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Shrinking Jeans?

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Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
hi fellow shopaholic and fashion maven PSers..i have a Q for you.

since i''ve lost some weight, i have about 5 pairs of expensive jeans i love that i can''t wear because they are WAY too loose, like 2 sizes too large. they all have that 1-2% of spandex in them so even if they fit maybe a bit okay when i put them on in the morning, they are so horribly stretched out by end of day i hate wearing them. no one likes a saggy butt and i didn''t lose weight to wear baggy form-hiding jeans. hahaa.

anyway i was reading up online about how to potentially shrink them down, have any PS''ers had tried and true success? as of right now, they are upstairs in the wash on the HOT cycle and i plan to dry them 2-3x in the dryer on the super hot setting to see if that does anything.

i read online that this method works for some, but then others said it only worked for 1-2 wears then they stretched out again, others said to boil your jeans in hot water then dry them, others said to put your jeans in the bathtub for 2-3 days in hot water (keep changing out the water) then dry them. someone else said a magazine said to put them in the tub til they are soaked then wear them til they dry and they will fit perfect forever (how uncomfortable does wearing wet jeans for a few hours sound?!?!). an online wrangler jeans website said that hot water does not shrink jeans but overdrying does. so anyway, any PS''ers have tips or done something before and had it work?!?!?

i really would like to salvage these jeans because if i can''t shrink them or get them to be wearable (gaining the weight back is not an option!!) then i am going to try to sell them on ebay but i will get pennies back compared to what i paid, so i''d just really like to be able to adapt them to WEAR them! plus i really like the washes and the fit typically. help!
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
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1,899
I use the hot wash and extra high heat method. It''s hard to find jeans in my size and height, so I keep jeans for as long as possible. This method works for probably 5 or 6 wears and then you have to wash them again. Luckily I have a lot of jeans so I can rotate them.

*M*
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
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696
Generally, I only manage to shrink jeans that I don''t want to shrink, but as far as I know, a really hot dryer is your best bet. The wearing jeans wet thing is for jeans that aren''t pre-shrunk, I think Levi''s makes "shrink to fit" ones that you have to do this to.

Good luck with the shrinking, and congrats on the weight loss!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
Date: 11/24/2006 3:02:38 PM
Author: poptart
I use the hot wash and extra high heat method. It's hard to find jeans in my size and height, so I keep jeans for as long as possible. This method works for probably 5 or 6 wears and then you have to wash them again. Luckily I have a lot of jeans so I can rotate them.

*M*
Thanks poptart...yeah I have about 4 pairs of jeans in my new smaller size that I am wearing continuously right now. But these other 5 I would just love to be able to add into the rotation. The saggy butt thing just is a total pet peeve of mine!!! And it seems like most jeans have that 1% of spandex or whatever, and cotton stretches out as you wear it anyway, so by the end of the day the combo of the two plus sitting for long hours in front of my computer just equal a not so firm looking jean butt. I am constantly even throwing the smaller size jeans into the dryer between wears or even when I get home from work I throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes on HOT to shrink them back before going out to dinner or whatever. Total bane of my existence. hehee.

Well we'll see if the hot wash and extra hot dry (double times) method works this time. I don't mind doing this once every 2 months or something but to do it all the time would kind of be a pain! I do know that over time my jeans DO shrink anyway because Greg always throws my stuff in the dryer so I am hoping that over time doing this once in a while combo'd with Greg's drying methods (LOL which I normally get on him about but now I am like SURE dry everything!!) might work long-term.

