Perhaps you’ve purchased a pair of jeans that fit well in the store but loosened too much after wearing them a few times, or you purchased jeans that are a tad small or much too long for you. With a bit of laundering, no-sew techniques and perhaps a trip to the tailor, if necessary, you can transform ill-fitting jeans into your favorite jeans with the perfect fit.

Things You'll Need

Wash your jeans inside out in cold water to shrink them, if they’re too big. Throw them in the dryer on high heat for about one hour. Repeat as needed to refresh a pair of loose, worn-in jeans.

Stretch out a pair of jeans that are a tad too small. Stand and hold the cuff of one leg. Have someone stand across from you to hold the waist. Slowly pull on the jeans at the same time to stretch them. Be careful not to pull too hard, and use this trick only on thicker denim, not lightweight, stretchy denim that may tear. Repeat with the other leg.

Put on your jeans. If they’re a bit too tight, stand with your legs wide apart. Keep your back straight, and slowly squat down as far as you can to stretch the thighs and rear. Bend forward to stretch the waist a it.

Widen your waistband after a large meal, or if you’ve gained a little weight. Keep the jeans unbuttoned, then loop an elastic hair tie over the button two or three times. Stretch the hair tie through the button hole, run it through the buttonhole, and tie the elastic to itself to keep it in place. Purchase an adjustable jean button to get the same effect if you want an option that allows you to show your waistline.

Take the jeans to a tailor to be altered. Have the jeans cut to hit just at your heel, or longer for flare-cut pants. Have them lower a waistline that sits too high or adjust the button for a more precise fit.


  • Purchase jeans in the smaller size, not the ones that fit slightly large. Your jeans wear in after awhile, and larger jeans become too baggy.

  • Jeans that hit your ankle when you’re wearing flats shorten your leg line.