You found a great pair of leather pants that are the perfect style and color. One problem -- they're a little too small at the waist. Leather fortunately is a natural material that can be manipulated under the right conditions. Like denim jeans, leather pants can shrink if washed improperly, but they also stretch to your body shape -- which is what you'll need to do to squeeze into your new pair.
Place your pants in a sink filled with warm water. Knead them a little to soften the fibers and ensure saturation. Do not place them in the washing machine, as the agitation process may cause the color to bleed.
Gently blot them dry with a clean towel. The goal is not to dry them, just to remove excess water.
Slide into the pants. Wear them for as long as you possibly can. The water in the leather combined with your body heat helps conform the material to your shape.
Apply a leather conditioner to the waistband. This helps moisturize the leather, making it more prone to stretching and manipulation as needed.
Using detergent is discouraged, since it may cause natural moisture in the leather to be stripped out.
Never throw leather pants -- or anything else -- in the dryer. The intense heat will eventually cause the material to crack.
David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.