Ask Denim Debutante: How to Stretch Out Your Jeans

by Jaime on May 4, 2010

The fabulous Sandy sent me an email about a new pair of jeans she just bought. But,  she had a small problem… literally. The jeans were just a size too small.

While Sandy may have decided to buy a different size, I do have a few tips for those of you who are going through the same issues! Here’s a bit of the email she sent:

I bought a pair of Dylan George jeans from Blue Heaven Boutique (lord they ship fast!), size 27.  They are a great length (no need to hem, yeay!), have a very nice rise in front and back, they are an awesome dark wash, and they are a very snug fit.

Will they eventually stretch out?  I’m thinking my tts is a 27.5, because of what’s going on in the rear end and my upper thighs.  That, and I have 36″ hips, and with P90X my butt is lifting a wee bit, and I’m not losing inches anymore - my hip bones stick out, so there you have it.  I can button them ok, but I didn’t try sitting in them or doing squats or anything – I was hoping they would stretch somewhat, give me some room to breathe when I’m sitting.

One of the best (and unorthodox) ways to stretch your jeans and get them to fit is a bit silly. Here’s how you do it in four easy steps:

1. Run a warm bath, and fill it up to the top.

2. Get your jeans on.

3. Get in the bath. Yes, with your jeans ON.

4. Sit, stretch. Let the water do its magic.

I know, it sounds crazy. It does… but it WORKS. Maybe one of these days I’ll photograph/videotape my trip of denim stretching. This does work best for raw denim, but can be used with many different cotton blends. Oh, and make sure NOT to pull them by the belt loops. They’re not meant for that, and they’ll tear. Not a good look.

What are your tips for stretching out your jeans, or making sure that a slightly small pair fits perfectly? Share them with us!


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula May 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I bought a pair of jeans once that were 100% cotton and were too small in the waist. I put them on – sprayed the waist band with water and then wore them until they dried. It worked perfectly.


sandy May 5, 2010 at 6:55 am

I did end up buying a size 28 during the HL sale, and it’s way better. But while the stretching idea is unorthodox (and scary sounding), I will try it your way next time. :o )

Thank you, JP!


Kirsten May 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Sandy – you and I must have the EXACT same body style. I feel like I am reading my own words. So funny. We should trade our fave denim styles…. I bet they would work well for each of us xox


Sonya May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

This tip also works for work pants! AKA, pants that are wool/poly/rayon. I shrunk a pair in the dryer once and called my mom and she suggested this and it definitely stretched them back out. It feels weird, but it works!


Katy May 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm

This is great! I now have a new project to try. I got these great pair of jeans and they are just a little too snug. I wore them around the house for an hour but it didn’t change things too much. But now this is great!! Thanks
.-= Katy´s last blog ..Flowers in Her Hair =-.


test May 7, 2010 at 6:59 am
pam munro May 7, 2010 at 11:31 am

I have made it a habit to do some squats when I put on new/newly washed jeans to stretch them out…


Kate May 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

I do squats, too. I also hang-dry all my jeans (well, actually all my clothes except pyjama pants, tshirts and undies) so they don’t shrink back up in the dryer. But each time a clean pair goes on, I’ll do a few squats and lunges and usually wear them while I do my morning crunches – it does the trick!


Laura May 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Great timeless advice! I remember seeing something about this in Vogue a few years ago, when Levi’s had their custom jeans store…

Fab blog!

xo SSW
.-= Laura´s last blog ..All About J&L =-.


Erin Pea June 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Wow this totally changes everything! I have a pair of non-stretch Cheap Mondays that are soo tight that they are probably digging into my ovaries. The only thing that sucks about them is that the waist band is pretty big (I have a big booty and a small waist).
.-= Erin Pea´s last blog ..YOU TOO, YOUTUBE =-.


Star June 13, 2010 at 12:13 am

Pardon if i sound a bit stupid but…what do you do after you’ve been in the bath? Keep them on until they dry or hang them?


Maggie November 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Your site is amazing.I am very impressed to see this,i want to come back for visiting your site.Keep doing Good as well as you can.


kimmy January 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

thanks for the tip jaime
it works great,i can fit into my skinny jeans again.

i was wondering how long will it last or will i have to stretch them
after every wash/dry?

xo kimmy


Madeline October 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

This is brilliant! Thank you.


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