You might want to try these 10 easy tricks if you want more room in the leg, the waist, or the foot hole.
A new pair of jeans, like a new pair of shoes, rarely fit perfectly until they’ve been broken in. There are times and places for tight jeans that look like they were painted on, but no pair of jeans should ever cut off your circulation or make you gasp for air.
Even if your pants don’t fit quite right, you don’t have to give up style. You just need to know a few easy ways to stretch your jeans. Whether you want more room in the leg, the waist, or the foot hole, there are a few tricks you can try. We asked a few experts for their favorites, and we’ve listed them below.
Wet your jeans, and then pull them out.
Katie Brown, the owner of Rytina Fine Cleaners, says to fill a spray bottle with warm water and mist your jeans all over, front and back. Once they are wet all over, pull on the fabric in the places you want to stretch. Then, just to be sure, put the wet jeans on and keep wearing them until they dry.
Make Use of Heat Power
No bottle to spray? No problem. Brown tells InStyle that a blow dryer will also work. She says, “Just blow heat directly on the areas you want to stretch.” Once your jeans are nice and warm, use your hands to pull and stretch the tight spots.
Use a waist trainer.
That is a thing, yes. Lana Blanc, a personal and fashion stylist in New York City, says that waistband stretchers are like the tool used to stretch shoes. She also says that as silly as the device sounds, it works like magic when trying to stretch jeans.
Blanc says, “I’ve helped people gain up to an inch around their waist and a lot more money in their wallets.” “All you have to do is dampen the waistband with lukewarm water, put the stretcher in, and turn the handle to make it bigger.” “I usually leave it in overnight, but if you need more than an inch, you could check on it every few hours and give it a few more turns.”
Make use of a Pants Extender.
Blanc says she found out about this trick when she was pregnant and couldn’t fit into any of her jeans after the first trimester.
“I didn’t want to live in leggings, and I wasn’t ready to spend almost $200 on a pair of maternity jeans, so I googled “pant extenders” and found a pair on Amazon,” she says. “They completely changed the game.”
Think it through (literally).
Chrissy Horton, the founder of InspiredFashionFinds.com, says that if your jeans are too tight because they shrank in the wash, you can stretch them back out by putting your head on them. Yes, for sure.
“I put the jeans on top of my head and pulled them down.” Imagine a scarf around your head, with each end covering one ear. “What does Horton say?” Then, I grab the ends of the jeans with one hand, hold the other half of the material steady on my head with the other hand, and stretch and pull!”
Horton has learned that your head gives you a sense of balance and strength that lets you pull harder and farther. So, pull on the jeans as hard as you can, let go, and do it again about five times per leg.
Foam rollers can help.
No, this tip doesn’t mean that you should use your foam roller on your jeans. It’s a little smarter than that. Amber Alexandria, a well-known stylist, recommends laying your jeans flat on a table before attempting to stretch them in the thighs. Then, use a spray bottle to wet them from the bottom of the pocket to the knee, both front and back, and put a foam roller in the leg for about 10 minutes. Do the same thing with the other leg.
“How far you can stretch will depend on how wide the foam roller is,” says Alexandria. “You can do the same thing with a roll of paper towels if you don’t have a foam roller.”
You should wash your jeans.
Want to take a nice bath? While you’re at it, you might as well wash your jeans. Soneca Guadara, a famous stylist, says that wearing your jeans in the tub is a classic, but not very useful, way to stretch them. Guadara tells them to relax in the warm (not hot) tub for about 15 to 20 minutes, then let them air dry.
Bake Your Jeans
You can bake almost anything these days, from cakes to makeup and even your jeans. But Daniel Sanchez, the creative director of Blush Mark, says that “baking” jeans are a fashion tip from the 1970s. It involves spraying your jeans with a lot of lukewarm salt water or vodka from a spray bottle, putting on the wet jeans, and sitting in the sun until they are completely dry on your body.
“Make sure to break them in while they are “cooking.” Squat, bend, stretch, and (if you can) practice your cartwheels and handstands!” Sanchez says. “In the end, you’ll have a pair of stretch jeans that fit your body perfectly while still taking advantage of your favorite denim’s natural stretch for maximum comfort.”
Wear the Same Pair Over and Over Again
What happens when you wear the same pair of jeans multiple times throughout the week? They feel less snug. So, if bathing in denim isn’t your style, and you don’t have time to sit around with a blow dryer, you could just rely on the power of time, according to Alissa Friedman, PR & Marketing Manager at denim brand Mavi.
“With some patience and persistence, and holding off on washing them for as long as possible, [jeans] will break in to be extremely comfortable and conform to your body,” she tells InStyle, adding that the key is to focus on the areas that feel most stiff and increase movement in those areas (i.e. bending your knees, doing lunges, etc.).
Do Some Stretches
No matter the area you’re hoping to expand, there’s an exercise suited to stretch out your denim, says Vanessa Chu, co-founder of Stretch*d. (Bonus: you get a workout in, too.) For example, to expand the waistline, stand or sit and place one hand behind your head while reaching your other arm straight down along your other side, Chu instructs. Reach down as far as you can, then come back up to open the side body, hip flexors, and obliques, giving you an extra room at the sides of the waist.
“Just like your muscles, your jeans need to ease in and ease out of the stretch to safely create space,” says Chu. “Movement helps lubricate and ease the joints, muscles, and even inseams. Each stretch should be held for 2-3 seconds and repeated for up to 6-8 repetitions, one side at a time which should lead to some extra room in the jeans and a more limber lower body.”
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