There are many reasons you may find yourself needing to shrink your clothes. Perhaps you’ve recently lost some weight and your clothes are beginning to fit a little baggy. If this applies to you, congratulations! You should be proud of your weight loss success, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to some new clothes. Of course, budgets don’t always allow for the shopping spree you’d like to take—so learning how to shrink your existing clothes in the meantime may make more sense.
You may also need to shrink individual garments if you ordered them online and they fit larger than you expected when they arrived at your home. In some cases, you may be able to simply exchange the garment for a smaller size—but some online retailers don’t offer free returns, so you may actually be better off shrinking your clothes than exchanging them or buying a new size.
Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink clothes, the good news is that there are some tried and true methods for making it happen. All you need is a washing machine, a dryer, and an afternoon of your time!
Benefits of Shrinking Your Clothes
Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink some clothes in your wardrobe, there are a number of benefits you can enjoy when you learn how to shrink your own clothes.
Save Money on Buying New Clothes
It’s no secret that buying new clothes can be expensive. If you enjoy the look and style of your current clothes but have simply lost some weight, then learning to shrink your existing clothes can save you a lot of money. Even if you plan on treating yourself to some new clothes the next time you find a good sale or have some extra money to spend, shrinking your clothes can save you some money in the meantime and keep you looking your best.
Shrinking your clothes can also save you money on professional tailoring services that you may otherwise need to use to achieve your ideal fit.
Save Time By Keeping Your Current Clothes
Even if you have the extra cash laying around to buy a few new outfits, shopping for new clothes can be a huge time sink. Traveling to the mall, picking out pieces to try on, and deciding on what to keep versus what to put back on the rack is time-consuming. If you already have a busy enough life and don’t love shopping, the last thing you may feel like doing is looking for new clothes.
Cut Down on Your Environmental Impact
Getting the most use out of your clothes can help you reduce your environmental impact if this is something you’re conscious about. Extend the life of your wardrobe and avoid contributing to unnecessary waste by shrinking your own clothes rather than buying brand-new ones.
Methods For Shrinking Your Clothes
Keep in mind that not all fabrics can be easily or successfully shrunk, but many commonly used clothing fabrics (such as cotton) can!
Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics in clothing today—which is good news if you’re trying to shrink your clothes because it’s also the easiest to shrink. To shrink something that is made of 100% cotton, all you need to do is run the garment through your clothes washer in a hot-water setting. From there, toss the item into the dryer and put it on high heat.
Keep a close eye on the garment as it dries, and be sure to remove it as soon as it has achieved your ideal size. From there, you can let it air-dry the rest of the way.
Shrinking Polyester and Other Materials
Other clothing materials, such as polyesters and blends, may require a little more time and care to shrink to your liking. That’s because these fabrics are usually blended with other fibers to help them retain their original shape and size.
Generally, the best way to shrink polyester clothing and other blends is to wash them in cold water before placing them in the dryer on high heat. You’ll want to avoid using hot water to wash these fabrics because doing so can cause damage to the fibers. While drying, keep an eye on the garment and either switch your dryer to a low-heat setting or remove the garment and allow it to air dry the rest of the way when it has reached the size you want.
When to See a Tailor
If you’ve followed the above steps with your clothing and are still not seeing the results you desire, then it may be time to see a professional tailor. There’s a chance that the material you’re working with cannot be easily shrunk in the wash. Keep in mind also that some garments are “pre-shrunk,” which means they won’t shrink anymore no matter how you wash them. Pre-shrunk garments are becoming relatively common, as they are meant to help protect consumers against accidental shrinkage in the wash.
You may also need to see a professional tailor if you’re attempting to shrink an older garment, as it is possible that it has already gone through the shrinking process and cannot be altered any further without a tailor’s help.
If you’ve never taken your clothing to get tailored before, it’s actually a lot easier and cheaper than you may think. A tailor can help you achieve the perfect fit on nearly any article of clothing, giving it new life. Many tailors offer reasonable pricing and have a quick turn-around time so you can begin wearing your new-to-you clothing with confidence as soon as possible.
Speaking of Laundry…
With all this talk about clothes and laundry, when was the last time you checked all your household chores off your “to-do” list? If you still have cleaning items looming on your list even after you’ve tackled your laundry and shrinking your clothes, then maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a professional cleaning service.
Maid Sailors provides quality cleaning services and laundry service at competitive prices—and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. Whether you need regularly scheduled cleanings or something a little more in-depth, our team of insured and certified professionals is here to serve you.
Find out more about our specific cleaning services offered by giving us a call at (212) 299-5170 or feel free to book your appointment online. We look forward to helping you tackle those items on your cleaning list so you can free up more of your own precious time!