I prefer the bottled dye as opposed to the powdered concentrate because there is about double the product and I feel like it saturates the clothing more completely. Find this at any craft/fabric store or Walmart.

3. About 20 rubber bands or hair-ties.

4. A bucket or basin large enough to fit the jeans

5. A few tablespoons of salt6. One plastic clothing hanger.

As you can see in the pictures, I mashed the jeans together and secured various folds, pleats, and twists with the hair-ties. For these jeans I wanted to make sure I had a lot of blue showing after dunking them in the black dye, so I really smushed them together tightly. The more folds/twists you make, the more of the original color you will maintain. I filled the bucket with about 1.5 gals of hot water, added the salt, and then poured the dye in, mixing it with a plastic clothing hanger. I use a hanger to a) avoid dying my hands when agitating the clothing in the dye, and b) because of it’s shape, you can easily catch a hold of one part of the clothing and spin/flip it. I left the jeans in the dye bath for about 45 mins to get deep and dark color saturation. After that time period, I just followed the directions on the dye bottle: remove the bands, rinse in water until it runs clear. I then tossed them in the washing machine ALONE (so as not to stain other items) to get all of the excess dye off.

The Proenza Schouler and J Brand jeans, I’m guessing, will retail for several hundred dollars. This project cost me about 10 bucks, not including the price I paid for my old jeans about 4 years ago. On a hazy summer day, you really can’t beat a project like this. As for me, I’ll be hoping for some job interviews and admiring my new jeans by the light of the fireworks.


Thanks Meridith for the great insight to this fun D.I.Y project. CollegeFashionista misses your creativity. 

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