Welcome to our article on how to break in jeans.

The biggest issue, we have learnt, is that most people are afraid they will ruin their newly bought jeans by speeding up the process of breaking them in. 

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Now, let’s get down to breaking in your new bought jeans.

Table of Contents

  • Fastest way to break in jeans: Wash your jeans
  • Best way to break in jeans: Wear your jeans more
how to break in jeans

How To Break In Jeans

When it comes to breaking your jeans in, it will depend on how stiff the denim is and what other fabrics the clothing company has used. 

You will need to use your judgement if one of these steps is sufficient or if there is a need to use all of them.

"Use the machine, don’t use the machine, wash by hand, don’t ever wash—it can get really confusing."

1. Buy the right pair of jeans

Finding 100% denim jeans is the best option when wanting to quickly break in a pair of pants. When the fabric is all denim, there can be a chance of expanding the fabric by 1 to 1.5 inches over the first few months.

Not only will that ‘give’ in your jeans make them more comfortable, but it loosens any tight areas you feel when you initially put them on. These areas usually are in your crotch, knees and seat of the jeans.

Instead of 100% raw denim, you will find companies using a mixture of denim and elastic. The ability to break them in will be more challenging, but this doesn’t mean they won’t be the perfect jean for you.

For those of us with longer legs (tall men and tall women) or thicker legs from an abundance of muscle or other bulk, the mix of denim and spandex is the perfect jean. The infusion of spandex will allow the jeans to give right away when you bend and squat.

this is a photo of black denim and blue denim jeans

2. Wear your jeans more

The simplest (and safest) way to break in your jeans is to 10x the time you spend wearing them. For the first three weeks after purchase, put your jeans on for more than your time outside seeing friends.

  • Wear your jeans to work
  • Wear your jeans while watching tv
  • Wear your jeans walking the dog
  • Wear your jeans while doing yard work
  • Wear your jeans doing housework

The more time you put in the denim, the quicker it will start breaking down and work with your body, not against it. As the denim alters you may need to put on a belt to keep the jeans waist up.

this is a photo of tall paul wearing his jeans in the apartment

3. Wash your jeans

“Don’t wash your jeans too often.” 

We read this in every article online regarding caring for your jeans. And yes, this is true when looking at the big picture, long-term care of your denim. You do not want to put your jeans in the wash every other week.

However, washing your jeans the right way 1-2 times soon after purchasing them will help speed up breaking them in. 

Be sure to use cold water and follow these guides.

this is a photo of jeans inside a washing machine

4. Soak your jeans in water

One level below washing your jeans is to put them in the tub and let them soak for 30-45 minutes. The only difference in this option is that you will put less wear on the pants since there is no rubbing and rotating in the washing machine.

Use cold or room temperature tap water to fill a basin, cooler or your bathtub. Then put your jeans into the pool of water and place a tin can or lightweight to submerge the jeans fully.

this is a photo of jeans going to soak in water to break in the jeans

How to break in jeans: quick tips

When breaking in your jeans, don’t be timid. If you want to take your jeans and swing them over and over around a metal pole, then do it!

Denim is a highly durable fabric that can take a beating, and this is why cowboys live their Levi’s so much.

Just be sure to stay away from the heat in water or air form. Heat will alter the denim fabric and lead to shrinking.

Once washed and dried, be sure to put your jeans away properly.

Check out our guides below on washing and caring for your jeans. These will help you feel more confident in your actions no matter what you choose to do with your pants.


On average, it will take 2-3 months to break in a new pair of 100% denim jeans.

The best way to break in stiff denim jeans is to soak them, then run them through the wash