How to Tailor Jeans in 6 Easy Steps


Collage Vintage

There's one trick to looking better in jeans that's pretty simple: Tailor them. Not only will this help you get the perfect fit for your body, but it's also a guaranteed way to look better in photos. This is especially true when it comes to vintage denim where cuts and styles can vary. So if you find a pair that's almost perfect, a few tweaks are all it takes to turn them into your favorite pair.

To find out tips from an expert, we chatted with Sean Barron, co-founder and CEO of cult denim brand Re/Done. Known for reworking vintage denim into modern styles, he knows the importance of tailoring. He told Who What What, "Any piece of clothing that is customized to your body to fit properly will look more flattering than a generic piece. Denim is no different. For vintage denim, most of the jeans out there are for men, so tailoring them to fit a woman's body definitely makes them more flattering." We couldn't agree more, and we were intrigued to find out his number one tip when shopping for a new pair: "Find jeans that fit your waist. It is easier to change the shape of the leg than to alter the top block."

Keep reading to find out how to tailor jeans, and then shop our favorite styles from Re/Done, Frame, Levi’s, and more.


1. Find jeans that fit your waist. The legs and length can be altered, but it's more difficult to adjust pockets and zippers.

2. Size up. If you're choosing between sizes, err on the bigger side. It's always easier to take something in than let it out.

3. Cuff to the right length. Mark where you want them to stop. Cut them at the hem for a frayed edge, or leave extra room and sew the ankle hems.

4. If tapering, pin along the leg. Turn jeans inside out and trace along the center line.

5. Trace along the pins, then sew your line. This will be your new inseam.

6. Remove the old inseam. Then, flatten the new inseam with an iron.

When in doubt, take them to an expert!

Go on to shop for our favorite denim styles.