Speaking of Shrinkage: How Do You Shrink Your Levi’s®?

Nothing seems to spark more debate in the denim world than how to shrink your jeans, especially when it comes to the venerable Levi’s ® 501 ® Shrink to Fit ® jeans. Do you wear them when you do it, do you bleach them a bit, do you use warm or cool water, or do you just throw them in your wash with the normal settings? Do a search and your are sure to find several tips, theories, and elaborate schematics on how to shrink your jeans. A search on the Style Forum brings up at least two threads with over 60 posts on the subject matter:

http://www.styleforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=13

We even had a customer document his particular “on body/in bath” method for us:

Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 1 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 2 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 3 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 4 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 5 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 6 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 7 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 8 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 9 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 10 Levi’s Shrink to Fit: Step 11

While Levi’s ® doesn’t suggest or even recommend a method, the official shrinkage amount is listed at approximately 10%. There’s a chart on the label that will approximate the shrinkage for your size, which we’ve posted on our 501 Shrink to Fit page. You can find it here.

But, of course, as they say, there’s more than one way to shrink your jeans. If you have any tips or tricks, unqiue methods, or advice on how to shrink your Levi’s ®, please feel free to post them in the comments. We’d love to hear your suggestions and stories!

4 thoughts on “Speaking of Shrinkage: How Do You Shrink Your Levi’s®?

  1. I am so sorry I just now saw your comment. Since your waist is between 27 and 36, you should increase your waist by 1″. Since your inseam is between over 36″, you should increase that by 4″.

  2. sold these in the mid-1980′s working for The Gap. My suggestion? wash 3 times HOT water, either air- or HIGH-heat dry in dryer, then begin wearing…
    the product ages beautifully, and is very high quality.

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