Denim Cutoffs

By Jenn Rose Smith

Our relationship with cutoff jeans is a little bit like our feelings about hot dogs: in the right setting, they’re undeniably perfect. Nothing says “summer” like a homemade pair of denim shorts — paired with the perfect white button down shirt, we like to think we’re channeling a 90’s Cindy Crawford. But handcut denim can be treacherous territory, and if you’re not careful you might end up channeling something a little… less tasteful. We decided to consult and with the experts and met up with two of the most stylish gals we know in Austin — Jessi Afshin of The Darling Detail and Kelly Wynne Ferguson of Kelly Wynne — to learn how to sport a pair of cutoffs with confidence.

photographed by jessica attie


Jessi, you’re one of our favorite Austin fashion bloggers (with the cutest figure) and we knew you wouldn’t be afraid to rock a pair of killer cutoffs. Tell us about these! Did you buy them pre-cut or “make” them yourself with a pair of scissors?

These cutie cut-offs were actually thrifted Levi’s from a vintage shop in college. I’ve tried searching endlessly for other pairs since and none can compete to these little thrift-ed gems. I love the effortless feel of cut-off shorts, especially ones that have been hand-cut from a favorite pair of jeans.

You’re constantly exploring clothing and fun trends on The Darling Detail. What do you love about what you do?

I founded the blog two and a half years ago as a side hobby in college. It’s now my full-time job, and I’m loving every minute of it! I’m also a social media fanatic and lover of all things having to do with fast, attainable fashion. I love being able to share my affinity for trendy, attainable, and easy fashion with my millennial-based audience. Our generation is all about seeking inspiration from others, and I just adore helping women find that inner-confidence in the way they dress on a daily basis. Fast-fashion is quickly becoming a monumental part of our everyday culture, and I love being at the core of it all at only age 22. You can say “#blessed.”

Tell us about your approach to styling this pair of cutoffs: what did you pair with it and why?

Cutoffs have such an effortless appeal, so pairing them with gingham and Chuck Taylors was a no-brainer. Adding a knot to your favorite button down adds a little something-something to a staple outfit like this one, and pairing a classic pair of aviators adds a cool touch.

We love your Chucks! They seem to be a staple of your wardrobe, too. What do you love about Converse?

Everything — they are the ideal go-to shoe for everyday wear, plus the effortless and casual look is so “in” right now, making these kicks my current go-to. Especially these specific no-tie sneaks — for those of you who are not too crazy about shoe-laces (like myself), you can slip these babies on and off so quickly — and voila, you are ready to go!

What are you doing for the 4th?

Hitting the lake! I grew up in Austin, so the lake is very near and dear to my heart. Have you ever met anyone who isn’t happy on the lake? I didn’t think so! It’s such a happy place — and a great getaway that’s only a few miles away.




Do you have a “rule of thumb” for styling a pair of cutoffs?

My absolute favorite summer look for styling cut-offs is making them the effortless cover up. For instance, wear a bikini with a pair of cut-offs that are unbuttoned for the first two buttons. You can slip ‘em on and off as you jump in and out of the summer waters. A definite rule in my book: no heels! Cutoffs are gracing us with the ability to keep it casual. Let’s keep in that way!

What do you love about summer in Texas?

Jessi: Summer is an excuse to take fashion to the most casual kind of level. Especially amidst the Texas heat, staying casual and comfortable is my #1 priority. The trends get dressed-down and so do your outfits and accessory choices. I love that throwing on a pair of cut offs and a comfy white tee can actually be so “summer chic.”

Kelly: Sunsets, music and the beautiful Hill Country!

Kelly, you’re one of the fastest rising names in the Austin fashion scene right now. Everyone is flipping out over your super collectible handbags. Tell us about your company and how you got started:

Designing handbags has been a lifelong dream of mine. I was fortunate to be in the graphic design business when I designed my logo. After three years, I knew I had to break free and at least try to follow my passion. I started my company, Kelly Wynne, in April 2013 with my first collection of contemporary handbags.  Each bag is sketched & designed by me, made by hand in New York by skilled craftsmen. I create the unique designs of my leathers, and travel to NYC frequently to collaborate with my leather suppliers. I have “worn all of the hats” since starting my business, which I have found to be invaluable when hiring new people to join the KW family. Every day is different and that’s one of the things I love about this business!

