Do American Eagle Jeans Shrink?

Do American Eagle Jeans Shrink? Yes, they do. But, here is the twist; the American eagle jean might shrink when put in the dryer. Although, you have no control over how much it shrinks or if it shrinks evenly, and therein lies the problem.

Breakdown of what shrinkage entails – the cause and effect


To get a clear understanding of what shrinkage entails, let me take you down to where it all started – the production stage. Right from the production stage, the materials have been put under a lot of strain.

Just picture the tugging and pulling that comes with the spinning and close knitting of fibers and you will understand what I am on about exactly. 

The type of fibers and the method in which they are been woven into the finished product are factors that also determine the level of strain to be recorded.

After going through excessive strain at the hands of the manufacturers, they go on to experience a different form of stain this time, from the consumers every time they place them to wash in a washing machine.

The heat and cruel chemical and mechanical action they are made to go through as they wash in the machine further worsens the strain already present in the fibers from the production stage. The constant occurrence of this treatment in no time encourages the clothing to lose form and shrink.

Ever heard of the term; consolidation shrinkage? It is a process whereby there is a visible change in the proportion of the clothing. The aspect of the clothing affected by this process are usually the width, length, and density.

Other effects of machine washing

Now, the machine is not altogether bad for your jeans and cloths in general. But, the harsh reality is that the machine, even though the mode of washing can be regulated, is still not and cannot be as tender as your hand. 

You can get away with the first few washes, but constant washing over a long period of time can have immeasurable effects on your clothing. Some of these effects are:

  • Having the colors of your jean or other clothing fades.
  • Destroying the embroidery or other forms of ornamental decorations on the fabric.
  • Clothes expanding or shrinking. For jeans, you realize that the waists that were once your size seems to hold no longer. 
  • Balls of lint popping out on the surface of fabrics
  • Fabric shedding etc. 
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How you can shrink your American eagle jeans and make them fit to size

It can get a bit discouraging wearing jeans that do not fit. But, fret not. Below are some easy steps to follow if you want to shrink them down to size.

  • Place a big pot of water on the fire and put in jeans to boil for about 30 minutes. You can also use the machine and put it on hot water settings. Please do not apply this method to black jeans as hot water makes them bleed out and fade. 
  • Afterwards, put them in a dryer and set it to work on the hottest settings. 
  • If it still feels loose after completely drying, begin another drying cycle for like 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the method until the jean shrinks to your satisfaction.

Can stretchy jeans shrink?

A lot of people experience their stretchy jeans stretching way more than is desired and are left with no choice but to either toss them away or, give them out to someone bigger as it might likely look better on them.

But, just before you resign to fate, try out these simple tricks that can help in shrinking stretchy jeans to size.

  • Get your bathtub filled with hot water. You don’t necessarily need a detergent for this procedure so, keep them aside.
  • You can place the jeans in hot water. When it gets warm, put them back on and step into the tub. Stay there till the water cools off.
  • Once the water cools off, pull jeans out but, do not squeeze. Place on the line to dry out in the sun naturally. This process helps jeans modify back to your present stature.

Are American eagle jeans durable?

The American eagle jeans are as durable as they are affordable. I know we are not so used to purchasing high quality clothing materials that are affordable and durable at the same time but, the American eagle jeans are clearly an exception.

They can last for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 8 years and above depending on the amount of usage you get out of them and the way you go about maintaining them.

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What jean areas are prone to shrinkage?

Ideally, right from the stages of production, there is usually a reduced level of strain applied to the length. Although, fabric manufacturers might produce differently depending on the brand or style of the jean.

In order words, the length of a jean material is most times, prone to shrink less, unlike the width. This is particularly because there are more projections on the width. The width experiences more action, and more movement compared to the length and that explains why it expands while the length shrinks.

Proven steps to prevent your jeans from shrinking

The better we care for our jeans, the longer we use them and the less damage we cause to the environment by adding to a large amount of waste. We know the jean materials are prone to expand and contract but we can prolong the experience by imbibing one or all of these tips:

  • Wash only when it is absolutely necessary: Jeans are not to be constantly washed. A lot of people are so used to washing their jeans after every use. Stop! You are killing them. You can have a couple of jean trousers so you don’t have to be wearing a particular jean all the time causing you to wash as you wear.
  • Cold water wash is the ultimate: always remember this. I know a lot of people wash using hot water to get stains and disinfect but, unless your jeans are heavily soiled and contaminated, do not use hot water for its wash. Hot water usage can cause it to bleed and lose its color.
  • Shorter wash cycles are better: long cycles are long enough for irreparable damage to be done on your jeans. Short wash cycles are more than enough to get your jeans clean and smelling fresh.


What are the effects of denim shrinking?

The sad part of our jean trousers shrinking is that we do not have any control over where it chooses to shrink. So, while we might not want our denim to shrink, others might want it too but would, unfortunately, be unable to pinpoint the exact areas that it should. This is one of the issues of jean shrinkage. The others are mentioned below:

  • Shrinking at the length: this might be a thing of joy if your jean trousers were previously too long for you that you had to fold them when wearing. But what happens if it was just the right size? It becomes too short and you end up not wearing them anymore. Your jeans are capable of shrinking up to 3% at the length. You can imagine how visible the change would be.
  • Shrinking at the waist: if it stretches in this area, we thankfully have belts to assist us while we wear it still but, if it shrinks? It becomes too tight and totally uncomfortable for us to wear
  • Shrinking at the hips: this can be very unpleasant. When this happens, it seems as though, the entire jean has lost its form. The fit of the jean disappears and the jean no longer interests you to put on again.
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Can I shrink a denim jacket?

This is usually tougher to do than shrinking a jean trouser. This is due to the fact that denim jackets are made more often than with synthetic materials or cotton blended fabrics and not 100% cotton material.

This makes shrinking close to impossible because the process through which it would be carried out (heating) is not compatible with the synthetic fibers and can cause them to be destroyed.

Why would you want to shrink a denim jacket though? The jackets are usually more comfortable when it is slightly big and the fit looks perfect still.

Do American Eagle Jeans Shrink – Conclusion

The American eagle is slowly becoming a staple clothing item in everyone’s wardrobe. This is as a result of the comfort it offers, its versatility, and affordability.

However, even though we can modify to an extent, the AE jeans to our specification, we should try as much as possible to avoid doing it repeatedly to preserve the life of our jeans. 

The only way we can ensure a prolonged life for our jeans is by caring for it the right way as we wear, wash, dry and store them. 

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