Baggy knees on pants

No, not mine. (Well, let's not go there. If Nora Ephron feels bad about her neck, I feel bad about my knees!) 

Anyway, I'm talking about the knees of jeans and trousers. 

I was raised to do a little "hitch" to my trousers while sitting down to prevent bagged-out knees. So I tend to do it pretty consistently. 

But as the higher waist wider styles become more prevalent in my closet, I'm finding some of them get baggy in the knee no matter what! I would have thought it would be a bigger problem with slim jeans/ pants, but it seems to be happening more with the wide legs. And, if I'm honest, more with the wide jeans than the pants/ culottes. 

The Madewell high waist button fly jean is a good example -- I find I need to wash it more often (and air dry) just to deal with the bagging. 

What's up with that? 

I wondered if it might be due to fabric composition. These particular jeans have much less stretch than some others. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    YES. 100% cotton is the culprit, and I have many of the those. I press between wears instead of washing. It works really well. 

    These are my worse offenders: 

  • Liz replied 1 year ago

    I don't have a way to keep it from happening, so I sympathize! To keep from over-washing, I "debag" my jeans between wears by misting heavily (I keep a spray bottle filled with water), snap-shaking them out, and hanging them by the hems overnight. The next morning, they're back in shape and ready for another wear.

    Perhaps a steamer would do the same thing?

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    my dryer has a steam fresh's fabulous for jeans and solves this issue in between washes...

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    This seems so strange to me. Shouldn’t wider leg pants not pull at all and therefore not bag? I need a physicist...

  • nemosmom replied 1 year ago

    It HAS to be fabric content. I notice this a LOT with my 98-100% denim jeans (mostly boyfriend cuts; two pairs of straight leg).

    It's funny because one pair (98% cotton, 2% elastane) will not only bag at the knees but grow about a half inch in length by the end of the day. Maybe I squat a lot... Anyway, I don't know how to combat it, but I can buy time in-between washes by re-wetting them, air drying, then tossing them in the dryer for a few minutes on low to make sure they are dry so I don't put them away damp (like a combo of kkards and Liz!)

    I imagine steaming them would give the same result.

  • smittie replied 1 year ago

    Well, you could think of baggy knees as being part of the look!
    Yes, my wide leg jeans bag out the most. But I still like them the best. 

  • Sterling replied 1 year ago

    I agree with what RachyLou said.  Why would wide legged pants bag in the first place?  I thought Madewell put out a really good product.  Perhaps I was mistaken. 

  • Style Fan replied 1 year ago

    I haven't noticed this on my pants.  Of course, they may be very baggy at the knees and I am walking around blissfully unaware.  

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Style Fan, I think some people have a higher tolerance for the baggy knee thing. I see it and can't unsee it -- it tends to look and feel a bit sloppy to me. As if the pants aren't hanging properly. 

    I'm weirdly relieved I'm not alone in noticing this...and also delighted with your proposed solutions! Thanks, Angie, Liz, kkards, nemosmom.
    Great suggestions that should save extra wear and tear on the pants. 

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    Oh I'm right here with you.  I HATE bagged out knees on pants - hate it. I noticed it on the new BR jeans and the new Anthro pants, neither of which are cotton though. I'm a pant-hitcher too , btw.  Physics indeed.

  • Karie replied 1 year ago

    I had this happen today! Second wearing of a pair of jeans (Gap twisted hem, 100%cotton) just threw them on and ran out the door - totally baggy knees all day. I felt so sloppy!

  • Irina replied 1 year ago

    I don’t mind baggy knees on my straight jeans, it is a part of the look to my eye.  But I hate it on my two pairs of wider jeans. I’m going to try spraying it with water between wears. Thanks!

  • DJP replied 1 year ago

    I love the steam refresh dryer cycle. Not exactly life changing but close!

  • replied 1 year ago

    Bagged out knees irk me too. Though not enough to stop wearing my offenders. Like Rachy, I didn’t expect loose pants to bag out further.

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