We’ve all been there: putting on a pair of jeans only to realize they’re a little bit tighter than we remember. But before you drop them off at your nearest secondhand shop, learn how to stretch out jeans.
Shrinking a pair of jeans is easy. All it takes is a quick run through a hot dryer to make them a size smaller. However, figuring out how to stretch out jeans gets a little trickier. The good news is there’s a simple solution that will give you a perfect fit once again—and keep textile waste out of landfills in the process.
Instead of tossing out a pair of snug jeans, give them a nice soak in water—then wear them. Yes, putting on a wet pair of jeans sounds like a form of torture, but it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your denim hug every curve.
After moving around in your wet jeans—sitting, sanding, maybe doing some yoga poses—you take them off and let them air dry. What you’re left with is a pair of pants that fit much better than they did before. It’s not only a great option for what’s already in your closet, but also thrifted finds that don’t fit as well as you’d like them to.
For the full instructions on how to stretch out jeans, follow along below.
How to Stretch Out Jeans
1. Grab a pair of too-tight jeans and submerge them in lukewarm water. You can do this in the sink, a bathtub, or another container.
2. After the jeans are completely wet, put them on. It won’t feel great, but get in some movement—walk, stretch, bend, and sit. This is key in loosening them up.
3. After you’ve put in a few minutes of movement, take off the jeans and hang them up to air dry. If you can stand it, wear the wet jeans until they have dried a bit (think damp vs. wet) to help hold the new shape.
4. After your jeans have fully dried, put them on and enjoy the extra wiggle room.
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