The Curse of Ripped Jeans

There are times when the Shallow Man feels as if he’s the only person in Amsterdam that’s noticed the rise of the walking cursed. Zombies, staggering through daily life, always wearing ripped jeans.

Those of you who have never read the Harry Potter books, (shame on you),  may not be aware of the Imperius Curse.

This curse makes someone a puppet, under the complete control of the wielder of the curse. It is similar to being subjected to hypnosis, but of course magical and therefore more powerful.”

Perhaps a powerful foreign wizard, unaware of Dutch dating norms. Dared to approach a Dutch woman in a bar, instead of waiting to be pounced on, like a zwerver (tramp) on a portion of discarded frites. Angered by the abuse he received, the wizard decided to cast a curse on the Dutch female population. Damning them to walk forever (or until a fashion blogger says they’re no longer in) in ripped jeans.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post. The zombie apocalypse of ripped jeans.

Now, this post might annoy some, and if I’m surrounded by a gang of angry young ladies while drinking what’s supposed to be latte macchiato, but is, in fact, coffee bloody verkeerd. I’ll say to my detractors. “sorry meisjes, I know it’s trendy right now, but I wish you’d keep your knobbly knees to yourself.”

The things I do for my readers!

The true beginnings of ripped jeans in the Netherlands

Ground zero, or the known location, where the curse of ripped jeans is believed to have started, is at Dutch fashion company, G-Star Raw.

They had produced a faulty batch of jeans, that had holes in the knees. Rather than destroy them, Anneke de Stiekem, head of marketing, sold the damaged jeans to members of her former sorority at the University of Amsterdam. She pretended that jeans full of holes were incredibly fashionable. Before you could say “send in the clones” women all over the city were running around wearing jeans bearing more holes than the story that Zwarte Piet is black from going down a chimney.

The seven signs of the cursed

Fans of the Harry Potter books know that seven is a powerful magical number. The ripped jeans curse has seven known variants.

1. The I’d like to wear them but I’m from Haarlem and am too conservative

For dwellers of the conservative little village known as Haarlem, who’d love to wear holes in their jeans loud and proud, but are worried what the neighbours might think, here’s a little compromise. The single hole look.

Ripped jeans

Just the one hole for the conservative

As per the picture above, Noortje is modelling the Haarlem look. A single hole in one knee, with a slight rip on the other. Lekker controversial hoor! (She’s just returned from a year in Paris, hence the heels)

2. The unavoidable curse

Designed to both irritate, and amuse shallow men, the unavoidable version of this curse, displays itself by having both knees, thrust into the view of innocent, unsuspecting people on public transport. It’s mandatory to wear this variant with white sneakers.

ripped jeans

Are you looking at my knees? Goed zo!

3. The Cat Flap

So-called due to the wearers of such jeans, looking as if they just squeezed through a cat flap and have ripped their jeans while doing so.

ripped jeans

The cat flap look


4. The I’ve been in a sword fight while trying to get cheap stuff at the V&D closing down sale

A tragic look, caused by an epic and desperate battle with other shoppers, while seeking a ‘korting’ at a department store.

shredded jeans

War is hell

5. The holiest of the holy

Taking the art of ripped jeans to an almost spiritual level, this version of the curse has been known to stun and terrify those standing nearby.

ripped jeans

The Amsterdam plague of knees

6. Call an Ambulance there’s a fashion victim

When seeing zombies wearing these type of jeans, I have the urge to dial 112 (Dutch emergency services number) and say “please help, I’ve just seen a woman that’s a danger to herself and the public, please send someone immediately.”

Ripped jeans

The WTF look

7. The Shameless male

The curse doesn’t only affect women. Recently young male hipsters in training, have started to venture out in public also wearing ripped jeans.

ripped jeans


Ripped jeans, truly are a modern curse. Living proof that the eighties never really finished in the Netherlands. If you see members of the walking cursed, staggering around Amsterdam, or other parts of the country, please do not approach them, as in the experience of the Shallow Man, they can become incredibly defensive, and aggressive, when asked if they realize that they’re cursed. The best thing to do is to simply smile (or laugh) and thank your lucky stars that you have the good taste and common sense, not to pay over a hundred euros for a pair of jeans full of holes.

No employees of G-Star Bore were hurt during the writing of this post.

Till next time, hou je snavel!

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