Bathing in Them and 5 Other Crazy Things People Do to Get Their Jeans to Fit Right

Anything for perfect denim.

(Image credit: GETTY)

Boil Them

 The next you see someone go all Fatal Attraction on her Acne Needles, recognize that she's just doing her best to shrink them, but still back away slowly until you're out of the Splash Zone. The recommended method is to heat a large pot of water until it reaches a rolling boil, salt liberally then submerge the offending jeans. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, drain, and dry on high heat. 

Take a Bath—While Wearing Them

Poll: more or less extreme than the above? Either way, it's a similar process, except you're lowering your denim-encased body into a tub full of hot-as-you-can-stand water, waiting until it cools, then keeping them on until the fabric dries. Sounds like a recipe for a yeast infection, but a small price to pay (?) for remolding your $1,395Vetements trousers to your legs. 

Wash Them on the Forbidden Cycle

I won't pretend to be an expert laundress, but even someone who's never handled a drop of Tide in her life knows that the hot cycle = off-limits. If the stovetop and self-poaching options don't appeal to you, you could always let your washing machine do the contracting by turning up the dial to "scorching" on both the wash and the dry. Note that this works best with high percentages of cotton *without* fabric softener. 

Get *Experimental*

Say you've got a Maartje Verhoef waist and a Nicki Minaj booty—how in the world do you selectively expand and compress your pants at home? Mix 3/4 cup hot water with 1/4 cup fabric softener, pour the mixture in a spray bottle, and shake to combine. Liberally spritz the area you want to make smaller with the mixture, then dry on the highest heat setting possible.

Low-key Perform Surgery on Them

"It's okay. I'm a doctor," you say as you give your scissors some practice snips. For those of us whose philosophy on things is more "whatever" than "myyyy preecioouussss," go ahead and cut perpendicularly to the waistband to loosen it. (You'll need to add fabric—unless your hipbones like a breeze.) To tighten the waist up, sew a length of elastic into the back using a zigzag stitch (beats me—here's a tutorial). 

Actually take them to the tailor

CUH-RAZY. I know.

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Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at Marie Claire. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.