How to Stretch Jeans Out in the Waist

Young woman buttoning jeans

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Stretching jeans out at the waist can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you've found yourself gaining a bit of extra weight, or are tempted by that thrift store bargain that's just slightly too tight, don't fret. With a bit of patience, you can stretch out the fibers of denim. Avoid the dryer and hot water temperatures during subsequent washes and the waist should stay comfortable -- possibly making that too-tight pair of jeans your next wardrobe favorite.

Spray Method

Put the denim on. If you are having trouble buttoning them up, lie down on a bed and button them. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and spray the waistband, making sure the fabric is thoroughly dampened. Continue to wear the jeans until they dry. Doing squats can help further loosen the denim.

Bath Tub Method

Fill a bathtub with warm water and sit in the bathtub wearing the denim until the jeans are fully soaked. Exit the tub and towel dry excess liquid. Continue wearing for half an hour. Doing lunges and squats while wearing the jeans will help stretch the material. This method will not only loosen the waist but will help to loosen the rest of the denim as well. Take the jeans off and hang to dry.

Hanger Stretching

If the jeans do not button up, you may attempt to manually stretch them. Dampen the waistband. Using a wooden hanger larger than half your waist measurement, stretch the waistband inside of the hanger so that both side seams are touching opposite sides of the hanger. Make sure the jeans are pulled taut. If they are not, use a larger hanger. Leave to dry. Stretching may also be done with a waistband stretcher, a tool created specifically to loosen up trouser waistbands. This tool can be purchased via different outlets online.


If the jeans do not button up at all at your waist, even while lying down, stretching alone will probably not be enough to provide a comfortable fit. A good solution is to take the jeans to a tailor who can insert a panel of denim into the waistband that will enlarge the jeans at the waist.