Tall Mens Fashion Advice

How To Make A T-Shirt Tighter: To Tailor Or Shrink?

Learn how to make your t-shirt tighter.

Let me help you make your t-shirt tighter. 

There can be many reasons you want to do this to your t-shirt; here are a few.

Lucky for you, taking in your t-shirt is not an issue; it’s the need to extend in areas where problems occur. 

 If your looking for the perfect fitting long t-shirt that isn’t baggy, check out our guide below.

How To Make A T-Shirt Tighter

How To Make A T-Shirt Tighter

When making your t-shirt tighter, make sure you don’t shorten the length too much. You can easily put your shirt on and realize you shortened it by 2 inches, and now it sits near your belly button.

1. Take your t-shirt to a tailor

Take your t-shirt to a tailor if you want the highest percentage chance of being happy with the outcome of taking in your t-shirt. It will be the most expensive option since every other option is free but highly worth it. A tailor will ensure you get the exact results you want for a modest price ranging from 15 – 25$ USD.

2. Tailor your t-shirt yourself

Altering your t-shirt is the second most effective way to take in your t-shirt. If you know what you are doing with a sewing machine or sewing needle, I suggest you choose this option. It will be your most cost-effective option while giving you a proper fitting shirt once done. To tailor a t-shirt yourself, you will need these tools:

  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing tape
  • Chalk
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Flat surface
  • Thread

Let our guides help you make the exact measurements needed to end up with the perfect fitting t-shirt.

3. Shrink your t-shirt

Shrinking your t-shirt will make it tighter, yet you will have far less control over what areas get tighter and how much shrinking occurs. Your t-shirt’s fabric is mostly cotton, which can shrink up to 2-3 sizes when the heat’s applied. Heat will work to make your shirt tighter. However, there is a good chance multiple areas will shrink, leaving your t-shirt too small once done.

Follow our guides on how to shrink a t-shirt & how to shrink a t-shirt in the wash for more precise instructions if you choose to take this path.

The key focus here is to use hot water to shrink your shirt (learn how long a washer takes) and then heat again in the dryer.

Learn how long does a dryer take & how hot does a dryer get.

These are two shrinking methods you should look into for tightening your t-shirt if you do not want the entire shirt to drop 2-3 sizes.

this is a photo of a t-shirt going in the dryer to shrink it

A. Steam iron your t-shirt tighter

Using a steam iron will make the cotton fibres react the same way as putting them in the washer on the “hot water” setting. Using a steam iron, you can spot-check the areas you want to tighten and not affect all of the t-shirt’s fabric. Spot shrinking can help in focusing on stubborn areas.

this is a photo of a t-shirt being steam ironed to shrink it

B. Hair-dry your t-shirt tighter

A second way to spot shrink your t-shirt is to use your hairdryer. This is the least effective way to tighten your t-shirt. Only do this if none of the other options are available, or you are very short on time, perhaps if you are on vacation and in your hotel room with only an hour until you need to go out.

This is a photo of a hair dryer tightening a t-shirt

Once your shirt is smaller it will not only weigh less, it may also sit differently on your frame. Put it away properly and when folding your t-shirt check to make sure all the seams line up.

Check out our other guides on tightening the clothes you have in your wardrobe. If you can save them and get more wear out of them, why not!

How To Make A T-Shirt Waist Tighter?

Making your t-shirt waist tighter can be done in multiple ways. One way to tighten the waist is to shrink it. The only problem with shrinking is that it is not easy to get the exact fit you desire once dry. 

The second way to make your waist tighter is to take it to a tailor or tailor the t-shirt yourself. Tailoring your Tee is the best way to get the exact fit you want. Instead of a tailor you might be able to alter your shirt at your local dry cleaner.

How To Make A T-Shirt Collar Tighter?

To make your t-shirt collar tighter, you will need to use an iron with a steamer. Follow these seven steps to make your t-shirt collar tighter.

  1. Lay your Tee on a table or other flat surface, both the front and back of the neckline visible.
  2. Plug in and turn on the iron, adjusting the setting to full steam.
  3. Hover the iron 1/2-inch over the left side of the front neckline of the T-shirt and apply full steam for 10 seconds.
  4. Remove the iron and shape the neckline by hand, patting it into place, condensing the neckline inward toward the front and shoulder.
  5. Repeat Step 3. The neckline should shrink to the placement that you created. It should lie flat. If it doesn’t, re-apply the steam.
  6. Press the front left neckline flat with the heated iron (no steam).
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 with the front right neckline and the back neckline. Until you have the desired neckline.


You can make your t-shirt tighter by taking it to your tailor, altering it yourself with a sewing machine, or shrinking it. If you decide to shrink your t-shirt, you need to understand you may ruin the piece of clothing. 

To tighten a loose t-shirt without sewing, you will need to wash it in hot water or choose one of the other ways to shrink it. However, sewing your t-shirt is the best option to tighten it.

If your t-shirt is too loose, you have three options to choose from. One is to go to your tailor. Two is to tailor it yourself at home. And lastly, you can select a method of shrinking to tighten your loose t-shirt.

Written and reviewed by
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
Paul Marlow, standing at an impressive 6'7 (201cm) and weighing 225lb (102kg), is a mental health speaker, fashion expert, and ex-athlete who excels at helping tall men find well-fitting clothing and teaching them how to style it effectively. As a model in the fashion and film industries, Paul shares his expertise in tall men's fashion, offering valuable advice on measurements, tailoring, and alterations. In addition, he founded Never Alone, an organization that provides mental health and therapy inspiration, and started the Mental Growth Newsletter to support those facing mental health challenges, drawing from his own experiences.

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