How to Shrink American Eagle Shirts

by Lynn Rademacher ; Updated September 28, 2017

Oversize American Eagle shirts can be shrunk for a snug fit.

T-shirt image by Antonio Oquias from

American Eagle Outfitters makes it a point in its marketing and website to inform the public of the organic materials used in its clothes such as cotton. Several shirts on the American Eagle Outfitter website are made of 100 percent cotton. This means that these shirts can be shrunk if a tighter fit is desired. Even shirts that have been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer can be made a little smaller.

Place only the American Eagle shirts to be shrunk in the washing machine. If the shirt needs to be cleaned as well, then add the necessary laundry soap.

Set the water temperature on the machine to hot. If the machine is equipped to do so, turn on the extra rinse and spin cycle settings. The weave of cotton pulls together during the spin cycle of the machine. Wash the shirt.

Place the American Eagle shirt in the dryer and set the dryer setting to “Normal” or “High Heat,” depending on the design of your machine. Allow the dryer to run the entire time. Remove the garment and try it on for fit.


  • Some of the shrinking effects will be lost during the wearing of the shirt due to the fibers relaxing. But another run through the washing machine for regular cleaning will return the garment to the tighter fit.


  • "Grandmother's Kitchen Wisdom"; Dr. Myles Bader; 2005

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About the Author

Lynn Rademacher started writing in 2001, covering technology, family and finance topics. Her writing has appeared in "Unique Magazine" and the "Ortonville Independent," among other publications. Rademacher holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from South Dakota State University.