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How to Stretch Out Jeans

Yep, it's possible.

Last Updated on August 21, 2023

Need to stretch out your jeans? Whether they’ve shrunk a little in the wash or just feel a bit tight, there are a few tricks that will make them a little bit roomier and I’m sharing them with you, right here. If you’ve found yourself here, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the pain of trying to get on a pair of insanely snug-fitting pants that leave you gasping for air as you jump to get them on. While shrinking a pair of jeans is as easy as running them through a hot dryer or getting them altered, figuring out how to stretch out jeans is a little bit more of a challenge.

Don’t ditch them yet! If you’ve put on weight and can’t fit into your jeans anymore, I recommend passing them on to someone who’ll love them. This has happened to me many times before, and there’s absolutely no point in keeping clothes that just make you feel miserable. But if they’re just feeling a little bit snug or you’ve shrunk them, let’s make do and mend.

Here’s how to stretch out denim. Next, check out the best denim maxi skirts you can get right now.

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Woman wearing baggy jeans or bootcut jeans

How to stretch out jeans 

Wear them wet

As odd as it sounds, wearing your jeans damp can work wonders to stretch them. Place them in lukewarm water, wring them out and then pop them on. It will definitely feel strange, and you’ll have to make sure they’re not dripping wet so you’re not wondering around the house spilling water everywhere, but try to move around, walk, bend, and sit to loosen up the fabric. Then take off the pants and hang them to let them air dry.

Use a waistband stretcher

If the waistband is the problem, the key here is to use a waistband stretcher. Dampen the waistband of the jeans and make sure it’s still wet before placing a waistband stretcher inside the pants. Leave it for a few hours or even overnight, and voila! They should feel a lot roomier. You can buy a waistband stretcher from Amazon.

Hand-stretch them

To hand-stretch your jeans, you’ll need to dampen them. Use a spray bottle with lukewarm water inside, and spray them at the thigh, knee and waistband area. Then start pulling! It might help to do this with another person so you can really pull them, but be careful not to rip them.

two women's prada heels and jeans at fashion week

Add a button extender

This doesn’t really count as stretching, but I had to include it because it’s a thing of genius. If you’re struggling to get your jeans to do up or perhaps you’re feeling bloated, you can add a button extender. These are just a few quid from Amazon, and they’re life-changing.

Does hot water stretch jeans?

Yes, hot water stretches jeans as it allows the fabric to expand, but you should follow this by stretching the fabric itself. Like I’ve mentioned, using a waistband stretcher or just pulling the sides of the pants will help loosen up the threading. 

Should jeans be tight at first?

Newly bought pants shouldn’t be way too tight, but rather they should fit comfortably. When I buy new jeans, I tend to go for those that feel a little bit tight so that when they stretch they fit perfectly. Try the sit down test and see how they feel. If they’re painful, ditch them.

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