How to Get Jeans to Fit Perfectly

Getting a pair of jeans that fit perfectly can be a huge challenge. Women have done everything from trying on every pair of jeans until there’s that one magical pair that fits to making extensive alterations. The other day, eco-blogger Greta from Greta Guide and FashionMeGreen was telling me everything she went through to get her new jeans to fit just right.

I bought these jeans when I was in London, from Acne. I was with a friend of mine who is a jean genius and he told me to buy jeans a size smaller, but said, “No, that’s too small, I’m not going to be comfortable and I won’t wear them.” He advised that you have to break jeans in so it’s best to buy a smaller size.

The Dryer Trick

I went for the larger size [the size that fit in the shop] and two days later they were saggy in the bum and not what I wanted. I was so bummed, but the same jean genius told me to shrink them, so I washed them inside out in cold water, and stuck them in the dryer on high for an hour. And I swear, they fit better than the small jeans or the original size because they’re now directly in the middle. And they’re so perfect.

Size up or size down?

From this experience, I lucked out, but if I had to do it again, I’d probably buy the jeans that were smaller. Because I think it’s true that you have to stretch jeans to fit by wearing them. If you’ve bought jeans that are too big, you still have the opportunity to shrink them just by sticking them in the dryer.

Get the perfect length

…I took them to my local dry cleaner tailor and had them hemmed to the perfect length , so now they really are the perfect pair of jeans.

Taking getting the perfect length is not as easy as it sounds. With skinny jeans, cigarette cut, straight leg, you don’t really have to choose between hemming for heels or for flats. Most tailors will hem your jeans to hit the back of your heel.

Wearing Jeffrey Campbell Full Oxford Wedges now on sale $98

With a jean with any kind of flare, you really have to decide whether you’re going to wear them with heels or flats. I prefer to wear heels with flared jeans because the main benefit of flared jeans is the elongation of the leg. Getting your jeans hemmed really doesn’t cost very much, most dry cleaners can do it for you in a jiffy.



  1. November 15, 2010 / 8:04 am

    Great advice! I bought a pair of Houlihan k/o recently and had to size up because they were out of my regular size. Three sessions in the dryer and they fit perfectly! I later found the pants in my size and tried them on and they didn’t fit as well as my shrunken pair.

  2. November 15, 2010 / 8:39 am

    Oh, I make that mistake all the time: Buying jeans I love that just fit.
    Within months, they get really loose and I’ll dread wearing them.

    Maybe I’ll try shrinking my old jeans. Thanks for the tips!

  3. November 15, 2010 / 10:47 am

    Great tips! I’m always scared to buy them too small but then regret not doing so EVERY time!

  4. November 15, 2010 / 12:39 pm

    bella! oh wow, three sessions? that’s great, i have a pair i need to do that to
    aggie… same thing always happens to me…what is that..
    theshoegirl…haha me too, i always think they won’t strech but they always do!

  5. Denise
    November 18, 2010 / 10:02 pm

    Thanks Jennine, this article is the perfect complement to your article on how to buy jeans on the internet. And yes, I too am discovering it’s better to buy them on the smaller size. I am going to try the dryer advice. In the past, no matter what my wash technique was they would eventually stretch out.

  6. Catie
    November 23, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    I have those EXACT same pair of Acnes in the same rinse. Definitely the slimmest jeans I own, but quite flattering. This girl looks great!

  7. Erin
    November 25, 2010 / 9:20 pm

    Definitely best to go with the smaller size as jeans ALWAYS stretch! I’ve learned this the hard way…it’s a nail biter to buy them too small but in the back of your mind, you know it’s the right choice – follow your gut 🙂

    As for the dryer method…I’ve never found that this truly “shrinks” jeans. It is in the very least a temporary fix until you wash and dry the jeans again. Just be careful – the more you play around with washing and drying with hot temperatures, the more you wear down the fabric, causing fading or worse….the jeans to lose ability to shape to your body.

    Happy jean hunting ladies 🙂

  8. Ana
    January 15, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    I just got a new pair of jeans from Wet Seal and I’m a size 3 always there and I lost weight so they’re really baggy on me! I feel so uncomfortable and unattractive in them so I’ve been searching for ways to try & shrink them & I’m totally gonna try this today! 🙂 Hopefully it works so I can actually be happy in them. I’m always gonna go with the smaller size idea now. Size 1 here I come!

  9. Mari Allan
    April 25, 2013 / 9:26 am

    I tried on the bootcut slim lift & shape jeans from Next in a size 12 (£45), and they were lovely and comfy, made my legs look long and slim and my bottom pert! I didn’t like the colour and so ordered the same jeans in dark indigo and when I tried them on they were looser, I had taken off the labels so couldn’t return! Now after wearing them for a day, I really wish I had gone for the size 10. I just don’t like jeans that cut off your blood supply, lol

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