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deni's avatar

Is there a way to permanently shrink pants a bit?

Asked by deni (22185 points ) October 29th, 2012

UGH! So I don’t know if I’ve lost a little bit of weight, but either way it’s negligible, however I notice that many of my pairs of pants are just slightly too big and they look sloppy….and I am not one to spend money on clothing, all of these pants have come from thrift stores and one pair specifically, these light purple jeans I found not too long ago, are just awesome, and I’d really like to be able to continue wearing them. But they are just slightly too large. When I immediately take them out of the dryer and put them on, perfect. But 5 minutes later they’re a size larger and I’m annoyed. They aren’t stretch or anything.

So, maybe this is a dumb question, but is there any way I can get them to stay that smallest size, the size they are right after being washed? This would really be helpful to my wallet. THank you.

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14 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Other than drying them on high heat and dependent on the material used, the only other option is to gain a few pounds. lol

downtide's avatar

If the denim is pre-shrunk (and most denim is, nowadays) you can’t get it to permanently shrink any more. The only suggestion I can think of is get out the needles and threads, and start taking in the seams.

CWOTUS's avatar

Cheesecake and ice cream have worked a treat for me.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I wish this was my problem. I’ve got three pairs of jeans in my closet and 5–10 lbs standing between us.

But if they’ve already been dried multiple times, they won’t get any smaller unless you have them taken in, which would probably cost more than a new pair unless you can do it yourself.

They say most denim is pre-shrunk, but I call BS. My jeans shrink from all directions after multiple dryer cycles. I’ve stopped drying them to retain their shape and color.

cazzie's avatar

I currently resemble this problem. I am now somewhere in between a size 34 and a 36 (UK 8 and 10) My jeans look stupid and baggy in the thighs and bottom and I can pretty much stick one arm down in my jeans. It is winter here, so my chances of putting the weight back on are almost 0, in fact, I ALWAYS lose weight coming up to Christmas, so I expect the problem to get worse. I can always disguise my problem with long johns and tights to add a layer on underneath and I need it now, with the outside temperature down to -8C today. I also wear undershirts or wool unders that I can tuck in so my jeans stay up better. The good news is, nobody notices this but me.

deni's avatar

Haha, I know guys I guess it’s a good problem to have. But still frustrating, and I hate spending money on clothes. I’m thinking, with this purple pair of pants in particular, it is mostly the waist that gets a lot bigger as I wear them and then I have to hike them up and tighten my belt and they look so dumb, so maybe I could just get the waist taken in. Hum.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I’ve read cold wash, followed by high heat for a long period of time creates enough shock in the physics of the cotton line tightening up. I don’t understand it at all, but with my experience hot pants come out, I put them on, they feel tight, if I wear again the next day, they become loose.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@deni It is a great problem to have. Congratulations. Can you wear a pair of tights underneath? You will be much warmer and your hands will be warm to the touch. Very romantic.

JLeslie's avatar

I was going to suggest thin leggins or long johns to take up space if you live in a cold climate, but @LuckyGuy beat me to it. If you have already dryed them completely in the dryer, which it seems you have, then there is nothing more you can do to shrink them. Denim rarely shrinks in size, although sometimes it shrinks a mini bit in the length after the first wash and dry.

gailcalled's avatar

@Deni; Or simply embrace the paper-bag look. Wear a snug, attractive top, tucked in and the pants belted below the belt loops.

Think of Annie Hall for the eccentric take on fashion.

Luiveton's avatar

You can take them to someone to fix them for you…It doesn’t cost much.

deni's avatar

@gailcalled Unfortunately I have such short legs that loose pants really do not do me any favors at all, I know the look you mean and wish I could pull it off cause I do like looser comfortable clothes, but I really just look like a total bum in them, and 15 pounds heavier. Ick

newtscamander's avatar

I have the same problem. Last week I couldn’t run to catch my train in fear of losing my trousers because they were sliding down….then I tried it with a belt, but it turns out this has gotten too loose also. So now I’m going to wear the jeans I still have in my wardrobe that I wore two years ago…not all too pretty anymore, but I’ll just have to eat more and then I’ll be back in my favourite trousers soon. By which time they will probably have gone completely out of fashion ;)

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