'I figured out how to stretch or shrink those jeans currently gathering dust in your wardrobe.'

Listen up, because I've already subjected all the women in the Mamamia office to my denim woes, so it's only fair that you endure my drivel because I feel like it's a universal struggle. 

Last week, I ordered a pair of jeans online - I know, I know, a cardinal sin because what kind of monster doesn't try on jeans before buying?

Me. I'm the monster.

Watch: Inside My Wardrobe | My Top 10 Pairs Of Jeans. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Anyway, the jeans arrived, and ... they didn't fit. Well, they did, but they were what I refer to as 'standing-only' jeans and who wants that? 

I was devastated and annoyed. 

I needed to wear them on the day they were delivered. And before you say it, no I could not wear any of the other jeans I owned. These were different! Better. Shinier. New. 

So that was when I googled, "how to stretch denim". 

My sister looked at me as if I had gone mad, and you know what? Maybe I had gone mad. But at least I found some solid hacks in the process that I'll be using for other pairs in my wardrobe. 


Who's laughing now? (I am because my jeans ended up fitting.)

And before we get into it, let me be clear that this is not anything to do with trying to fit into a smaller size than you normally wear. Nor am I encouraging you to buy a new pair of pants you have to stretch. 

This is about me imparting wisdom so you can get extra wear out of jeans you already own that are currently gathering dust in your wardrobe because they're just that little bit too big or too small. 

So, allow me to walk you through the hacks I found to help stretch or shrink your jeans for a comfier wear.  

Here we go!

How to stretch jeans.

Spray them with warm water, then pull to stretch.

This is one that I can personally vouch for because it's the hack I used to stretch out my jeans, and I'm happy to report that it worked.

Simply spray your jeans with warm water, then lay them out on the floor. Once they're in the right position, manually start to pull and stretch the jeans in any direction that you think is necessary. If the jeans dry up, keep spraying it with water until you're done.

I won't lie, I was verrrry sceptical. 

But after following the instructions, my pants were no longer constricting my body, and I was able to move around without feeling like I was going to suffocate.

Soak the jeans in a bath (while wearing them).

Okay, this one sounds a bit weird, but hear me out. 

Pop the jeans on after filling a bathtub with warm water. Then, sit in the water for about 10 minutes.


Once time is up, come out of the bathtub and move around as much as possible for 30 minutes. 

Then, hang the jeans to dry, preferably overnight. Similar to the spray technique, the warm water will help stretch and loosen up the thread work. 

It's also a hack that's endorsed by the experts, with Paul O'Neill from 3Sixteen telling GQ it's the technique he swears by when trying to break in denim.

"This [technique] shrinks the jeans to your body shape," he said. "I tend to check them when nearly dry and put them back on and stretch the waist out by squatting in them if needed."

It's definitely effective if you can get past the feeling of bathing fully clothed. I shudder at the thought. 

Use a hairdryer.

We've all stretched out tight heels with a hairdryer just as we're about to head out the door. (No? Just me?) Well, this is a similar concept. 

Start off by laying your jeans on the floor, and then warm them up with a hair dryer - or an iron if that's what you have on hand. 

Then, start pulling at the waistband and leg with both hands. You can also put your arms inside the jeans and gently tug from there. 

You should end up with a pair of jeans that are slightly looser than before.

How to shrink jeans.

Throw them in the dryer.

I can attest to this hack, it's brilliant and works so fast. 

If you have jeans that have either lost their shape or don't fit you like they once did, then throw them in the dryer and turn on the hot setting. The heat will help constrict the fibres and make them snug and tight.  


It'll also leave your jeans warm and toasty which is a massive bonus. 

Boil them.

I know, I know, this is starting to sound borderline ridiculous but apparently this works! 

I'm sure you can also sense a theme here - heat is key when moulding denim, and this one is for those of you who require a heavy amount of shrinkage. 

According to cleaning expert Melissa Maker, if you boil your jeans for 30 minutes and then pop them in the dryer on high heat, it will help shrink them. 

"This will yield better results since you’re exposing them to an even higher temperature," she said on YouTube.

While it definitely sounds ... interesting, it also feels risky. So, maybe try it out with a pair of old jeans before you throw your new pair straight into the pot.

Iron your jeans.

If you're searching for a more targeted approach, then try this. 

Dampen the area you want to shrink and then go over it with an iron until it's fully dry. Keep doing this until your jeans fit the way they're supposed to. 

Keep in mind, that this hack is only for small areas, and won't work well if you need to shrink the entire pair. 

If you want more fashion, beauty and lifestyle content from Basmah Qazi, you can follow her on Instagram @basmahqazi.

Feature Image: Getty/Supplied.

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