Can You Really Stretch Skinny Jeans by Showering in Them?

We’ve all been there. You watch one viral TikTok and before you know it, you’re already in your bathroom in jeans because while those jeans definitely fit you before the pandemic, they’re too tight now. They also got soaked through because, again, you wear them in the bathroom.

In case you’ve somehow never found yourself in this situation, let me explain to you. In the viral TikTok in question, creator Lily Schocknecht claims to have discovered the “sustainability hack of the year” by telling her grandmother she ditched a pair of overly tight jeans. Apparently, her grandmother replied, “Have you showered in them yet?”

By now, you’re all in the know: a viral hack claims that showering in overly tight jeans is one way to make them really fit, and I had to try that. I hopped into the shower in a full Canadian tuxedo in the name of journalism, so soaking in jeans didn’t feel like too much of a sacrifice. Also, if the hack worked and I could get my old jeans back into my wardrobe, I would have won a much-needed victory over my weight gain due to the pandemic. (Note: I’m not mad about the weight gain. I just want to wear those jeans again, okay?)

That’s how swimming in too tight jeans has affected me.

First, the “Soak Your Jeans” hack has been around for years.

Showering in jeans has some legitimacy outside of viral TikTok and Tobias Füncke on Arrested Development . Paul O’Neill of Levi’s Vintage Clothing told GQ in 2015 how he explained the process of trying on new jeans: “Firstly, I buy jeans that are the right size at the waist (not a size down) and a little longer (one or two inches). . I then wear them for a few days before getting into a warm bath and soaking for 20 minutes. After soaking, I take off my jeans and let them dry in the sun.”

According to O’Neill, this method “reduces the size of the jeans to fit your body.” And since you wore them by squeezing them, “they should not shrink below your waist. I usually check them when they’re almost dry, put them back on and stretch my waist, squatting in them if necessary.”

The combination of the virality of TikTok, the legitimacy of Levi’s, and the solidarity of ” Never Nude ” was all I needed to get into the tub and get to the bottom of this hack.

Trusting the process

I chose a pair of old skinny jeans that were one size smaller. It was technically possible to zip them up, but wearing them during the day would have been too uncomfortable.

I decided to follow O’Neill’s method of soaking in a warm bath for 20 minutes, wearing jeans, of course. I was lucky enough to do this experiment on a sunny day, so I let them air dry.

So, was the experiment successful? Did soaking in jeans make them fit?

Nope!

Can you clarify?

Certainly.

Work on the process

While many TikTok videos claim that this hack worked, my jeans didn’t fit me better after drying. I did a few squats in them as O’Neill suggested, but without much success. Perhaps the water wasn’t warm enough, or the jeans in question were too small to be salvageable. I’m sorry. There is no one here more disappointed than me.

Hey, I may not have saved my overly tight jeans, but at least I took a disgusting bath during work hours.

Final verdict

There are enough people on the net who provide video evidence of this hack, and I would believe that my failed experiment is an anomaly. Further research is needed. For now, the emotional toll from soaking in jeans isn’t worth the modicum of elasticity I’ve gotten from them since.

As my grandma always said, “Manage your expectations before you jump in the shower to reshape your jeans.” Also: “Maybe you shouldn’t trust everything you see on TikTok.” Oh grandma.

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