Showering whike wearing them might be the strangest but most effective way to break in your tight jeans
Last week a video from TikTok was sent to me along with the question: does this actually work?
The clip featured a woman, Lily Schoknecht, who said she had discovered the “sustainability hack of the year” after buying second-hand jeans. Ms Schoknecht says she had bought a pair of jeans that were a size smaller than she would normally wear and they fit her snugly. She says she shrugged it off as a “tough loss” at the time but when she described the problem to her grandmother, it turned out nana had a bizarre but helpful tip for her.
“I was talking to my nana about them, and she was like, ‘have you showered in them yet?’ she says. Her grandmother told her to “shower in them, wear them around the house [while wet] to stretch them out a little bit, and then let them air dry".
Ms Schoknecht followed the advice and says she was astonished to find the jeans stretched to fit her perfectly after they had dried, even though the previous day she could not button them up.
She says she shared the tip to help anyone else who had ill-fitting jeans in the hope it might save them money and save the jeans from being dumped. “Shower in your jeans. Trust the process,” she says.
While it seems far-fetched, soaking jeans while wearing them is actually a tried and tested way to get the perfect fit. It’s so effective that even the industry experts swear by it to break in their beloved denim. In 2015, Paul O'Neill of Levi's Vintage Clothing told GQ that he often soaks in the bath while wearing new jeans to get the best fit.
“First, I buy my jeans correct size in the waist (rather than size down) and a little longer in length (one or two inches). Then, I'll wear them for a few days before climbing into a warm bath in them and soak for 20 minutes,” he said. “Once soaking is over, I slip out of the jeans and let them dry in the sun. This shrinks the jeans to your body shape.”
He said the trick lies in wearing the denim while it soaks to avoid it shrinking to a size smaller than your waist, though you may need to do some amateur yoga too for the best result. "I tend to check them when nearly dry and put them back on and stretch the waist out by squatting in them if needed,” he added.
There you have it: if you want to break in a pair of slightly too-small jeans and get them to fit you, grab your trusty rubber duck for the best results.
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