May 2023

shrink to fit shrink to fit


Ah, the quest for the perfect pair of jeans. It’s a journey that many of us have embarked upon, but few have conquered. From waistlines that gape to hems that drag on the ground, finding the right fit can be a real challenge.

This is where our 501® Original Shrink-To-Fit™ jeans (STF™) come in: managing the shrinkage yourself allows for the denim to conform to your unique body. With just a little bit of effort, you can have the custom fit of your dreams—no tailor necessary.

What sorcery is this, you say? Raw denim is the name of the game here. Because the denim of our STF™ jeans is left untouched after the dyeing process, the fabric stays pure and super sturdy. Raw denim is tougher, more durable and more resistant than treated denim, so your STF™ jeans last longer and stand up to more wear and tear. And finally, since these jeans bypass the pre-shrinking stage of production, you get to control just how much they shrink.  

Of course, that means how you wash your Shrink-To-Fit™ jeans for the first time is crucial to avoid shrinking too much or too little. We recommend sticking to the tried-and-true, step-by-step method below.


First things first: Buy your jeans two sizes larger than your actual size. For example, if you usually wear a size 32 waist and a 34 inseam, you might consider buying a 34 waist and a 36 inseam. This will help accommodate the shrinking.

get em big 5050


Here’s the fun part! It’s time to put those jeans on and take a dip. 

You can use a bathtub, jacuzzi, the ocean…whatever you want. Once you’ve slid on into the water, kick back and relax for at least 30 minutes. This will give the fibers in the denim a chance to loosen up, allowing for even shrinkage all around. Note that the hotter the water, the more shrinkage you can expect.

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After soaking, squeeze the excess water from your legs and get moving. 

Do some stretches, a few lunges, touch your toes, swing side to side, dance—no judgment here! This helps the denim conform to your body and shrink in all the right places. For best results, keep your jeans on until they’re completely dry. The denim will continue to shape to your body as it dries, resulting in a custom fit that’s truly unique to you. And remember, patience is key here. It may take a few hours for your jeans to dry, but trust us—it’ll be worth the wait.



Voila! A perfect, one-of-a-kind pair of jeans that fit like a dream.

Once your jeans are completely dry, you’ll be left with a perfectly custom-fit pair of denim. And the best part? They’ll only get better with time as they continue to mold to your body and develop their own fades and creases.


Great jeans run in the 501® family. Shop our  501® Original Shrink-To-Fit™ jeans for men and women assortment online and in stores. For styling tips and outfit inspiration, follow us on Instagram and TikTok. Then tag @levis and #LiveinLevis to share your Levi’s® style with the world.