Can You Shrink a Windbreaker? (How to Shrink a Windbreaker)

When the day isn't too cool and not too hot, light jackets are the perfect clothing item to wear, especially when you need pockets. These jackets add a nice casual touch to your look and you can do just about anything while wearing them.

Can you shrink a windbreaker? When windbreakers are made from natural fibers then yes you can shrink them. When they are made from synthetic fibers then they are questionable and can ruin if you try.

To learn more about shrinking windbreakers, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about before you try this option. Windbreakers are great clothing items for everyday activities and errands, you do not want to ruin them.

What Fabrics are Windbreakers Made From


In this topic, you have to be careful. During our research, one of the websites that we looked at said that only 4 fabrics were used to make this style of jacket. That website stated that the materials were polyester, nylon, micro-polyester, and Tricot (which is a brushed polyester.).

The majority of this type of jacket may be made from those materials but you can still get the cotton version at affordable prices as well. All windbreakers are supposed to be low maintenance. They are also supposed to be lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and fashionable.

You can also get them insulated and non-insulated making them great for those in-between days when the weather is not going to be too cold or too hot. The other positives about windbreakers are that they can give you a sporty look and go just about anywhere at any time.

Of course, semi and formal events may not be appropriate for them. These jackets are a great fashion option when you feel like you are in a carefree mood.

Can You Shrink a Windbreaker?

When your windbreaker is made from cotton and other natural fibers, the answer is yes, you can. Cotton and other natural fibers will shrink on you when not laundered properly or it is their first wash since you bought them.

However, when the jacket is made from synthetic fibers then you are taking a big risk if you try to shrink them. The reaction to the temperatures needed to shrink synthetic materials is not guaranteed and not as consistent as it is with natural fibers.

What that means is that the clothing item can shrink on you and still maintain a nice look or you end up with something only a swamp monster would wear. Polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials do not react well to heat and that is what you are going to need if you want to shrink that material.

This process is hit and miss and you never know what you will end up with. The safest way to shrink your windbreaker would be to have it altered by a tailor. This option will be expensive but at least you do not have to worry about the fit or the look.

The other safe way to shrink your windbreaker is to save the money on alteration and spend it on another jacket that does fit you.

Do Windbreakers Shrink in the Dryer?


Yes, they will unless the jacket is made from a natural fiber. Then it may only shrink the initial time it was dried in the dryer and every time after that it should be okay. But be ready to have the windbreaker not fit after that first wash and dry.

Nylon, polyester, and other synthetic fabrics may shrink in the dryer if you are not careful. They may also melt on you if the dryer heat is turned up too high. The result you get will be due to the quality of the synthetic fibers.

With that said, generally, synthetic fibers are not known to shrink on you. You can try and it will take a lot of heat to get them to reduce their size but when they do, the look may not be so good.

If the jacket is made from synthetic fibers and is expendable, then go ahead and try. You may be one of the lucky ones and your windbreaker may come out of the dryer fitting you like a glove.

How to Shrink a Windbreaker

The first two methods will cost you a little money. Number one, you can have it altered by a professional. But tailors can cost anywhere between $50 and $200 depending on the size of the jacket and what needs to be done.

Number two, you can go out and simply buy a windbreaker in a smaller size. We are not trying to be glib here but providing a little forewarning as you never know what will happen when you try methods number three.

If you do the first two methods, at least you know that you have the item in the color and style you like. The third method involves your washer and dryer. To start you need to check the care label inside the windbreaker.

If the tag says not to wash or dry then look to options 1 and 2 as your shrink methods. If the tag says it is okay to wash, hot water and a high dryer heat are needed. In the washer, you do not need to add other clothing or laundry detergent, unless it is dirty. Run it through the cycle and do not hold back on the heat.

When it is the dryer’s turn, again do not hold back on the heat and when the cycle is over, let the jacket cool before removing it. if you can’t wait to move the jacket from the washer to the dryer to your closet protect your hands so you do not feel the heat yourself.

Shrinking a Nike Windbreaker


Unfortunately, a brand name does not change the facts. If the Nike windbreaker is made from synthetic materials, then most likely you won’t be able to shrink it. All the information we just supplied above will apply to Nike clothing items.

If Nike happens to make one out of cotton then you can but again you need to be careful here. There is no control knob or shutoff switch on the shrinking process. You may get too much shrinkage or you may get too little.

If the latter is the case you can try again but then you may end up with too much shrinkage and the windbreaker will be no good to you. The best thing that can be said is that this is a trial and error process with no guarantees.

Proceed at your own risk and hope for the best.

Are Windbreakers Supposed to be Baggy?

The best way to answer this question is to say, some are and some aren’t. It will depend on the style of the windbreaker meaning that they should be ‘baggy’ if they lean towards an athletic style.

When the style is not towards the baggy or athletic side of the scale, then they may be designed for a more form-fitting fit. Everything depends on the brand producing the windbreaker and their idea of style.

What all this means is that you can find windbreakers in different fits depending on who made them or who is marketing them. Then you may get windbreakers made for those reaching the Plus size.

How do You Wear an Oversized Windbreaker?


Basically, it is up to you how you wear any clothing item, including an oversized windbreaker. The places you do not wear one is at semi-formal and formal occasions or wear suit and ties and dresses are mandatory.

An oversized windbreaker gives you a layer option and you can put a sweater on underneath, a nice shirt, or even a t-shirt. But the rule of thumb is not to wear 2 or more baggy or oversized clothing items at the same time.

If you are going oversized with the jacket, wear more form-fitting clothing underneath. You will get better balance and probably look a lot better than if you wore all baggy clothing items.

Just make sure that you are being practical when you choose this clothing option. Baggy does not necessarily mean or equal warmer. You may be a bit cooler than you thought.

Some Final Thoughts

No matter the clothing item, it is best not to attempt to shrink any clothing item. You just do not have the control you need to make that option fit better. You should have a tailor re-size the jacket or go out and buy a new one.

If your shrinking attempt does not work, then you will be doing those two options anyways.

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