How to Make Loose Jeans Fit Again

Jeans that fit.
Jeans that fit. (Image: legs and jeans image by Paul Retherford from

Sometimes a great pair of jeans can become too loose to fit properly. This change in fit can happen as a result of wear-and-tear or weight loss. If you need to make your loose jeans fit, taking a few steps will make your favorite denim look just right on you again.

Things You'll Need

  • Washer
  • Dryer

Set your washer temperature to medium heat. A hot wash can shrink the cotton in your jeans, but you should start at a medium heat to slowly shrink them and avoid making them too tight.

Throw your jeans in the washer and wash them with the proper load size for at least a 30 minute cycle.

Set your dryer to a medium heat setting and toss your jeans in, drying them until they are completely dry. Throw them back in for another 5 or 10 minutes after they have dried completely.

Try on your newly-shrunken jeans and decide if they are to your liking. If so, then be sure you wash them on medium heat wash and dry temperatures at least once a week.

Turn the washer temperature to the highest heat setting if your jeans are still too loose, and wash them again for at least a 30-minute cycle.

Dry your jeans on the highest heat setting possible, and again, throw them in for another 5 to 10 minutes after they have dried.

Try on the jeans to see if they are to your liking. If they aren’t, repeat steps 5 and 6 until they are and remember to keep washing them weekly in hot temperatures to keep them tight.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you happen to over-shrink your jeans, you can try a few steps to stretch them out: rinse them in hot water and hang dry them, or put on your jeans, sit in a hot bath and afterward allow them to air dry while you wear them.
  • You can shrink certain areas of jeans by washing them in the hot cycle, then as they dry, continuously dampen the areas you don't want to shrink with cold water throughout the drying cycle.
  • If shrinking your jeans with the washer and dryer method doesn't work, make an appointment with a tailor to have them professionally altered.

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