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How to Break In a New Pair of Jeans

Updated on October 29, 2012

Everyone LOVES getting new jeans. However, it can take many wearings to get them comfortable enough to enjoy wearing them and declaring them comfortable. Here are some tips and tricks to show you how to break in a new pair of jeans and make them your favorite ones without waiting months for it to happen!

Softening Your New Jeans

You are so pleased to have purchased a great new pair of jeans, if only they were more comfortable! There are several ways to get them comfortable and keep them looking new at the same time. Here are several tips on how to break in a new pair of jeans that won't take months.

The first method I use is to gently remove all the tags, pins, stickers and labels. Pulling them off can leave holes that you may not want a couple of months from now. Next, make sure they are zipped and the buttons are buttoned. Turn them inside out, then tuck the ankles into the waistband. This creates a full flat surface for the softening. Put fabric softener in a spray bottle, spritz the jeans on all sides. Place in dryer with two tennis balls and tumble on permanent press. Make sure to use the permanent press cycle. A too hot dryer will melt the rubber on the balls onto your jeans. This is not a good thing for anyone! You can also use a clean pair of tennis shoes. Be aware that throwing shoes in the dryer might help break down the backs of the shoes. It is worth getting the tennis balls! Slip them on and take them for a walk! Did this help? Not quite enough? Move on to the second method.


Here's how to break in a new pair of jeans using things you have around home!  The second method I use is brushing. When brushing the denim, brush both up and down AND side to side.  This takes out the stiffness and leaves a softer jean behind!
Here's how to break in a new pair of jeans using things you have around home! The second method I use is brushing. When brushing the denim, brush both up and down AND side to side. This takes out the stiffness and leaves a softer jean behind! | Source

Break it down

The second method is to help to "break down" some of the fibers of the jeans. Some people might suggest you use a pair of scissors for this, but scissors always present the risk of slicing your jeans. Typically we don't want to do that to our new jeans!! I will address that another, "distressing" hub! I have found that using a hairbrush with strong plastic nubs works best. Begin with your jeans turned inside out. Brush them both up and down AND across to get the best results. Brush the entire pair or brush only the areas which are more crucial in your comfort such as the waistband, knees and hip joint area. This softens them in the areas you have brushed. Brushing them will also break down the denim, so be careful to not overdo it and cause them to wear out faster! This also works with sand paper. The coarser the grit, the more the denim will be broken down.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat!

The third method I have used is to fill a washing machine, set on small load, with cold water. Begin by adding a full cup of vinegar to the water and mix well. Turn your jeans inside out, then add your jeans to the washer. This will help to set the color in your jeans and prevent them from fading. If you wish to fade your jeans, then simply eliminate this step. Allow your jeans to go through both the washing and spin cycles. When the washer has completed the first spin cycle, wait for it to completely fill for the rinse cycle and add one full cup of fabric softener. Allow it to complete the entire rinse and spin cycle. Reset washer and this time add nothing. Wash and rinse in cold water only, with no additives. Hang jeans on a hanger right side out. When they are mostly dry (85%), then toss them in the dryer to tighten them up OR put them on and allow them to dry on you. Drying them on your body will give them a more relaxed fit later in the day. Find the fit you prefer and you will be set!

Make Your Jeans Yours

Whichever method you use, the important thing to remember is to make your jeans your own! Making them comfortable and making them distressed are all a part of making them yours. Think about how you want them to look and feel. Consider where you want to wear them. It is your style and your fashion sense that is seen in your jeans. You have learned how to break in a new pair of jeans, now....go wear them!

Text and Photo Copyright 2012 Deborah M. Carey

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