How to Cut a Denim Jacket Into a Vest

by Pamela Simmons

Denim vests make a fashionable topper for many looks. Whether you like yours over a simple T-shirt or a feminine blouse, one thing is for sure -- a denim vest can amp up any wardrobe. Instead of buying a vest, recycle an old denim jacket and use a few do-it-yourself tricks to transform it. Not only will this DIY method save you cash, it will also ensure that you'll have a denim vest that's a true original.

Pick a denim jacket that you don’t mind cutting. If you don’t have one, take a trip to a thrift or vintage store and find one there.

Cut off your sleeves, following the seam of the arm. Leave about an inch of material between the sleeve and the seam. This will make it easier to cut a precise line at your seam.

Now, take your scissors again, and cut the remainder of your sleeve off, getting as close to the seam as possible.

Don’t worry if your edges don’t look perfect. Washing your new vest will fray the edges slightly and leave your vest with a cool, vintage feel.

For a more polished look, flip your jacket inside out and use a seam cutter to undo your seam. This will take more time but will result in a more precise cut.

If you have any stray fabric, snip it off with scissors.

Items you will need

  • Denim jacket
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper (optional)


  • Make your new denim vest more fun by customizing it. Adding studs or bleaching your jacket are simple ways to make your look unique.

About the Author

Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.

Photo Credits

  • Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images