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    Shrinking a large sweater for better fit...

    So I ordered a sweater recently that was on sale - this was before I discovered Dappered and other similar men's forums and began to realize that some of my disappointment in my clothes is largely due to how they fit (more specifically how they don't fit). Needless to say I ordered said sweater in the usual size, large but turns out that I'm really a medium. So the sale is over and the sweater is sold out in the medium and now I'm disappointed because, as you can imagine, it fits a little long in the arms and slightly baggy through the chest. By people's standards on this and other similar forums- I suspect the consensus would be it's too baggy and I should size down. So now I'm thinking maybe I can shrink the sweater to get a better fit. It's a 90% cotton, 5% merino, and 5% some other type wool. The label says "dry clean only".

    My problem is, I've never regular hot washed and dried anything that's "dry clean only" so I don't really know what could happen. Although it was on sale, I would hate to ruin it. Anybody have any experience in this area and know what the likely outcome would be? Frizzed out? Stretched out? Shrinking it to a child's size?

    #2
    Your mileage may vary, but I washed a Gap sweater I needed to shrink in hot water and lightly dried it. It shrank, and then I pulled the arms to my fit. The sides fit as I wanted them to--no kiddie size--and I was pleased. Just be gentle with the cycle you're washing on.

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      #3
      Thanks! I searched around the web as well- seems like the hot water/hot dry or a flat dry - but using a slow and deliberate method seems to be the two schools of thought. Didn't really see a lot about the effects of on a "dry clean only" type of garment. I guess I'll have to do more searching on that as well- Thanks for the input!

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        #4
        Can you return it for something else? Or a refund?

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          #5
          I'm considering *experimenting* with one of my sweaters too. I'll keep ya posted if I get the guts to actually try it, and any results that I find.

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            #6
            I used "cold wash" with "hand wash" setting on my machine once for my dry clean sweaters, and they usually provide enough to slim down my sweaters rather than using warm wash.

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              #7
              @foodie - That's a good idea and thanks for the insight- I was a little worried as to what might happen.

              @duvel - I considered returning it- certainly be the safest route but turns out I really like it and since I'm working on resetting my wardrobe without spending several hundreds of dollars per piece- shrinking seems like the best option if it works the way i want it to. I'll either be a hero or a zero at the end of this experiment...

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                #8
                well, if that's an affordable option for you... . But as you've learned, fit is everything. Myself, I'd rather get another item that fit better, even if it meant giving up something I really liked. I have too many examples of things I really liked and got in the wrong size (before, like you, I realized what my true size is)--and those things either hang in the closet, have gone to Goodwill, or make me think when I'm wearing them, this isn't quite right.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Acousticfoodie View Post
                  I used "cold wash" with "hand wash" setting on my machine once for my dry clean sweaters, and they usually provide enough to slim down my sweaters rather than using warm wash.
                  Acoustic, what was your *dry* procedure with that wash? Lay flat? Or did you actually machine it?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by yoyorobbo View Post
                    Acoustic, what was your *dry* procedure with that wash? Lay flat? Or did you actually machine it?
                    I laid flat to dry. Machine Drying will shrink it massively. I wanted to do least invasive first so decided on cold wash handwash setting first. MaxMan I believe shrinks his "dry clean only" sweaters by putting it in the dryer and letting it run for a few minutes and stopping to check every few minutes or so.

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                      #11
                      @Duval- you're right... I'm on the fence with this one...

                      @acoustic- I'm thinking of doing the dryer thing too- at least for a few minutes to get some of the moisture out and then flat dry... any need to put it in a laundry bag or am I going too far?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by ajk170 View Post
                        @Duval- you're right... I'm on the fence with this one...

                        @acoustic- I'm thinking of doing the dryer thing too- at least for a few minutes to get some of the moisture out and then flat dry... any need to put it in a laundry bag or am I going too far?
                        I suppose putting it in a laundry bag couldn't hurt lol. Wool is interesting in that when I handwash wool moisture just wicks away. My wool usually comes out almost perfectly dry

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                          #13
                          That's a good point- since this is 90% cotton I'm thinking that the dryer will help in this hybrid process,

                          I have another sweater, a Barbour, that has a similar problem- bought the large instead of the medium -and that is 100% wool. But I'm rationalizing to leave that alone since that is suppose to be next seasons hunting sweater - not that pheasants and quail really care if my sweater fits me- and I don't want it to be too tight or constrictive. The sleeves on that one are the ones that are a little too long- body seems to be pretty good.

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                            #14
                            An update to my idea of shrinking the large cotton/wool blend sweater... I did the cool water and then used the drier in conjunction with flat drying. Seemed to work ok- didn't ruin anything- certainly made it fit a bit more snug while the sleeves seem a lot shorter as well. The overall length seems to have shrunk but still a little long at the waist - bottom hem covers my jean pockets by about an inch so not ideal but when I raise my arms up it's not rising up to my stomach either. I wore it with a wool coat and noticed once I took the coat off that the sweeter sheds- not sure if this was the case prior to washing or if washing has done this to it. I can't say that I notice anything on my shirts or if it's just a function of the wool against the cotton/wool blend. My long term hope is that it stops doing this- I read somewhere people noting that some of their sweaters will stop shedding after wearing them for a while. Since it's a cable knit and a style that I do not already have I'll hold on to it until I upgrade to something better in the future when I see a 100% wool one that I like better, I guess I'll rule the experiment a *success* but with reservation since the sweater sheds and I don't know if was doing this prior to the washing or if this is a result of washing a "dry clean only" sweater.
                            Last edited by ajk170; February 17, 2013, 02:20 AM.

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                              #15
                              ajk170 thanks for the update. I don't think the shedding is due to washing your Dry clean garment tho; many people handwash dry clean only clothes themselves. Glad to hear that it did shrink a bit.

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