Last week, I put my Dry Clean Only trousers in the washing machine. I didn’t think anything of it – labels are there to be ignored, right? Surely, being washed in a washing machine is one of the funnest times in a pair of trousers’ life. Who am I to deny them that pleasure.

I didn’t realise that they’d shrunk that much until a few days later, when, walking down the corridor in the office, I heard laughter behind me, and then one of my female colleagues giggling, (in Japanese) “Joseph, you look really silly. Your trousers are much too short!”.

She was right. They were.

It was time to resurrect the Ultimate Clothes Stretching System, patented by myself back in January 2005 following a cotton trouser shrinkage incident, and developed further in November 2005 to save my favourite blue jacket from a life of being too short.

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How to Stretch Your Dry Clean Only Trousers that you Put in the Washing Machine.

1) get them wet again. I decided to just handwash them again in the sink.

2) Get three coathangers, a few bits of string, two tuppas, water, and a pack of stationary clips.

3) Fill the tuppas with water until they are suitably heavy

4) Attach a tuppa to the bottom of each trouser leg with string. This is done by clipping the strings attached to them to the legs using stationary clips.

5) Attach the third hanger to the top of the trousers. I recommend using all of the belt clips so as to avoid putting too much strain on any one part of the trousers.

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6) Hang up over the bath. Leave overnight.

The results are amazing! Mine regained at least 4 inches, without the use of any man-made chemicals (…as would have been used at the dry cleaners).

I urge you to try this technique should you have similar shrinkage problems.

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