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How to Taper Jeans


How to Taper Jeans

Demin jeans have stood the test of time as the ultimate staple of the modern masculine wardrobe. With many different styles to choose from and individual preferences across colors, textures, and designs it is no wonder many get overwhelmed with choice and then become stuck in the cycle of re-buying the same exact cut and brand. However, once considering the process of jean alterations the average pair can become more personal.  To taper jeans, for example, is to elevate them beyond the mundanity of standard wear, to put a such a small little effort into adjustment retains the comfort and versatility of your favorite pair of jeans whilst creating a subtly sleeker and more sophisticated look through the jean gradually narrowing towards the ankle, making the jeans more fitted without the ‘skinny’ jeans effect further up the leg. 

Although you can buy jeans designed to a tapered style, nothing straight from the store will fit you as precisely well as tapering to your own specific measurements. Simultaneously, if you have jeans that you already love the look, color and comfort of, tapering can be a way of transforming the look whilst extending the lifetime of the jeans to create a custom piece that evolves with your own style. If you are less confident with a sewing machine or would feel safer leaving your favorite pair of jeans with a professional your first step is to consider a tailor.  As tapering is a relatively straightforward process, employing the help of a tailor is inexpensive and typically has a fast turnaround time. However, it is certainly simple enough to do yourself with a little patience. 

The first step to begin successfully tapering yourself is to put on your jeans inside out, rather than having to estimate. Pinch together the excess fabric from around your ankle and lower calf to your desired tightness. Using tailor's chalk or washable fabric marker, draw a line on the inside of the jeans, beginning around the knee and reaching the bottom of the fabric, indicating the desired fit. If you are not a frequent sewer, ensure you allow a little extra room around the calf to guarantee they are not too tight to wear whilst moving or taking off. You can now take the inside out jeans off your body and lay them out to begin pinning. Add the pins across the line you drew to the inside of the jeans so that the fabric is collected and simulates the pinching motion from before. Using a sewing machine and a thread in a similar colour to your jeans sew in running stitch along your drawn line, being careful to gradually remove the pins as you go, before they reach the needle. Once you have sewn to the bottom you can then cut away the excess outside fabric, leaving no less than half an inch after your new seam line. After cutting away you can then sew from the edge of the fabric you have just removed, closing the raw edge, to prevent this fabric fraying use a zigzag stitch. After this tapering process it is important to create a new hem along the bottom of the jeans as the edge is likely now too wide. Put your newly tapered jeans on inside out again and roll up, or ‘cuff’, the jeans to your desired length and pin into place. As before, simply remove the jeans and sew along this line, removing the pins as you do, cut off the excess fabric and zigzag stitch the newly created edges to prevent fraying. You can now invert the jeans to be wearable, iron your hems and try on to ensure the fit is correct.