How to Shrink Jeans: A Simple Walkthrough Guide for Guys


Are you losing weight too quickly for your wardrobe? 

There are a lot of reasons as to why you might want to learn how to shrink your jeans. 

The problem is figuring out how to do it. You’ll come across myriad solutions on the internet and from your friends, but which are most effective?

How to Shrink Jeans

The whole process of shrinking your jeans can be done through four methods. 

Each of these methods will—in some form—involve the use of heat to shrink your jeans to the proper fit.

We’ll be listing these methods together with the estimated length of time it requires to complete as we proceed. 

Please keep in mind that if your jeans are multiple sizes too big for you, then perhaps you might want to try having them tailored instead. These methods are effective for sizes that have a size or two of difference between your jeans and your legs.

Without further ado, here’s how you can shrink your jeans.

The Sit And Fit

Arguably one of the weirdest techniques on this list, the ‘Sit and fit’ will require a bathtub, some hot water, and a little privacy.

If you can get past the awkward feeling of sitting in your bathtub while wearing a pair of jeans, you’ll get away with doing the easiest method on this list.

All you have to do is fill your bathtub with hot water. 

You’ll be in the tub for about 10 minutes, so make sure that it’s comfortably warm; the last thing you want is to have your legs scolded by unbearably hot jeans.

Check if the water is comfortable and hot before you get in. 

Sit in the tub for about 10 minutes or until the water has thoroughly cooled. 

Then, step out of your bathtub and shake off any excess water before going outside to have your jeans dry under the sun—yes, while you’re wearing them. If you air dry your jeans this way you’ll notice after a while that they start to shrink to better fit your legs and waist.

While you’re doing this, do frequent lunges or squats when you feel like the fabric around your knees is becoming too tight for comfort. Additionally, if the sun isn’t doing an adequate job, you can speed things up with a hairdryer. 

Once your jeans have effectively dried, they should fit relatively well. 

Washer And Dryer Technology

Using hot water might feel like a crime, especially if you’ve learned from your parents to stay away from hot water when using a washer. 

However, for this method, you’re going to need to pretend that you never heard them say that.

While this step is effective as shrinking your jeans, please make sure to observe any necessary safety precautions when dealing with hot water and your washing appliances. 

Get your washing machine ready and toss your jeans before turning it up at the hottest possible setting. Feel free to pour in some fabric softener or detergent if you want to wash your jeans at the same time.

After that, transfer your jeans to the dryer and spin it until it’s completely dry. 

Feel free to repeat this process until your jeans fit your liking. 

Boil Your Jeans

Stepping up the hot water game, using boiling water on your jeans is a reliable and effective alternative if you don’t feel like doing the methods above. 

Unfortunately, doing this can lead your jeans to fade if you boil them for too long or at a temperature that’s too high.

For safety’s sake, we recommend that you read through the proper safety precautions of putting out kitchen fires before proceeding with this method. 

Other than that, with a relatively medium temperature and some attentiveness, this technique will work amazingly well for your jeans.

Start by filling up a large pot with water. Bring the pot of water to a boil and turn your jeans inside out to make them ready for the pot. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and safely plunge your jeans in the hot water.

Let it simmer for about 30 minutes and stir it frequently to avoid having one side too hot than the other. The water will cool down in about 20 to 30 minutes, in which time you can drain the water out and have your pants dry out in the heat.

Just like the methods above, you can repeat this method as often as you want to until it fits perfectly or until your pants can no longer shrink. In that case, you’ll have to wait for the last solution on this list. 

Specific Shrinkage

Before you proceed to the last method, you might have a pair of jeans that fit perfectly around your calves but are too loose around your thighs. 

For situations like this, you can try to specifically shrink certain parts of your jeans with a spray bottle. 

Take out a pan, kettle, or thermos and heat up your water to a boil. Once ready, take a spray bottle that can handle high heat and fill it in with hot water. You’ll typically find this at the bottom, but look for the plastic number of that water bottle and make sure that it’s a #2 so that it’s heat resistant.

Feel free to add in some fabric softener—or any other product that you’re comfortable with using—before spraying the hot water on the loose spots. 

Spray until the loose area is soaking wet before having them dry out in the sun or in the dryer.

Bring It To A Tailor

Lastly, you might want to bring it to a tailor. 

While shrinking your jeans can be a great way to save a couple of bucks, the safety and quality that’s assured by going to a good tailor is well worth the price tag.

A tailor will not only take care of your clothes to fit you perfectly, but you’ll also avoid the pain of having really compressed jeans that block all types of airflow from shrinking. 

How Should Jeans Fit?

It’s all well and good knowing how to shrink a pair of jeans, but how do you know if you really need to do it?

How should a pair of jeans fit?

Well, there are several ways you can figure out the perfect fit for your jeans which will give you a good idea of how suitable they are for your wardrobe in their current state.

Without a Belt

A simple rule to follow when it comes to ascertaining how appropriate your jeans are is this: you should be able to wear them without a belt.

Ever pulled on a pair of jeans only for them to sag down below the waist?

That’s not a problem, you might think, after all once you thread your belt through the loops they will fit perfectly around your waist.

Well, the truth is that this isn’t the right way to wear jeans.

If your belt is the only thing stopping your jeans from falling down then they’re too large for you, and you’ll need to shrink them down or get them tapered in by a tailor.

Fitted but not Tight

A pair of jeans should feel fitted to your body, but they shouldn’t feel so tight that you feel uncomfortable after a meal or feel restricted movement when you bend down.

If your jeans feel incredibly tight around the waist, then unfortunately you’re going to need to invest in a size or two up for a better fit.

With this in mind, it’s always best to overestimate your size since you can shrink them down, but you can’t make them bigger if they’re too small.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Shrinking Jeans

Can you shrink jeans permanently? 

Effectively, yes. 

Shrinking your jeans is a permanent solution unless you go through the manual hassle of making them baggier again. 

Jeans that were shrunk from high heat will only revert to their original size by heating them up again and stretching them out for a couple of minutes.

How much can you shrink jeans?

A general rule of thumb is a shrinkage between 3-4 percent. 

While that might insignificant, it can mean the difference between a 32’’ and a 34’’. 

Additionally, a well-shrunk pair of jeans will also hug and fit your legs much better.

Do jeans stretch over time?

Yes, your jeans will stretch over time depending on what the jeans are made from.

If they’re classic denim jeans, then you can expect them to stretch out within a few days of first wearing them, as they gradually grow to accommodate the size of your legs.

Other types of jeans such as those made from cotton generally won’t stretch out at all, and will instead fit your legs the first time you put them on.

A Final Word from The Trending Man

Shrinking jeans is mainly done by plunging your jeans in hot water and having them dry under the heat relatively quickly. 

Jeans can only shrink up to 3-4 percent, that is if they weren’t shrunk already when you bought them.

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The Trending Man

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