Tips for Shrinking Your Jeans

Tips for Shrinking Your Jeans

Denim is an interesting fabric. As durable as it is, it can stretch out a bit over time. In fact, the first pair of jeans was intended to be shrunk by the customer, and that method was popular until the mid-1900s. While some people like a baggy-fitting pair of jeans, others prefer theirs to fit more snug, so when the jeans naturally stretch out, they may miss the way their go-to denim used to fit. Furthermore, after losing weight, smart shoppers want to make good use of their favorite jeans instead of having to buy new ones. Even a new pair of jeans might fit well in some places but be too baggy in others. There’s a solution for all those needs, and we’ve got them right here.

Start in the Washer

If you need to shrink your entire pair of jeans, and not just random spots, go all-in and throw them in the washer at the highest temperature it allows. Yep, we said it. Do the complete opposite of everything you’ve been told about washing jeans. The hot water will cause the fabric to expand when wet, and then shrink when it dries. Turn your jeans inside out before washing them to prevent them from fading as much. Additionally, don’t wash them with other clothes, since jeans have a tendency to bleed, and you don’t want your women’s white blouse to turn blue. Some people even boil their jeans on the stove for 20 minutes to avoid putting them in the wash. Your call!

Use the Tumble Dryer

Now that you’ve washed your jeans in hot water, it’s time to dry them. Don’t wait around for this step. Immediately put them into the dryer, set it yet again to hot, and dry them for however long they’ll need to be completely water-free. If you have several pairs in there at a time, it will take longer. By now, when you put on your favorite women’s jeans of yore, they should provide a tighter fit. If they’re still not as tight as you like, wash them and dry them again until you get the desired results.

Bathe With Your Jeans

When shrink-to-fit denim was popular, the best way to shrink them was to actually put them on and bathe in them, as odd as it sounds. You’ll need a bathtub and a lot of patience though. Start by filling the tub with hot water, no soap. Then put on the pair of jeans that you want to shrink, and hop in! Bring some reading material with you, because you’ll be in there until the water cools. Once it does cool, step out of the tub. You’ll likely create a puddle, so be sure to have a towel or a thick bath mat ready. Next, you’ll have to wait until they dry before taking them off. Walking around in the sun will help them naturally dry to fit your form. Alternatively, you can dry them with a hairdryer.

Spot-Shrink Them

When your jeans fit well in some places but not so much in others, feel free to spot-shrink them so only the parts that are too baggy get smaller. For this method, you’ll need a spray bottle and fabric softener, as well as your trusty tumble dryer. Start by filling the spray bottle with a mixture of hot water and fabric softener. Use a water-to-fabric-softener ratio of 3:1. Then shake the bottle until the fabric softener is fully dissolved.

Next, lay your jeans out flat, preferably on something like an ironing board, and spray the spot that you want to shrink until it is soaking wet. If it is just the front or back of your jeans, be sure to put something between the two layers so that the other side doesn’t shrink. Then put your jeans in the dryer on the highest setting until they’re dry. By now, they should fit better in those spots, but you can repeat the steps again if needed.

When to Use a Professional

If your jeans are really baggy and you’re struggling to get the results you were hoping for, you might just have to give up on the DIY method and seek the help of a tailor. After all, you would take your women’s khaki pants to a tailor, wouldn’t you? Tailors are used to doing this sort of thing and can make your jeans look brand-new. It just takes a few minutes to take your measurements, and within a few days, you’ll have jeans that fit like they were made just for you.

When jeans get a little too baggy, many people assume they have to go out and buy a new pair. By shrinking them a bit with our tips, you can make them last longer and fit to flatter you the most.


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