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Cutoff Craze

Straight-leg, 501 jeans never go out of style. But from time to time some enterprising fashion maven puts a spin on the ol’ blue-denim look.

Take the long, cut-off jean shorts that are popping up everywhere from underground clubs to high school campuses, inspired, some say, by the movie “Dirty Dancing.”

“It’s a craze. I see it in my shop, on the street, all over,” a sales clerk at Aaardvark’s Odd Ark, the vintage clothing store in Canoga Park. He adds that an increasing number of Valley folks visit Aaardvark’s looking for old jeans to cut up.

Budget-conscious consumers can either raid their own closets or visit a used clothing store for the do-it-yourself style. The idea is to get faded, worn jeans, “the hole-ier the better,” says one Valley enthusiast. Then cut them off just above the knee.

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For those who can spare $28, The Gap in the Sherman Oaks Galleria offers ready-made pairs under their own jeans label.

Some wearers like to cuff up their cutoffs, neat and trim like a 1950s sock-hop.

But Karen Davidson of Woodland Hills likes “the frayed look, with boots.”

“I’ve been wearing them since last summer. It’s like wearing pants, but cooler,” says Davidson, who favors loose-fitting cutoffs held up by a thick leather belt.

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And the length of the shorts offers yet another advantage to those worried about exposing too much flesh.

“It hides fat legs,” one wearer confides. “And if you look good in regular jeans, it can be real flattering.”


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