Can I Make a Vintage T-Shirt a Size Bigger?

January 21, 2009 by Jimmy J  · 12 Comments  

If you’re a vintage tshirt enthusiast then you probably have a t-shirt or two that’s a wee bit small. Well, according the this video I found on YouTube, the “Household Hackers” can assist you with your little problem.

If this is real, it’s incredible news for the world of vintage t-shirts. Vintage sizing has become so out dated – a vintage XL is basically only a medium by today’s standards. This means those who wear modern day large and XL’s sadly can’t rock out in a true vintage tee. Or can they?

This video shows a 100% cotton tee “expanding a couple of inches in every direction.”

I’m getting to the bottom of this in the Defunkd Laboratories. I will carefully follow every step exactly how it’s presented. I’ll even dab every inch with a sponge despite the devil on my left shoulder shouting, “just dip the whole thing in vinegar you idiot! Baywatch is starting!”

Not only that, I’m going to use a 100% cotton vintage t-shirt as well as a vintage 50/50 blend to see if the results (if any) vary. Can this process be effective on old shirts that have been washed a bajillion times? Hey, even if it’s only one inch – I’ll be happy.

After reviewing the comments on the video, I can’t figure out if I’m skeptical or optimistic. Cross your fingers, if it actually works it could have many other vintage clothing applications.

The chilling conclusion to the un-shrink a t-shirt claim.

  • Kat

    Please do the test and let us know! Do you know how many t-shirts I have that are completely useless due to shrinkage? If this works I’ll be a happy woman!

  • Jimmy J

    We have a team of monkeys working around the clock…

  • Kat

    Haha, If that works, I’m so posting it!

  • matt

    looking forward to some results!
    i would love if it worked on the 50/50, but i’m skeptical.

  • Jimmy J


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  • Hil

    totally didn’t work. Followed all of the instructions and I think it is tighter than it was before.

  • Jimmy J

    Sorry to get your hopes up Hil – I posted another link at the bottom detailing my failed attempt…here it is:

  • Veronica

    WORKED! I tried it with a Med 100% cotton vintage 80’s T&C (Town & Country) surf t-shirt. 80’s mediums were small in those days. It worked but what i did as well is i took it out of the dryer (it was dry but tiny parts were a tad damp) and stuffed a large stiff pillow in the trunk and rolled up bath towels and stuffed them in the sleeves, WORKED fits between a large and extra large now. i will use the pillows when i wash it again just to make sure it stays like that.

  • Jimmy J

    @Veronica – Nice, but I honestly think it has nothing to do with the process above- check the results of our test:

    You’re just stretching it. I do the same thing with my tees – gently stretch them while they are right out of the wash, and I never dry them, or they shrink right back up.

  • crazyicecream

    should have read the description on the video. it’s actually a parody =_=

  • johnny obvious

    YouTube descriptions can be changed anytime – this entry was posted three years ago. rest assured…the parody disclaimer was added after the fact.