Why Are People Showering in Their Jeans? 'Hack of the Year' Explained

In the latest episode of the internet making people do strange things, people are now showering in their jeans. However, there is a good reason.

According to the internet, it's a full-proof method of making jeans fit again—whether they're purchased second-hand or simply old jeans that no longer fit.

The hack was brought to TikTok's attention by vintage reseller Lily Schoknecht, who found it from her grandmother. Despite her nana unsurprisingly not being on TikTok herself, she's managed to turn fashion lovers on the app into a frenzy.

Schoknecht explained in a video with over 3.9 million views that she purchased a pair of second-hand jeans in a size 10, making them slightly too small for her. Initially she marked it a "tough loss," but her grandmother wasn't prepared to simply let them go like that.

"She was like 'have you showered in them yet?' and I was like 'what? No, I haven't showered in my jeans!" said Schoknecht in the video,

Her grandmother instructed her to "shower in them, wear them around the house, stretch them out a little bit, and then let them air dry and don't put them in the dryer again."

"This morning I put them on after air drying and like, they fit perfect," said Schoknecht. She explained that she kept them on for 30 minutes after the shower and advised using a towel to pad out any extra tight areas.

Schoknecht's grandmother has been doing the trick since she was young with her sister, but used to use a bucket of warm water to soak them before putting them on. She told her granddaughter, however, that showering in them is far easier.

When it came to washing them after a few wears, Schoknecht said they kept their new size but reiterated to not throw them in the dryer and let them air dry from then on.

Schoknecht and her grandmother might have made this hack a viral hit, but it's been somewhat established within the denim industry for a while now. In 2015, Levi's Vintage Clothing's Paul O'Neill told GQ that he wears his new jeans in a bath to get the best fit.

"First, I buy my jeans the correct size in the waist (rather than size down) and a little longer in length (one or two inches). Then, I'll wear them for a few days before climbing into a warm bath in them and soak for 20 minutes," he said.

"Once soaking is over, I slip out of the jeans and let them dry in the sun. This shrinks the jeans to your body shape."

That's not to say it's accepted by everyone. Co-owner of denim retailer SelfEdge, Kiya Babzani, told Put This On in 2013 that it's a "terrible idea" that can lead to stretching in strange places. "The idea that you should wear your jeans in a bathtub is a terrible idea. It's not only uncomfortable, but it stretches out the jeans in unnatural ways. It creates knee-bagging and pulls at the hips, giving you hip-flare."

That being said, most of those trying out the hack are doing it on their already owned jeans, meaning it's either this or no longer wearing them. For those who have tried it online, it appears to have worked and has quickly become a TikTok-approved technique.

TikToker @bokutotellini tried it out by bathing instead of showering and gained over 400,000 views. For her, it was a huge success and after two tries took them from a size 8 to a size 12.

After the first attempt, they were left a "little looser" and more "comfortable" but the second time she stretched them out while waiting for them to dry, performing squats in the denim.

@cicidoingthings also dubbed it "worth it" in her video, in which she managed to make them finally fit from a 28 wait to a 31. The jeans went from being unable to button up to doing it comfortably, though she did admit it felt "weird" and like she'd "peed herself" while doing them up.

This is something to bear in mind if trying it out yourself, as TikTok user @wetsadnoodle completely bathed in her jeans and suffered a not-so-pleasant experience when requiring a bathroom break. Her dilemma gained over 2 million views, making it more popular than her video on the process itself.

She did however claim the process left the jeans moving over her hips easier and not feeling quite as tight on top, but still too tight overall.

Bathroom breaks in jeans are tricky enough as it is, when dripping wet it's even harder, but it might just be worth it to give your old jeans a new life.

"Sustainability hack of the year," ruled Schoknecht.