Skip to main content

How to Wash Your Levi's 501 Shrink-To-Fits

Get the right fit from your rigid Levi's 501 jeans
Everyone has their preference when buying the Levi's 501® Shrink-to-Fit but the question always looms about what size to buy and how to wash them. Here is your Levi's guide to buying and when it's time wash your 501s®.


Levi's LVC Wash Guide


If you haven't already, check out our blog on all the different fits of the LVC 501s® here. Once you have found the fit that works best for you it's time to figure out the best size to buy. Here are a few things to consider: 1. Are you planning on washing your jeans right away or wearing them for a while? 2. When you do finally wash them are you going to use the tub method or the regular ol' machine wash?


If you plan on wearing your jeans and not washing for a while we recommend buying your 501s® on the tight side (your true size) because they are only going to relax with wear. When you finally do get around to washing them they will have already relaxed out enough that the wash will only bring them back to their original state and shrink a little in length (around 1"). 


Washing your Levi's 501 - How to Guide


If you plan on washing right away buy 1 or 2 sizes up depending on how you are planning on washing them. ** Remember the hotter the water the more the jeans will shrink.** The safest for your first wash is going into the tub with them on because you can't shrink them to less than your size, right? Just hop in the tub with them on, let them soak to your body, and hop out the let them dry and shape. Do some lunges, touch your toes, swing side to side and like magic they'll fit you better than any other jean your have, because quite literally they have been shaped to your body.


If having soaking wet jeans on your legs doesn't sound appealing, just throw them into the wash. If you buy two sizes up you could do a warm wash, but if you do one size up make sure it's on cold wash or they could shrink up too much. 


If you are still wondering about what fit or size is best for you please feel free to email us at or call the store at 718-782-2600 and we'd be happy to assist.



I’m a 42-32 what size should i get to fit me on the 501 stf


I’m a 42-32 what size should i get to fit me on the 501 stf

Alex rodriguez

I want to buy a pair of 501 shrink to fit I normally where 34 waist and 30 length so what size do I get


I wear 40/34 I. Shrink to fit Levi’s. What would I wear in an original fit Levi? Thanks

di Tucci

Lévis 501 Shrint to Feet 32-32

di Tucci

Lévis 501 Shrint to Frey 32-32

kile johnson

Hi I bought a pair of 501but I’m having trouble finding the rite size I got a pair of thirty-five 30 I washed them in cold water and they shrunk to much so if I want to get some that shrink to a 35 /30 what size should I get

fran wulff

After wearing Levi 501’s since the 1950’s,I am wondering what materials are being used in them now? I cannot get the wrinkles out of them after washing them 3 times with extra rinse. I just purchased 5 pair at one time & every pair is all wrinkled. I have always been able to get the wrinkles out in the past but not this time. Material is very stiff & not the same quality. I cannot wear them in this condition. What instructions do you have for removing the wrinkles?

All comments are moderated before being published.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.
Thanks for contacting us! We'll get back to you shortly. Thanks for subscribing Thanks! We will notify you when it becomes available! The max number of items have already been added There is only one item left to add to the cart There are only [num_items] items left to add to the cart