The Pros and Cons of Cutting Your Clothes

The Pros and Cons of Cutting Your Clothes

Cut, distressed, ripped, or tattered apparel has been a staple of modern clothing styles for quite some time now. These types of clothes make an appearance in anything from streetwear to gym fits, but they’re starting to show up more and more in the athletic apparel space. Turn on any NBA game these days and you’re bound to find at least one player wearing a pair of cut compression tights (Jayson Tatum) or cut undershirt (Anthony Edwards). And don’t think the ball stops at just basketball - many lacrosse, football, and even some baseball players have been documented wearing cut base layers. 

Anthony Edwards wearing one arm t-shirt

This new appeal of custom or uniquely styled athletic apparel has led athletes of all talent levels to take matters into their own hands (or cutting boards) when it comes to creating new sportswear styles to fit their fashion tastes. But, before you decide to take a pair of scissors to your wardrobe, let’s first explore the pros and cons of cutting clothes to help you make a more informed decision.

The Pros of Cutting Your Clothes:

Personalized Style:

Whether it be asymmetrical cuts, adding fringes, or fashionable cutouts, one of the major benefits of cutting your clothes is the ability to express your own sense of style and unique creativity. Snipping and shaping your own garments to transform traditional apparel allows you to create a personalized wardrobe to fit your own unique look. It’s no surprise that athletes today value their in-game style and do everything they can to stand out, which is why the appeal of cutting your clothes has become such a popular form of self-expression on the court or the field.

Upcycling and Sustainability:

On the more environmental side of the spectrum, cut clothes can provide an upcycled opportunity with existing garments. In an era of increased sustainability and reusability, breathing new life into old or ill-fitting clothes can reduce waste and the constant demand for consumption. Clothes that would otherwise be discarded can be repurposed and even improved, contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry. From an athletic perspective, the concept of upcycling can be easily illustrated through the process of cutting compression tights to achieve the more fashionable single leg tights or one leg compression pants look as opposed to trashing old tights for a new leg sleeve.

Budget-Friendly Fashion:

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to update your wardrobe without having to shell out large sums of money, cutting your clothes can be an easy way to circumvent splurging on new outfits. If your favorite hoodie gets a hole in one sleeve while throwing a football or baseball around, consider carefully and accurately cutting that sleeve off to achieve a more fashion-forward look to a traditional sportswear product. Having a budget-friendly approach could even be a gateway to helping you discover a new style that may eventually become the trendy norm. A popular example of this is Allen Iverson with his initial pair of cut pantyhose that would eventually become the shooting sleeve that’s so popular today!

The Cons of Cutting Your Clothes:

Irreversible Changes:

Unless you’re a master seamstress and you’re able to snip certain pieces of a garment right down the seam, allowing you to sew the product back together if you change your mind, cutting your clothes forces you to be content with what you do. Although it can be liberating to cut a sleeve off a shirt or a leg off your compression tights, it’s important to consider the permanence of those changes. There’s no going back once you make that initial cut. Mistakes or even undesirable outcomes can’t be easily rectified, which could mean regretting a hasty decision. Make sure you plan carefully, measure accurately, and consider the irreversible alterations you’re about to make before compromising on the integrity of the garment.

Reduced Longevity:

One of the main issues athletes run into after taking a pair of scissors to their clothes is the quicker destruction of the product. It’s not rocket science! Seams exist to hold fabric and materials in place to prevent them from coming unraveled. When you remove that seam, the material now has nothing holding it together, which ultimately reduces the longevity of the product, forcing you to purchase yet another pair. What if, instead of cutting your base layers - compression tights and shirts - there was an alternative product that allowed you to achieve the same style you’re aiming for? What if this product was designed asymmetrically, with seams exactly where your cuts would’ve been, allowing the product to stay intact far longer than a cut version would?

Unpolished Appearance:

This final drawback of cutting your clothes was left for last because it may be the most controversial. Granted there is a time and place for cut apparel, but in an athletic setting, especially in-game, cut garments fall apart faster, making them appear less polished than a designed or manufactured product. Before cutting, it’s important to consider the long-term impact of your sport on the look of the product. Let’s face it, no one wants to be running around with holes in their underwear or loose fabric hanging down from under their shorts.

cut compression tights

In the debate over cutting clothes with scissors, there are valid arguments to be said from both sides. The decision ultimately comes down to personal preference, style, and weighing the risks and benefits for the specific garment in question. Cutting does offer an avenue for personalized style, upcycled opportunities, and cheaper alternatives, but it’s important to keep in mind the irreversible nature of the process, the potentially unpolished appearance, and the impact on the product’s longevity. Hopefully, by carefully weighing these pros and cons, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to embrace the emerging fashion trends of asymmetrically designed sportswear.

If you’re still debating whether or not you should cut your clothes, take a look at a few LVLS products to see if they might be able to offer you a third option - asymmetrically designed sportswear with the appearance of cut base layers. No need to cut your compression shirt or tights and risk them falling apart in a few weeks when our Ace Compression Shirts and Single Leg Tights provide just the look you’re aiming for!

See more