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5 Ways To Stretch Out Your Jeans

Proof that every pair of jeans can become stretch jeans. Here’s how.

You know that feeling when you put on your jeans and they’re just a *tad* too tight but you’d rather not get another pair because 1) it’s expensive and 2) these are your all-time favorite pair? Yeah, us too. 

So we have two things to say here. First, a friendly reminder that bodies are supposed to change. And it does not (we repeat: does NOT) change your worth. K? Cool. 

Secondly, all hope for your go-to denim is not lost because there are a handful of DIY hacks to stretch out a pair of jeans without ruining them.

What to know before you begin

These stretching tips will work on pretty much all types of jeans (skinny jeans, wide leg jeans, mom jeans…you name it), but they’ll only get you about an inch of extra space — either in the waistline/hips area or thigh. 

In other words, this is the way to go if you can get your jeans on, over your butt, and zippered up, but they just feel too snug and not at all comfortable. This is NOT the way to go if you can’t get ‘em on at all. In that case, a new pair of jeans is your best bet. 

How to stretch out too-tight jeans

What you need: spray bottle & old towel or garbage bag 

How to do it: 

Lay your jeans on a flat surface on top of either an old towel or garbage bag (just in case the dye stains when it gets wet). Fill a spray bottle with warm water, then spray the jeans all around (front and back). Once wet, either use both hands to tug the areas you’d like to stretch or stand on one side to hold it in place and tug the other. If you’re finding that the material won’t give, spray more water to soften it up. 

Important: once you’ve finished stretching, don’t throw them in the dryer otherwise you’ll undo all your hard work! Let them air dry on a hanger

What you’ll need: spray bottle & old towel or garbage bag 

How to do it:

With this method, you’ll follow the same steps as above to wet your jeans with lukewarm water, but instead of stretching them out with your hands/feet, you’ll immediately put them on. Doing so will allow the denim to stretch and mold to your beautiful curves. 

In your jean journey, you may read (or have already read) about the bath method, which is a souped-up version of the wet ‘n wear method where you’re supposed to literally take a warm bath with your jeans on so they mold and stretch to your curves. TBH, we have never tried this method, nor do we intend to, so we can’t vouch for it either way. The idea of sitting in a bathtub for a half hour, then having to walk around in soaking wet jeans until they dry? Ummmmm, no thank you. Until we see the science-backed evidence on this one, we’ll swipe left. 

What you’ll need: hair dryer 

How to do it:

Lay your jeans on a flat surface with the front facing up. Then, instead of wetting them, apply heat by holding the hair dryer about six inches away from the jeans. Focus on the areas you want to stretch, get ‘em nice and toasty, then use your hands to tug. Don’t be afraid to put both hands (and arms) inside the jeans as well to pull in opposite directions. 

What you’ll need: Nothing! 

How to do it: 

This is an old-fashioned technique, but hey…it works. Put on your tight jeans and do a series of squats and/or lunges to stretch out the thigh and butt area. Hold for 15 seconds each, then repeat 5ish times, Jane Fonda style.  

What you’ll need: Waistband stretcher (which, yes, IS a real thing)

How to use it:

Wet your jeans, then insert the contraption and turn the handle so it expands (and stretches the denim). Let it work its magic for a few hours or overnight.

Any other tips not mentioned here that you’ve used to stretch out jeans? Hit us up on Instagram and let us know

Unsure whether it’s okay to put your favorite jeans in the washing machine? Or whether hot water is a big no-no? What about fabric softener? We’re answering all your questions about how to properly wash and dry your jeans.


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