Skip to Content

How To Shrink American Eagle Jeans In 5 Steps

December 21, 2022
How To Shrink American Eagle Jeans In 5 Steps

American Eagle has made a name for itself in the denim industry; however, it can be difficult to know your size – despite the size charts. So, can you shrink American Eagle jeans?

Most American Eagle jeans are at least 90% cotton. This means that shrinking them is possible. Using a combination of moisture and heat will give the best shrinking results for American Eagle jeans. 

However, there’s much more to it. Let’s dig deeper. 

Disclaimer: Be wary that exposure to high heat could damage your jeans or shrink them too much.

How To Shrink American Eagle Jeans in 5 Steps

Here’s a step-by-step routine you can use to increase the likelihood of getting the results you want. 

1. Research Your American Eagle Jeans

There’s a huge number of different fabrics out there, and many have their own shrinking requirements.

Therefore, researching your American Eagle jeans is a crucial factor for shrinking them.

The best information to find out when researching your jeans is the material they are made of, the jeans’ size (and your desired size), and the washing and drying requirements.

On top of this, if possible, you should research the washing temperatures, etc., that you should avoid.

Finding out as much as possible about your American Eagle jeans will reduce the risk of damaging them during the shrinking process.

Usually, all the information needed can be found on the label inside the jeans. 

If the necessary information isn’t on the label of your jeans, or your jeans don’t have a label, consider going to the website of the place you bought them from.

More often than not, the information you need is found under “Product Information” or similar.

Despite the large quantity of American Eagle jeans types, many of them are of the same make-up: at least 90% cotton, with the remainder being polyester.

Cotton-polyester blends are very durable and less likely to fade or wrinkle. However, they are also considerably more difficult to shrink. This is due to the synthetic polyester fibers.

2. Put Your Jeans In The Washing Machine

Putting your jeans in the washing machine is the next step of the shrinking procedure.

You should put your washing machine on a high heat setting and put your jeans in for the duration of a cycle.

Additionally, if your washing machine has an “agitation” setting, you should activate it.

washing machine
Image From Deposit Photos

Contrary to popular belief, cotton is more vulnerable to agitation than heat. This means that using the “agitation” setting on your washing machine will really help the shrinking process.

The high amount of heat alongside the agitation of the washing machine will weaken the cotton and polyester fibers, making them more likely to shrink.

3. Use The Dryer

The majority of shrinking will happen in the dryer because of the extreme agitation and heat.

Putting your jeans into the dryer immediately after washing them is recommended as the washing process will have weakened the cotton and polyester fibers already.

You should choose a short cycle (around 10 minutes) and a high heat setting. Checking on your jeans regularly is highly recommended.

By checking on your jeans at regular intervals, you can ensure you get the amount of shrinking exactly right.

Note that there’s always the possibility of damaging your jeans by exposing them to high heat.

4. Iron Your Jeans

Ironing your American Eagle jeans can also contribute to the shrinking process.

Steam irons are better for shrinking clothes than regular irons. As well as this, steam irons are more appropriate for use on high-cotton-content garments, as a regular iron could damage the fibers.

Using the steam iron on your American Eagle jeans is very straightforward.

Simply put them flat on an ironing board and release steam onto them, keeping the steam iron about half an inch away from the fabric.

Doing this can also be an effective way of shrinking specific areas of your American Eagle jeans.

There’s always a risk of injury when dealing with steam from a steam iron, so be extra careful.

5. Try Them On

You should always try on your American Eagle jeans after attempting to shrink them. This will establish whether or not they have shrunk to the size you wish.

If your jeans have shrunk too much, it’s possible to home-stretch them. 

If your jeans require additional shrinking, however, you can re-follow the steps in this post until you reach the desired size. 

(Just be wary that overheating any fabric can be hazardous)

It can be difficult to know if your pants fit well or if they’re too big or small. However, there are a few rules of thumb that can make figuring this out an easy task.

Typically, jeans should be loose enough that they don’t restrict or inhibit movement while still being fitted at the waist.

A good way of knowing if your jeans fit properly at the waist is by seeing how many fingers you can fit between your waist and waistline. Any more than two, and your jeans are likely too big at the waist.

Similarly, your jeans should never be sliding or falling down your waist. This would mean they are too big, and you should consider shrinking them further.

Determining whether or not your jeans are the correct length is also pretty simple. They shouldn’t reveal much ankle. 

In addition, there shouldn’t be any bunching or dragging at the bottom of your jeans – this would mean they’re too long. If your jeans are too long, you can simply cuff them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know the ins and outs of shrinking American Eagle jeans, here are some frequently asked questions to really polish up the topic.

Do American Eagle Extreme Flex Jeans Shrink?

American Eagle extreme flex jeans are shrinkable. Put them in the wash on high heat, followed by a high heat, short cycle in the dryer. You can use a steam iron to finish off the shrinking process.

Typically, American Eagle extreme flex jeans are predominantly cotton, with a small amount of polyester and elastane.

This means that the shrinking method is the same as that described in this post.

However, it may be more difficult due to the fact that there are two types of synthetic fibers in the blend: polyester and elastane.

Do American Eagle Bootcut Jeans Shrink?

You can shrink American Eagle bootcut jeans using high heat and lots of agitation. Washing and drying your American Eagle bootcut jeans is recommended, followed by steam-ironing them. 

Remember that damaging your jeans or shrinking them too much is always a possibility.

American Eagle bootcut jeans are usually made of 90% cotton with a combination of polyester and elastane filling the remainder.

Therefore, to shrink American Eagle bootcut jeans, you can simply follow the 5 steps in this post.


To conclude, you can shrink American Eagle jeans in 5 simple steps. Always be wary that home-shrinking your clothes can result in damage or over shrinking. Therefore, taking your jeans to a tailor should always be considered.