How to Keep Jeans From Ripping at the Knees

Halle Berry may rock holey jeans, but her knees are kept under wraps.

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ripped, ragged jeans may be all the rage, but holey knees are less than flattering. Ripped knees are not only ghastly, but that holey denim can offer unwanted sneak peeks of your not-so-smooth legs. Keeping your knees and your lazy shaving habits a secret is not impossible. Put those home economics sewing skills to use and keep your knees inside your jeans.

Avoiding Rips Before They Happen


Buy better-quality jeans. Sure, you may be able to pick up a pair of cheapies on sale from your local outlet store, but the denim is likely to be paper thin and will wear out after a couple of heavy clubbing weekends. Purchase jeans with thicker denim and reinforced knees to keep your wardrobe free of holes.


Rotate your denim. It's so tempting to shimmy into your fave pair of jeans every time you hit the town, but the more frequently you wear a single pair, the sooner they rip to shreds. Wear a pair of jeans once a week to maximize their life and minimize unsightly rips.


Wash your jeans as infrequently as possible to preserve delicate denim. Excessive washing is one of the fastest ways to wear out your jeans, so wash after every three or four wearings rather than every time you slip into them. If they smell a little rank, spray them with a fabric refresher and hang them outside to air out between wearings.

Reinforcing the Knees


Protect valuable knee denim with a patch before it wears out. Turn your jeans inside-out and hold them next to your body. Make a small mark with a piece of chalk over each knee to designate patch placement.


Set your ironing board up, and turn the iron to its highest heat setting. Let the iron heat up for a minimum of 15 minutes before adding patches to your jeans.


Trim a denim patch to the length and width of the knee of your jeans, and coat the light-colored side of the patch with heat-activated fabric adhesive. Press the patch firmly over the chalk mark on the right leg with your hands. Set the iron over the patch and gently run the iron back and forth to activate the glue and permanently bond the patch to the pants. Repeat with the left leg and turn the jeans right-side-out before wearing.

Things You'll Need



3.Ironing board

5.Denim patches


4.Sewing scissors

6.Heat-activated fabric glue


Tips & Tricks


Purchase fabric glue that is safe to wash, or have your patched jeans dry-cleaned to keep patches firmly in place.


Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Tone
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account