How to Stretch Out Jeans

Posted by admin on

It feels like we’re always on the quest for that elusive pair of jeans that fit perfectly—not too loose and not too tight. If you bought jeans that are too tight or a pair of your favorite jeans shrunk in the wash, don’t toss them in the donation pile just yet. Denim stretches, and you can actually add up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) to the waist, hips, butt, thighs, calves, and/or length of your jeans by stretching them out. Below we’ve broken down three different methods you can use to stretch out your jeans depending on how much looser you want them to be.


[Edit]Doing Squats for a Slight Stretch

  1. Put on your jeans. With this method, you need to be able to put the jeans on to stretch the waist, hips, butt, and/or thighs, though it's okay if they're tight. Make sure you button the jeans before you start trying to stretch them.[1]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 1 Version 4.jpg
  2. Do squats for at least 1 minute. Stand up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, bend at your knees to lower your hips and bottom like you're going to sit in a chair. Make sure your knees don’t go out past your toes. Then, push through your heels to rise back to your starting position. Repeat the exercise for at least 1 full minute.[2]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    • You can do your squats for up to 5 minutes, though this might make you feel sore. The longer you do the squats, the more stretched the fabric will be.
  3. Check to see if your jeans feel more comfortable. Stand, walk, and sit in the jeans to see if they feel comfortable. You should notice that they're a little looser on your body. However, they may still feel tight if the size is too small.[3]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 3 Version 4.jpg
    • If your jeans don’t feel comfortable, you may want to try heating them up for a better stretch.

[Edit]Heating Your Jeans for a Moderate Stretch

  1. Lay the jeans on the floor or your bed. Choose a spot on the floor or your bed that’s close to an electrical socket. Then, place your jeans so that the front side is facing up. Spread the jeans out so that it’s easier to heat them evenly.[4]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • Your bed is likely a cleaner space than your floor, so you may want to use it if it’s close enough to an electrical socket.
  2. Heat the jeans using a hair dryer on a medium setting. Hold the hair dryer about above the jeans. As you heat the denim, move your hair dryer continuously so that you heat each area evenly. After you heat the front of your pants, turn them over and heat the backside.[5]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 5 Version 4.jpg
    • You don’t have to heat both sides of your pants, but it will help you stretch them out more.
  3. Use your hands and arms to stretch the denim. Grip opposite sides of a section with both of your hands, then pull as hard as you can in opposite directions to stretch it. Move your hands up and down the surface of the jeans, pulling the denim in each area you need to stretch. As another option, put your hands inside of the jeans, then use your arm strength to push apart the opposite ends of the waist, hip area, thigh area, or calf area, which should stretch them.[6]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • As an example, if you are stretching the thighs of your jeans, hold each side of the pant leg in each hand. Then, pull the sides in opposite directions. This will help widen the pant leg.
    • For a bigger waist, it might be easier to unbutton the jeans and place your bent elbows inside the waistband. Then, move your arms apart from each other to stretch the fabric.
    • If the jeans start to cool down before you’re finished stretching them, heat them back up using your hair dryer.
  4. Put the jeans on. Be sure to button and zip up your jeans before you continue stretching them. Your jeans should fit a little better now, but they may still be tight.[7]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 7 Version 4.jpg
    • If you’re having trouble buttoning your pants, lie down on your bed and try buttoning them that way.
    • Do squats or lunges for 1-5 minutes to stretch out the denim a little more.

[Edit]Wetting Your Jeans for the Best Stretch

  1. Lay your jeans out on the floor. Use the floor so you won't accidentally get your bed wet. Spread out the jeans to make it easier to wet the fabric.[8]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 8 Version 4.jpg
    • The dye in the denim may stain while it’s wet, so you may want to lay down a plastic garbage bag or some old towels before you try this method.
    • If you’re planning to stretch your waistband, unbutton your pants so that you won’t accidentally pull off the button.
  2. Spray your jeans with lukewarm water. Use a spray bottle to coat a small section with water. The fabric should feel damp but doesn’t need to be soaked. Work from the waist down and only wet a single area at a time. [9]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 9 Version 4.jpg
    • If your denim feels hard to stretch, then you may want to spray it again. You can also apply more water as necessary while you’re stretching the jeans.
    • If you have liquid fabric softener, add about of it to your spray bottle before you wet your jeans. This will help soften the denim so it stretches more easily.[10]
  3. Stand on 1 side of your jeans to hold them in place. Place your feet near the area where you want to stretch. This will pin the jeans to the floor so that they stretch when you pull on them.[11]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 10 Version 4.jpg
    • For instance, when you're stretching the waistband, stand near the top of the jeans. If you want to stretch the thighs, stand on the edge of the pant leg.
    • It’s best to wear socks or go barefoot while you do this. Shoes may transfer dirt and germs onto your pants.
  4. Use your hands to pull the wet denim and stretch the jeans. Bend over, grip the denim in your hands, and pull with all of your strength in the opposite direction of your body. Work your way over the surface of the jeans, pulling the denim in each section you want to stretch. Then, stand back up and move to the other side of your jeans. If it's easier, you can use both hands to grip opposite sides of the denim and pull it in opposite directions as hard as you can.[12]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 11 Version 4.jpg
    • If your jeans feel too snug, pull them width-wise, starting at the waistband. Continue stretching through the hips, crotch, and thighs.
    • If your jeans are too short, it’s best to start in the leg area. Begin pulling down on the fabric starting at around the mid-thigh area.
    • Don’t pull the belt loops or the pockets, as these areas are weak and may tear.
  5. Let the jeans air dry before you wear them. Hang the jeans on a line, lay them on a table, or drape them over the back of a chair. Allow them to air dry for at least 2-3 hours. However, it’s best to allow them to dry overnight.[13]
    Stretch out Jeans Step 12 Version 4.jpg
    • How long it takes the jeans to dry will vary depending on how wet they are.
    • If you lay your jeans on a table or chair, it’s best to put down a plastic garbage bag first to protect your furniture in case the fabric bleeds.



  • To keep your jeans stretched out, skip drying them in the dryer. Instead, hang dry them. Alternatively, skip washing them and instead place them in the freezer for a few hours to refresh them.
  • If you cannot pull your pants up past your thighs, you will not be able to stretch the jeans out enough to make them comfortable. Jean stretching is best done when you need approximately of extra room.[14]


  • Be careful not to set wet jeans on any light-colored carpet or towels. The indigo dye in the denim can easily stain carpet or fabric.
  • Although some advice says to get into a warm bath with your jeans on, this may not be a good idea. It’s very uncomfortable, and it won’t give you a better stretch than wetting your jeans with a spray bottle.[15]


[Edit]Quick Summary