For your joggers (or any clothes, for that matter) to create a chic silhouette, they have to fit you well. Joggers just tend to already give that rustic, casual look, so they’re a lot easier to alter DIY-style. So what should you do if you’ve landed yourself with a pair that hangs a little too loose on the hips?
There are a few ways to make your joggers tighter. One is to shrink them by repeated washing. For more precise alterations, however, sewing is best, but if you’re uncomfortable with a needle and thread, you could also get a pair of scissors and insert a drawstring with no sewing needed.
Let’s take a look at each method.
Shrinking Them in the Wash
If your joggers are oversized in general, this method might be a good way to shrink them to your desired fit.
Before you start, you’ll want to check the label on the joggers for two things: first, what material it’s made of, and second, whether it’s been pre-shrunk. If the joggers have been pre-shrunk, this method will not work, so you can skip this section and move on to the next one.
Note that different materials respond differently even if the washing conditions are the same. This method works better on natural materials, such as cotton (denim included) and wool, than synthetic materials like polyester blends.
Now on to the actual shrinking: this is done almost universally using heat. Shrink your clothes by washing them under a hot water setting, and then, when the cycle is done, by placing them immediately in the dryer under high heat.
Remember to check on your joggers at regular intervals every few minutes to keep tabs on the size. You don’t want them shrinking into oblivion! Remove them once they’re at the size you want and then leave them to air dry. If it’s the washing machine you’re removing them from and they’re still dripping wet, use a towel to remove excess water instead of wringing them dry.
Finally, store the joggers in a cool place to prevent them from shrinking further.
In some cases, the length of the joggers is perfect, but the waist, ankle cuffs, or pant sleeves are too loose to be comfortable or fashionable. If this is true for your joggers, the most precise way to correct your pants would be to bust out the ol’ needle and thread. A sewing machine would help to speed up the process a lot, but if you don’t have one or aren’t comfortable operating one, sewing by hand is fine too.
The following video shows how you can easily tighten the pant sleeves.
Loose waists are less common in joggers because they already come with a drawstring waistband which can be adjusted for any tightness, but some joggers might have an elastic waistband instead. If this is the problem, check out this video instead:
If loose ankle cuffs are the problem, you can turn the joggers inside out and unpick the stitches holding the elastic band in place. Then, readjust them to your desired size and reattach them using this tutorial.
Adding a Drawstring
If you don’t feel up to the task of sewing, you might be able to use this simple hack of adding a drawstring (assuming your joggers don’t already have one). This method works better on the (elastic) waistband, obviously, but could probably work on ankle cuffs too to create a very specifically styled look. All you’ll need are a pair of scissors and an old shoelace, and you’re good to go.
Those were our top picks for this topic! Of course, they aren’t the only ways to tighten a pair of joggers, but quick-fix methods such as using safety pins don’t look great or feel as comfortable and may even rip your joggers because of the uneven pulling.
Most importantly, have fun DIY-ing your joggers! The end result will be the only one of its kind – that’s gotta speak volumes for your personal style.