When Is It Time To Throw Jeans Away?

by Jessica Willingham

Beloved denim: It's been a fashion staple for decades and likely will stick around for many more to come. We all have our favorite worn-in weekend pair and the pair that makes us feel like a million bucks, but it's hard to answer the question, "When is it time to throw jeans away?" Yes, sadly there's an end to everything, your favorite jeans included. Here's how to know when it's time to part with a pair of jeans.

I will say, jeans will last forever if you take care of them right. Raw denim is a whole other subject, but the general rules of thumb for caring for denim include not washing them often, washing in cold water, and leaving to air dry. For good measure, you should wash them inside out to retain color. You can even put an especially ripped pair in a pillowcase and tie it off to prevent color bleeding or additional wear and tear from the laundry.

The great thing about jeans is that any particular style is in fashion at almost anytime. The cyclical wheel of denim fashion moves so fast that you can wear your skinnies or your bell bottoms or your boot cuts and still style them appropriately for the moment. So if past trendiness isn't a reason to throw out jeans, what is?

Below, I rounded up the top five reason for throwing out denim.

1. They're too tight.

Denim can (and, dare I say, should) fit snug. Or, hey, if you're not into that, boyfriend styles are popular for a reason. Still, no matter what your personal preference is, you shouldn't hurt every time you sit down because your pants are cutting you in half.

Jeans should fit comfortably, so toss out those pants from freshman year of college, no matter how much you love them.

2. They're too loose.

A boyfriend fit is one thing, but baby-diaper-butt-sagging is another. If you lost or started redistributing weight and now your pants are visibly too big, toss them. Trust, you'll feel better in pants that fit your body.

3. They're damaged beyond use.

A little fading and wear and tear is one thing, but if your jeans have huge holes in inappropriate places, or broken buttons and zippers you're meaning to fix so you can wear them in public again, it's time to say goodbye. Sure, you could go get them patched by a professional or you could watch turn them into shorts. But how likely is that? It's probably just as cost effective to replace your favorite jeans than repair them.

5. They're too worn in.

If your jeans have conspicuous stains you can't recall, it's time to toss them. Extreme fading, fraying, and even holes are a good sign your jeans are beyond the "cool" distressed and falling into the inappropriate range.

I know it's hard to say goodbye, but just know there's a beautiful new pair of jeans waiting for you out there.

Image: @levis/Instagram