We LOVE your yellow handbag! Is this one of your designs?

Yes! This is the “Risky Biz” Wristlet in Citrus Island Snake. It’s made of printed Italian leather that I designed and developed myself. This wristlet is part of my “Chromatic Release” collection, which is all about releasing that unwanted stress by adding color to your life. The best way I have found to release tension is by throwing paint against a white canvas – take my advice! So we are encouraging customers to excite your wardrobe, brighten your style, and pick your palette!

Kelly Wynne bags are available online at The bags are also carried in Austin at Valentine’s Too, C. Jane and Found, as well as 50 other retailers across the southeast and beyond. Retailers are listed on the Kelly Wynne website.

So, what’s the story on your cute cutoffs? Are they homemade or did you purchase them pre-cut?

I bought my cutoffs pre-cut from one of my favorite boutiques in Austin, C. Jane. These are the Cut Off Short in Aura Blue Heritage 2 from 7 for All Mankind.

Tell us about your approach to styling this pair of cutoffs:

I paired my cutoffs with a cute “Love From Austin” tee designed locally by Lymbo Clothing, the son of the owner of C. Jane. I threw on a yellow beaded necklace by Lissie Lerch, my favorite hat from Anthropologie, gladiator sandals by WHOM & of course one of my favorite Kelly Wynne “Risky Biz” Wristlets in Citrus Island Snake. I love adding a pop of color to my outfits with fabulous accessories!
Links to shop!

Cutoffs jeans are so nostalgic… what do they represent to you?

Cutoff shorts represent the carefree spirit that takes hold once the warm weather starts creeping in. They represent summer casual. Whenever it’s a hot, sunny day, I always grab my cut offs to run to the lake, pool, BBQ, and definitely if I’m going out to the Hill Country. I love wearing cowboy boots and cut offs out in the country. It’s so TEXAS! There is nothing better than wearing cut offs & boots to a Pat Green concert. Am I right?

And I’ve learned cutoffs were very popular in the 70’s. In fact, the inspiration for my fall collection is the decade of the 70’s… the need for individualism and self-expression, which embodies the carefree spirit of cut off shorts. Kelly Wynne’s Studio 15 – Flashback to Fabulous – will launch on August 15.

What are you doing for the 4th this year?

The weekend of 4th of July will always be special to me but this year in particular because my hubs and I will celebrate our first year of marriage. We were married July 5, 2014. This year, we are celebrating by having a “staycation” at The W where we stayed our wedding night before leaving on our honeymoon. Since we have both been working long hours lately and saving our money to buy our first home, we are looking forward to a fun relaxing weekend exploring Austin, the best city in the world, the one in which we have both called home for 28 years.

To both of you: what’s your favorite firework to shoot? Roman candles? Parachuters? Black cats?

Kelly: Call me cliché, but I love a good sparkler!! The brighter, the better!  I especially love the heart-shaped sparklers. I am a sucker for all things romantic. Nothing like sending a bride and groom off with a line of friends holding sparklers. Great photo-op!

Jessi: Me too! I know, it’s kind of lame — but they remind me of my childhood (I will admit, I’m a bit hesitant to fire!).


Favorite Patriotic Song?

Jessi: Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen

Kelly: All American Girl by Carrie Underwood

Best thing about livin’ in the USA?

Jessi: Freedom. The freedom to be a female business owner at the age of 22 is a powerful and extraordinary feeling — and I feel so blessed to be part of the American dream.

Kelly: Whenever a crisis happens, everyone quickly unites to overcome the tragedy. I value the sense of love and unity that exists in our country!

Thanks, ladies — and Happy 4th of July!

Follow @shopkellywynne and @thedarlingdetail on instagram!