Thanks Laine!! I love being smaller but I gotta say that now a lot of my fave things dont' fit me as well anymore. I have about 4-5 95% new (bought last year in spring sale and wore once or twice til this winter!) Juicy hoodies that are too big now! I might have to see how/if I can shrink those too because otherwise I will have to sell them on eBay and get new ones and that will be a total loss of $$ as I could maybe only reap about $20-30 from each one and then a new one is like $80-90!
Greg was like 'sure you don't want to ggain weight back, it's cheaper!'...I was like 'AS IF!'
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
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1,899
Date: 11/24/2006 3:07:59 PM
Author: Mara

Date: 11/24/2006 3:02:38 PM
Author: poptart
I use the hot wash and extra high heat method. It''s hard to find jeans in my size and height, so I keep jeans for as long as possible. This method works for probably 5 or 6 wears and then you have to wash them again. Luckily I have a lot of jeans so I can rotate them.

*M*
Thanks poptart...yeah I have about 4 pairs of jeans in my new smaller size that I am wearing continuously right now. But these other 5 I would just love to be able to add into the rotation. The saggy butt thing just is a total pet peeve of mine!!! And it seems like most jeans have that 1% of spandex or whatever, and cotton stretches out as you wear it anyway, so by the end of the day the combo of the two plus sitting for long hours in front of my computer just equal a not so firm looking jean butt. I am constantly even throwing the smaller size jeans into the dryer between wears or even when I get home from work I throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes on HOT to shrink them back before going out to dinner or whatever. Total bane of my existence. hehee.

Well we''ll see if the hot wash and extra hot dry (double times) method works this time. I don''t mind doing this once every 2 months or something but to do it all the time would kind of be a pain! I do know that over time my jeans DO shrink anyway because Greg always throws my stuff in the dryer so I am hoping that over time doing this once in a while combo''d with Greg''s drying methods (LOL which I normally get on him about but now I am like SURE dry everything!!) might work long-term.
Yea, the saggy butt thing is NOT attractive. The thing that bugs me most is that with some old jeans I had like that I had to pull them up constantly, even with a belt. I had this paranoia that they were falling off or something, because they never felt like they were where they were supposed to be. And I DREAD shopping for jeans, so I know how you feel about wanting to keep what you have, both for cost and saving time. I have to go to what seems like a thousand shops before I find jeans that are small enough but not too long... a very rare find indeed! I hope that the drying works as a permanent fix for you!

*M*
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
okay so progress report after 3 hours. hehee. the dryer overload thing seems to be working, slowly. i had a pair of size 8 AE jeans that needed to be shrunk down to a 6 and it totally worked (they also got shorter, haha so now they are my flip flop jeans which is fine). but the ones that are bigger are shrunk down a bit but not enough...so i''m trying the dryer again with these. these are all really long inseam jeans so i''m not worried about them shrinking up an inch or so in the hem too, that''d be fine.

the funny thing is that my hips shrunk a few inches but my butt shrunk A LOT as did my upper thighs. so the butt and upper thigh thing are the real issues, i hate the extra material that forms when the jeans are too loose or stretch out. the hip part is always about the same but it''s the butt and legs. anyhow, i think with a few more hours in the dryer these bigger ones might just be right. we''ll see!

i''ve spent an hour or so on ebay looking at juicy hoodies because mine are bigger now too and the kangaroo pocket is totally pooching out in an unflattering way. according to their size chart, i''m a medium now instead of a large, so i might get a few medium hoodies on ebay (they are running about $40-50 with BIN''s)..just trying to make sure that they are authentic and not a knockoff.
 

ForteKitty

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
4,450
If they are dark washes, washing them in hot hot water will really fade them... so unless you''re okay with really faded jeans, I wouldn''t try it. Just try the high heat drying. Can you get them altered?
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
FK...yeah I just did the one wash and now I am drying them repeatedly. I read on a jean website that over-drying jeans causes them to shrink, NOT hot water. interesting, so we''ll see.

I can probably have them altered but I would prefer not to pay more $$ to fix them if you know what I mean! Depending on the mods they make it could be another $30-50 per pair. If I can salvage them this way, Great! Otherwise I might just sell a few and get some new pairs.

