How to Tell When Your Old Pair of Shorts Need to Go

We’ve all been there. You’re holding on to an old pair of shorts too long and suddenly it all comes back to bite you. Maybe a button comes lose and you find yourself in quick need of a belt. Maybe the shorts rip in the back, the fabric finally giving to the wear and tear you’ve put on them over the years.

No matter what the symptom, it’s important to recognize the problem: your old pair of shorts are too old. We know. We’re something of experts in vintage shorts. But we can’t tell you whether or not your shorts need to be replaced. That’s something you’ll have to diagnose yourself.

Signs Your Shorts Are Past Their Prime

Here are some of the ways to diagnose whether or not your shorts can be kept—or whether you need to go shopping again.

  • Faded colors. Compare your shorts now to any picture of yourself in the past when you were wearing the same pair. Notice anything? If they look the same today as they did then, then congratulations—the colors are still vibrant and you have nothing to worry about. But if your shorts are faded, that’s a little different. Maybe the fade gives them a vintage look; and maybe they’ve simply lost their luster. Either way, it’s a good idea to wear bold colors so you can tell when a pair of shorts has had one too many rolls in the washing machine.
  • Rips and tears. There’s a difference between the added texture of well-worn shorts and shorts that are starting to fall apart at the seams. If you have a lot of dangling threads and loose fringes, chances are that your shorts are much further past their prime than you imagined. And unless you have a problem that’s easy to patch up, there’s a good chance that you should probably start shopping for some new shorts—pronto.
  • Out of date. We at Vintage 1946 love the vintage look—it’s in our name, after all—but there’s a difference between vintage and simply out of date. Buy shorts that have a timeless quality and you’ll never find yourself wondering what you were thinking “back in the day.”

How to Get Rid of Old Shorts

When you’ve decided that we’re raising some very interesting points about your old shorts, the next question is simple: what do you do with your shorts now? Toss them in the garbage? Of course not!

  • Give to charity. Thrift stores are always looking for high-quality clothes. Wash your shorts one last time, dry them thoroughly, and drop them in your nearest clothing donation bin—or call up a thrift shop and ask them where to donate.
  • Pass them on. A thrifty friend in about your same size might not mind having old shorts. As long as you warn them about the potential problems (like loose threads), pass them along.
Could you sell your old shorts? Of course. But if you can sell your shorts on eBay and still expect to find a decent price, maybe you don’t need to move on from them after all.