The Hack That Turns Too-Big Pants Into A Proper-Fitting Statement Piece

Stretched fabric, weight fluctuations — there are all kinds of reasons for your pants to be too big. But a slightly loose waist is no reason to toss out your favorite pair of jeans or trousers. With a few simple tricks, too-big pants can be worn and repurposed in many styles.


The most "technical" way to fix loose pants is to take in the waist. If you have the sewing equipment and talent to pull that off, kudos to you. For those of you who aren't as skilled with a needle and thread, you still have plenty of options.

You may have already seen videos online of people performing some complicated magic on loose jeans by turning belt loops into buttonholes. As neat as it looks on camera, this method usually produces less-than-fabulous results in real life. For an easier and more attractive way to wear loose pants, try going back to basics and simply folding down the waistband.

Folding the waistband

Folding down the waistband of your pants is the easiest way to get a tighter fit, and it has the added benefit of looking super stylish in an edgy, deconstructed way. Flipping down the waistband is straightforward if you're wearing pants with an elastic waist: the fold will have a cinching effect without taking away from the style of the pants. If your too-big pants have a button closure, it takes some styling to get the desired look.


For pants with a button closure, you can keep the pants fully buttoned and fold down the waist. This is helpful if the pants are quite loose and you need them to be tighter, but depending on the fabric and button style, this might give you a bulkier look than you'd want. As an alternative, you can leave the top button undone and then fold down the waist, thus giving a slightly lower rise and a more unique fashion statement.

Keep in mind that if the inside of your waistband has a different color lining, you'll have to factor this into your outfit. Having a different color at the waist is usually a fun way to break up the line of your clothing, but make sure you like the way it looks before getting your heart set on the fold-over method.


Other loose pants solutions

Folding down the waistband is the quickest and most reliable way to tighten your pants, but you can experiment with other methods as well. For instance, you can wear a belt. Wearing a belt is best if your pants are only a little loose since having to wear a super-tight belt can leave you with an unattractive, wrinkled waistband. You can also play around with more flexible belt alternatives, such as a skinny scarf.


If you want the effect of pants that have been taken in, but sewing isn't an option, one or two safety pins on the inside of your waistband should work well as a temporary solution. Or, if you're open to sewing but need an easier project, you can hem the legs and then have the pants sit lower on your waist, where it might have a better fit.

For the sake of the planet — and your wallet — it's worthwhile to learn how to modify your clothes to make them more versatile and long-lasting. And with hacks as easy as folding down a waistband or using a safety pin, figuring out how to wear loose pants should be no trouble at all.