I did buy two new pairs on AE this week in my size now, so I do have more coming, but I like some of the styles I bought last year and they are still ''in''...so I figure why not! Plus I REALLY want to keep my two AG pairs from last year, they make my butt look GREAT. hahah.
 

WTNLVR

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
623
I can vouch for over drying causes clothing to shrink. Hubby was putting laundry dryer on time setting vs. auto dry. He ruined a whole load of clothes. A year later I''m still yelling at him to auto dry!
 

Rosebud8506

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
665
I have the same problem. After just one day of wearing my clean jeans they get terribly stretched out just after a few hours of wear.

I run my jeans under hot water just at the waist, butt and thigh area - ya know, where it gets stretched out the most just from everyday wear. Keeping the pantlegs dry, I throw them in the drier. That way it shrinks in the areas I need it and doesn''t shrink in the length. I have ruined many jeans attempting to get that "snug" look and then they end up too short!!!
 

Cind11

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
1,959
I bought a pair of jeans today that I''m going to try to shrink in length. They''re almost perfect (they could be 1/4 to 1/2 in. shorter) and I''m too lazy to go (and pay) my seamstress to hem them. I think while they are perfect in the waist if they shrink there I bet they''ll stretch right out again. I guess I''ll try to fry them in my dryer-lol.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,744
Mara, if you really want to salvage those jeans and not lose money by selling them on ebay, your best bet is to spend the money and have them altered to fit your new fab body. I know that is probably not what you want to hear, but I''m going to break down my opinion for ya:

OK, you have two "ingredients" in your jeans: cotton, and spandex. By using hot water/over-drying the jeans, you''re not only shrinking the cotton fibers, overstressing them (softening), AND washing out some of the dye used to make them whatever color they are (which can be remedied by using some RIT dye which will also make them stiffen up--which in turn can be remedied by another product to soften them again), but you are ALSO breaking down the not-so-durable synthetic spandex fibers included in the actual fabric, which won''t help the problem of the jeans stretching back out again after they''ve been washed and dried many times.

My point is, if you try and try and try to get your jeans to shrink, you are only going to be defeating the purpose in the end (to save money and still be able to wear them). Your alterations honestly should be as simple as a seamstress taking in the seat and possibly the waist, which is not (seamstresses correct me if I''m terribly off-base here) a very labor-intensive process. There just aren''t that many seams in a pair of jeans...we''re not talking about taking apart a garment that has darts, pleating, lining, etc. Also, if you are shrinking your jeans two sizes, you have to expect some shrinkage in length as well, and I know you are around 5''8" so I doubt if you want that as an added bonus. If I were you I would look for a tailor/seamstress who is reputable but would take on the job for less than $30 per pair of jeans (
)--that''s waaaay expensive! They do exist, but not being from your area, I can''t be completely sure.

Btw, I do have a B.S. in Textiles, Apparel and Merchandising, and over a decade experience in retail (dealt with alterations, both simple and complex many times), so I''m not just talking crazy here, LOL. Don''t ruin those AG jeans!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
hehee monarch, thanks for chiming in!!

i did the whole washing/overdrying on friday...the jeans were in the dryer for about 5 hours total!!
but they did seem to shrink a fair amount. and yes some length shrunk too but actually the jeans were too long for me to begin with, like WAY too long and i typically don''t wear 4" heels with my jeans so i didn''t mind a bit of length shrinkage. maybe they won''t last me as long now or they might stretch back out again, we''ll have to see....but they do fit MUCH better now and they don''t *appear* visually any worse for the wear.

the thing is about the tailor is that i am SO lazy. i also have 3 expensive pairs of dress pants that need to be taken in big time and they have hung on the back of my closet door for about 3 months now. there is a great tailor close to me that multiple friends have recommended, but literally just never get over there or even think about it! so i knew that if i wasn''t able to get the jeans to work out for me, chances are they''d sit in the closet or on the back of the door for another 3-5 months.

