By Maya-Catherine Popa, 20, reporting from New York City on the shorts to destroy this summer
We all love distressed denim just a little bit, even though deep down we know it's ridiculous to pay good money for shorts that look, at best, like they've been run over by a tank, pecked at by vultures, and soaked in muddy water.
But distressed cutoffs are just enough grunge to offset the ongoing ballerina trend—and fortunately, not enough material that the designers dare charge what they do for full jeans. Or there's always the cheaper DIY option: Distress It Yourself.
If you're dead-set on owning a pair of designer-destroyed denim shorts, Shopbop has a good selection. Personal favorites include Chip & Pepper's "Peyton Shorts" ($158) and Current/Elliott's "The Roll Short" ($178), which are only moderately distressed and could still be worn in front of your grandmother without inciting concern about the state of your clothing.
If you're someone who prefers to do your own damage, check out the wikiHow-To, no tank required. Few of us are eager to destroy our perfect skinny jeans, so consider hunting for last season's styles on sale—and enjoy not worrying about the cut. Remember you'll be doing some cutting of your own. Or invite some friends over for a trendy demolition derby, just in time for summer and a decidedly anti-ballerina event. —Maya-Catherine Popa