Your loose fitting joggers can be fixed by using a few simple methods to tighten them!

Learn how to add a drawstring to your loose waistband or add new elastic bands to the cuff around your ankle in order to get a tighter fit. 

You can also use the washer and dryer to shrink your joggers to make them fit more tightly around the legs. Our article will take you step by step on how to shrink joggers in the wash.

Joggers are tapered down the leg and are meant to have a skinny fit. Properly fitting joggers are easy to style and are very fashionable at the current moment.

If your joggers aren’t fitting correctly continue reading our article to learn how to make the proper adjustments! 

Do you know how your joggers are supposed to fit? Let us help with how are joggers supposed to fit.

Table of Contents

How To Make Joggers Tighter

How To Make Joggers Tighter

There are a variety of different ways to make joggers tighter.

You may choose one of these five methods based on your requirements and access to the necessary materials needed to complete the process.

1. Sew and hem your joggers

If your joggers are too loose around the waist, ankles, or legs, the most effective way to tighten them may be by sewing. If you are able to sew and have a sewing machine then you may attempt to alter the joggers yourself, however for the rest of us it is best to goto an alteration store. Most retail malls have an alteration shop, and sometimes your local dry cleaner can even do the job as well. And the price is usually good at the dry cleaners.

A lot of people ask, can you tailor joggers? Yes, yes you can. But first you will want to know how to measure your inseam.

2. Add a drawstring to your joggers

If your joggers have only an elastic waistband and you find them a little too loose, you may want to consider manually adding a drawstring to make the waist tighter. Follow the following steps to manually add a drawstring to the waistline of your joggers. 

  1. Cut a small opening on two of the vertical seams on the backside of your waistband of your joggers near the front middle area (where a belt buckle would be). If there is no vertical seam in a good position you may cut a small opening directly in the fabric. 
  2. Be sure to make a shallow cut so that you do not tear through the elastic waistband. 
  3. Feed a shoestring or drawstring through the waistband of your joggers until it has reached the other opening on the other side of the pants.
  4. Leave 10cm to 20cm of extra string on either side so that you are able to tie your pants at the waist. 
this is a photo of drawstrings in a jogger

If you have decided to wash your joggers and the drawstring got pulled out in the wash cycle, you can then follow this article: how to put string back in joggers.

3. Make the elastics on your joggers tighter

You may find that the elastic waistband or the elastic bands around the ankles on your joggers are too loose and need to be tightened. If you want to tighten the elastic bands on your joggers, carefully follow the steps below. 

  1. Cut an opening along the vertical seams on the side of your waistband or ankle band. Make sure you cut an opening from the backside so that it is not visible. 
  2. Use tweezers or a clothing pin to pinch the elastic. 
  3. Pull the elastic tighter, so that it is protruding out of the opening in the fabric. 
  4. Tie a knot, fold, sew or use clips to lock the excess elastic in place and make the band tighter.  
Make the elastics on your joggers tighter

4. Shrink joggers in the washing machine or dryer

One of the best ways to make your joggers tighter is by utilizing the washing machine and dryer. The high levels of heat in both the washer and dryer will work to shrink your joggers and make them tighter. Hot water shrinks clothes, it’s a fact!

Before you toss them in the dryer, learn how long does a dryer take & how hot does a dryer get.

Follow the instructions below to make your joggers tighter by using the washing machine and dryer. 

  1. Turn your joggers inside out to protect the outer surface of the fabric while in the wash.
  2. Place your joggers into the wash.
  3. Add liquid laundry detergent if you wish.
  4. Adjust the settings on the washing machine to the highest heat level possible. 
  5. Adjust the wash cycle to the longest duration possible (how long does a washer take). 
  6. Run the wash cycle.
  7. Once finished, remove your joggers and place them into the dryer. 
  8. Adjust the tumble dry settings on the dryer to tumble dry high and push start. 
  9. Periodically check your joggers to observe the shrinkage.
  10. Remove when finished, fold before putting away.
this is a photo of joggers in the washer

For exact step-by-step guide on how to shrink joggers, follow these illustrated steps.

5. Shrink joggers in boiling water

Heat shrinks clothes and there’s nothing hotter than a pot of boiling water! Follow the steps below to shrink your joggers by using boiling water. 

  1. Fill a pot or basin with water and bring it to a boil. 
  2. Carefully submerge your joggers into the boiling water. 
  3. Allow the joggers to remain in the water for 8 to 15 minutes depending on the level of shrinkage you require. 
  4. Once finished, carefully remove the joggers from the boiling water and let them cool. 
  5. Wring out the excess water and dry flat, line dry, hang dry or place into the dryer if you require additional shrinkage. 
this is a photo of boiling water to shrink joggers in

Learn more on how to dry your joggers without a dryer.

How to Make Joggers Tighter at the Bottom

If your joggers are too loose around the ankle you can either cuff them or adjust the elastic band, both techniques will make joggers tighter at the bottom.

1. Cuffing your joggers

There are two ways to cuff your joggers.

The first way to cuff your joggers is simply by folding the bottom of your joggers up by 6cm to 10cm, and then folding from the bottom once more until the cuff edge is flush and align. 

The second way to cuff your joggers is by using an elastic band. Find an elastic band and place it around the cuff approximately 3cm-6cm from the bottom hem. Roll the joggers up over the elastic band and tuck the excess fabric in behind. Cinch the edges until your cuff is flat and even. 

Fold your cuff any amount until your find how long you want your joggers to be.

this is a photo of cuffed joggers

2. Replace the elastic band at the bottom

To replace the elastic band in the bottom of your joggers please review the following instructions: 

  1. Make a small slit on the inside of the back of your jogger’s pant leg. 
  2. Use a pair of scissors to cut and remove the elastic band inside the cuff of your joggers. 
  3. Attach a safety pin to the new strip of elastic you will insert to the ankle cuff.
  4. Work the elastic into the hem and around the inside of the cuff. 
  5. Work the elastic around the cuff until it once again reaches the opening from the other side. 
  6. Sew the ends of the elastic band together at your desired level of tightness. 

Don’t try these with your other pieces of clothes though, be sure to follow each clothing guide separately.


You can tighten joggers by sewing them, adding a drawstring to the waistband, or by using the washer and dryer to shrink. The method you use to tighten joggers will depend on the type of fitting issue you are having. 

The best way to tighten joggers around the legs is by either having an alteration or by using the washer and dryer. If your joggers are far too big you may need to cut away excess fabric and sew. If your joggers are slightly too big then you should try to shrink them by using the washer and dryer.