who knows if these jeans will be wearable on a daily basis or not, but at least i know that i can wear them if i need to because the dryer did work some sort of magic even if it''s temporary. also i ordered a pair of ae artist in the vintage salt wash online and also a pair of their hipster jeans online and they came yesterday. LOVE THEM. the hipster in particular are VERY flattering and the artist are pretty flattering too in a more casual looking watch. the hipster are darker. and they were only like $25 each!!! so that''s why i also am like ''eh lets see'' about these other jeans....i have about 6 pairs of jeans now that do fit me very well and the other 4-5 that i tried to shrink down a bit are usable if necessary. but i will def take into consideration what you said in the future and if they do keep stretching out, i''ll TRY to get to a tailor sometime in 2007. hhahaa.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Glad to hear it worked, you skinny gal you!

I needed new jeans since I haven''t bought any since I was skinny skinny myself. My much adored AG Angel jeans and Cupid jeans in size 27 are just sitting in my closet. Wah.

I''ve tried all sorts of jeans, but couldn''t find any now that I am 2-3 sizes bigger! Ah! But lo and behold, I did something the other day which I would have never done...bought a pair of AG jeans I saw for a great price online ($65!). I would normally NEVER buy jeans online (never have), but I had faith in my AGs as I remember how much I loved them a few years ago.

Sure enough, they are FAB. I can''t believe it. Nice to know AG looks great and size 27....and beyond!!!
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
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11,242
Date: 11/26/2006 11:50:06 PM
Author: monarch64
Mara, if you really want to salvage those jeans and not lose money by selling them on ebay, your best bet is to spend the money and have them altered to fit your new fab body.
I wholeheartedly agree. I am lazy too, which is why the 4 pairs of true religions and taverniti so's that I scored at last year's fred segal 1/2 off sale sat in my closet for 6 months after dropping 4 sizes. I had convinced myself that my weight loss would probably be short-lived, and had I used that logic for too long I'd probably have lived up to it!
I finally bit the bullet, pulled out my sewing machine and downsized my jeans. Best weekend I ever spent with my sewing machine


Even if you feel like it would be too much of a hassle, it's totally worth it. I go through the same thing every time my car needs service, put it off forever and ever, but once it's done I think "well, that wasn't so bad!" Besides, in the end you'll have a few "new" pairs of fabulous jeans to add to your rotation!


ETA: a lot of department stores (Nordstrom's I know for sure) offer tailoring, so it could be an excuse to do more shopping while you're there!!
(so bad, I know!)
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,011
Hey Mara--You have the AG Legend jeans right? What size are they? If I remember right you used to be a bit smaller than me and now that I lost weight I''d probably fit in your old jeans. I can''t find the legends anywhere....if you want someone to take them off your hands.....
 

jcrow

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
7,395
i second sewing them! especially if it''s in the butt, inner theigh. in highschool, i had several pairs of jeans sewn for me b/c my legs were skinner than the jeans were made. and i don''t have skinny legs. but anyway- it totally works!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
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well i''m wearing a pair of AG club jeans that were previously too small (back before i lost any weight) and now were too big so i ''shrunk'' them in the dryer. so far so good. they have a tiny bit of stretch...but not too much, i think 1%...so they are fitting pretty well. they are still not fitting like they might have had i bought the exact size i am now at the store, but it''s pretty close and they look very flattering...i just love the AG jeans and how they make your butt look! so hopefully by the end of the day they will still be lookin good.

i also wore a pair of AE stretch straights yesterday that were about 1 size too big before being ''shrunk'' in the dryer and they were perfect all day long. they just needed a little shrinking, so that worked out great.

so far so good!! i know it might have made more sense to get them tailored but i swear guys i am so absolutely lazy about this stuff. i can''t even make myself return things i have duplicates of or whatever just because i am too lazy to get to the PO. anyone want a pair of bronx 3" black mary janes in a size 8.5? hahaha.
 
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