How To Stretch Out Jeans: 3 Proven Tips In Getting Your Jeans To Fit


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So, you bought a pair of jeans online, and they almost fit?  

We understand.

Shopping online is so easy. We know better when purchasing jeans. We should try on jeans at the department store.

However, a glass or two of cabernet and an online discount of 30% will make us look past our better judgment.

The truth is, running around from store to store to find the best pair of jeans just doesn’t fit into our schedule that easily.

How do you take your new jeans from an almost-perfect fit to fitting perfectly?

All you need are some tips on how to stretch out jeans the right way.

Why We Love Our Best Pair of Jeans

favorite jeans

Next time you are in a crowd, look around you.

Notice what type of pants most folk are wearing.

Whether you are at work, out for dinner, bar hopping with friends, a PTA meeting, waiting for standby at the airport, or even attending church in the summer, you will undoubtedly find countless people wearing jeans.  

Jeans are great for just about any occasion.

Many of us have a pair of jeans that lasted longer than BFFs and some marriages.

The versatility of denim is unparalleled in the fashion industry. Denim is trendy, comfortable, easy to maintain, and comes in seemingly endless styles.

Men and women, alike, are always in the market for a great, all-occasion pair of jeans.

Jeans are not fussy. They are easy to dress up with a jacket or down with a t-shirt or casual sweater.  The best jeans effortlessly go with any sneaker, heel, or designer shoe.

Our favorite pair of jeans can give us confidence.

Shopping for Jeans Online: Measure Once, Return Three times

Fitting Jeans

You don’t have to be a fashion expert to find a great pair of jeans. Unlike other fashion items, you know a great pair of jeans when you put them on — they just feel right, don’t they?

Nothing beats trying on a pair of jeans in the store.

Then you know.

You got the right jeans.

Nothing is worse than a pair of jeans that almost fit. They might as well not fit at all.

This issue happens more and more as we purchase fashion online.

Sure, some of the deals you just can’t beat.

Yes, I get it.

It is wonderful to sip wine and shop for clothes online, but there’s a downfall: the size standards are all over the map. It is a frustrating guessing game when it comes to selecting your size for an online purchase.

Every brand and designer and style is entirely different.

True, most online stores make returning items much easier than it used to be, but how do you deal with a pair of just-about-right-but-a-little-too-snug-where-you-absolutely-do-not-want-to-be-too-snug pair of jeans?

Stretch ’em out!

How to Stretch Out Jeans: 3 Proven Tips in Getting Your Jeans to Fit Just Right

There you are, and the doorbell rings. You look out to see the UPS guy running back to his truck and pulling away. You get excited because the package can only be one thing: the rockin’ new jeans you ordered online.

Long story short: they almost fit.


Maybe the sizing charts are off, perhaps you indulged on the cruise a bit too much.

Who cares?

You have the same problem either way.

1. Spray Method: 3/4 Fabric Softener, 1/4 Water, and Pure Strength

This is a tried and true way to get a bit more room in your new pair of jeans. This technique works great in a time crunch.

Find any spray bottle and fill it up with 3/4 water and 1/4 fabric softener. Find a flat surface in your house like a kitchen island or a breakfast table — something big enough to lay your jeans out flat.

Whatever the surface is, it will get wet – so be warned.

Shake the mixture thoroughly, then wet the area of the jeans you wish to alter. Don’t be timid. Get the area damp.

Now comes the muscle work.

You want to pull the problem area the following ways:

  • Thighs: Pull the thighs horizontally.
  • Length: Place your jeans on the floor. Place one foot on the jeans to anchor. Pull the leg towards you.

Don’t throw them in the dryer just yet.

Let the jeans air-dry first, then try them on for fit. You can do it again if you need to adjust. However, if you throw the jeans in the dryer, they will shrink up again.

2. Alternate Spray Method: Spray and Exercise for an All Over Adjustment

If you cannot stretch your jeans with brute strength, this is an alternative way to use the fabric softener mixture to loosen the denim weave.

After you fill a spray bottle with 3/4 water and 1/4 fabric softener, mix it well.

Then, pull on those ill-fitting jeans.

You will most likely be able to feel the problem areas. If you have a full-length mirror (or brutally honest roommate), great.

You need to know precisely where the jeans don’t look so hot.

Shake up the mixture and spray the troublesome area until you feel the wet fabric against your skin.

Now, you are ready to move around until the fit is just right.

Here are some hints:

  • Thighs: Butterfly stretches and the splits (don’t push it) will help stretch out the area.
  • Overall: Perform lunges and squats.

Don’t forget to keep the area damp, or the effort won’t be as effective.

3. The Bath Method: Sculpt Your Jeans in a Hot Bath and Sunlight

This is a time-consuming method that gets excellent results. If you want that new pair of skinny jeans to fit your body perfectly, this is the best way to go about it.

Wait for a warm, dry, sunny day.

Get a nice hot bath going. The hotter, the better. The hot water loosens the denim, causing it to stretch and form fit your body.

You guessed it: slip on those jeans and get into the bath water. Make sure you are fully submerged from the waist down.

You might want to bring a book or set up your waterproof Bluetooth speakers cause the longer you stay in the bath, the better the results.

You need to stay submerged for at least twenty minutes.

Next, go outside wearing your wet jeans and sit in the sun. The key is to stay in the warm, dry air until your jeans thoroughly dry out. This could take a few hours.

Once your jeans are completely dry, they are ready to wear.

After this method, avoid drying your jeans in a dryer at all costs – always let them air dry to hold the perfect shape.

How to Adjust a Tight Waistline

tight waistline

The waistline is the most challenging jean feature to loosen.  It is the most durable structure in any denim jean. However, there are some tricks you can attempt.

Purchase a Waistline Stretcher

Waistline stretchers are available at Amazon and Wal-Mart for less than 30 dollars. They fit inside your jeans, and you hand them up in your closet.  If you are familiar with the classic, Beachwood shoe-stretcher, they work very much in the same way.

The INCH-MASTER is a well-reviewed product that many people recommend

The DIY Hanger Technique for Stretching Waistbands

For this DIY method, you need to purchase a wooden hanger that is larger than half the size of your waistband. You can find wooden hangers at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Follow these directions:

  • Place the hanger inside of the waistband. You want to make sure that the side seams are located at opposite ends of the hanger.
  • The waistline needs to be stretched out to its maximum for this technique to work. Make sure there is plenty of tension.
  • Fill any spray bottle with 3/4 water and 1/4 fabric softener.
  • Shake up the mixture.
  • Wet the waistband thoroughly. Really soak it.
  • Leave your jeans hanging in the closet until the waistline is completely dry.
  • You can take them outside on a dry, sunny day to speed up the process.

Once the jeans are completely dry, try them on. Repeat the process as needed.

Return The Jeans and Get the Right Size for You

The techniques we discussed can be used on old jeans and new jeans.

However, they won’t fix the problem if you got the wrong size delivered.

If the size is really off, you need to return the item and request a new pair.

Pay attention to the return policy of the store. Always keep up with your receipts and original packaging until you are entirely sure you are going to keep the item you purchased.

You don’t have to be a fashion guru to pick out a great pair of jeans.  But you do need to try them on to know you got the right pair of jeans for you.

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