angel's t-shirt image by sminx from Fotolia.com

Washing and drying can shrink shirts. In some cases, a shirt will shrink a few unnoticeable millimeters, or the shrinkage can be severe. Make a shirt longer after it has shrunk by washing it again followed by stretching, ironing and air drying. Whether you want the shirt for casual wear or as part of your current wardrobe, a few simple steps can help you increase the length of a shirt.

Wash the shirt with a mild laundry detergent in cold water, either by hand or in a washing machine. Allow the shirt to complete the spin cycle if in a washer, but do not dry the shirt.

Stretch the shirt with both hands while it is still damp. Hold at the collar and the base or bottom, then pull in opposite directions. If the shirt is not stretching, hold the shoulders of the shirt in both hands and place the bottom of the shirt under your feet. Pull upwards on the shoulders until you can feel the shirt stretching.

Hang the shirt on a plastic hanger. Place the hanger in a dry location. Allow the shirt to air dry completely. Do not use a dryer.

Lightly mist the dry shirt with water and iron the shirt on a medium setting. Starch the shirt if you like.


Always allow the shirt to dry naturally to keep the length.


Stretching can damage some fabric materials. Avoid stretching if the label says dry clean only.