A denim background and white text reading "2014 Annual Report Icons & Innovations Levi Strauss & Co."

How to…Make Those 501® Jeans Your Own

Levi Strauss & Co.
October 26, 2010

To really appreciate a pair of Levi’s® 501® Shrink-To-Fit® jeans, you have to make them your own. Because, honestly, no one care wear ‘em like you do, right?

With that in mind, we wanted to share a few tips.

This may not be the easiest start to caring for your jeans, but it gets easier and – in fact – uses less of the planet’s natural resources, namely energy and water.

Step 1 Purchase your jeans in your true size, which for Shrink-to-Fit™ means 1″ larger in waist and 3″ longer in inseam.

Step 2 Wear them out of the store (after you buy them).

Step 3 Live in them as long as possible.

Step 4 Wash them as little as possible.

Step 5 When wash time finally arrives, soak for 20 minutes with a capful of Dr. Bronner’s Soap. Keep in mind, the hotter the water, the more they shrink. To preserve the color, turn your 501™ jeans inside out, replace the warm water with cold water and add a cup of vinegar.

Step 6 Let them drip dry until they are slightly damp.

Step 7 Put them back on – ideally on a warm day or when you can sit by a fire.

Step 8 As they dry, they’ll shape to your body.

Step 9 Enjoy!

Check out the fun poster below. You can even click to download and print!

An illustrated diagram reading "Make them your own Shrink to fit 501® jeans" with the steps 1. Find your true size. 2. Wear them out of the store (after you buy them) 3. Live in them as long as possible 4. Wash them as little as possible 5. When absolutely necessary, soak for 20 minutes with a cupful of Dr. Bronner's Soap 6. Let them drip dry until they are slightly damp 7. Out them back on (hopefully on a warm day or by a nice fire) 8. As they dry, they'll shape to your body. 9. Enjoy!

>> Sign up for our Unzipped newsletter to get the best of the Unzipped blog — company news and views, employee profiles, innovation and sustainability stories, behind-the-scenes, and Archives highlights — sent straight to your inbox weekly.