Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend …
There is a long-standing debate: is the proper spelling for cut-off jean shorts “jhorts” or “jorts”?
Jhorts are a summer staple in Texas. They are not funny or costumey, jorts are simply what you wear. Occasionally with boots. It’s hot. This combination has always been hot, and will always be hot. As will Texas. I digress. This is not necessarily true in the rest of the country. I received the below text message from my Aspen-based bestie:
So, wherever you happen to be, here is how you cut yourself a fresh pair of jhorts/jorts: cut the back longer than the front.
If you need more detailed instructions on how to cut a pair of jeans into shorts, they follow. But it’s not that hard, and you can probably figure it out on your own, you daredevil celeb.
1. Find flattering old jeans that are too short/ugly/worn at the knee/funky flared/high-rise*.
2. Put said jeans on. Take a pencil (yes you still have one somewhere) and mark where you’d like to cut the jorts across the front of your thighs. If you want to make sure your booty doesn’t hang out, take the pencil and mark the spot under your booty where you are comfortable with fabric ending.
3. Take jeans and lay them flat. You want to line up the waist bands and allow the front to dip with the contours of the jean. If this makes no sense, pick up the jeans, pinch the sides, and observe the shape. Mimic as they lay down. Even exaggerate.
3b. If this is your first pair of jhorts ever, cut them 1 inch longer than you thought you would, or 1 inch longer than the line you drew. You hussy.
4. If you drew booty lines, make sure they line up with your front lines after your jhorts are laying flat as described above. If not, lower your front lines to booty level. Either trace a line with your pencil, or start cutting with your sharp scissors. It’s not that hard and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Err on the conservative side—you can keep cutting, you can’t add fabric back.
4b. If you didn’t draw booty lines and you have a curve downward in the front, you will be cutting your jorts longer in the back if you cut straight across thanks to the rise of the jeans. If you don’t, make sure you curve slightly downward on the back. You can always adjust once the legs are gone.
5. Cut a 1-inch slit up the sides. Everyone needs this.
6. Put jorts on. Note where you need to make adjustments. Take off. Make adjustments. If you added an inch and want less length, take off that extra inch. Hussy. Just how I like ’em.
7. Put jhorts back on. Once you’re happy with where they are, you’re ready for the next step.
8. Take where the blades of your scissors meet and run it along the bottoms of your fresh pair of jorts. This will rough up the edges and help to create the fringe that jhorts are famous for.
9. Wash and dry. The drying is what creates said fringe.
10. Rock jhorts all summer long.
*high-rise jeans can be uncomfortable but make hot jhorts, just ask Mara. She borrowed a pair of mine (from 7th grade at that) and fell in love. The adjustment you need to make cutting high-rise jeans is that you have to do the booty contour, intentionally making them longer in back than in front.
Side note: I have also cut chinos into chinorts? Chorts? Don’t know but they’re equally cute. Same steps.