Some styles of pants, particularly suit pants or men’s jeans or other casual pants, are often sold by measurements instead of by numbered size.
These measurements often include the waist circumference and the length of the leg. This makes purchasing pants in the correct size easy, as you can simply measure yourself and select the closest sizes.
However, it’s important to ensure that you’re measuring your pant leg correctly.
Measuring Along the Inseam
Most pants that are sold in measurement increments include sizes for the waistband and the length of the pant’s inseam. This is the measurement of the inside of the pant leg.
To get an accurate measurement, you’ll need to measure from the crotch seam or the high inner part of your thigh to the bottom of the pant leg.
Most pants should fall right at or just above your ankle bone, so you can measure from the crotch seam to your ankle to get an accurate inseam measurement.
Some people prefer longer pants, though, so it’s also common to measure to the top of the sole of your shoe. This is particularly common for jeans.
If you’re not sure you’re getting the correct measurement or you’re not sure about how long you want your pants to be, you can measure a pair of pants you already like.
Simply lay the pants on a flat surface, such as the floor or a table, and measure from the crotch seam along the downward inner seam to the bottom of the pant leg.
This video shows exactly how to measure your pants inseam.
Measuring Along the Outseam
If you’re making a pair of pants, having a pair of pants tailored for you, or just want to purchase pants that fit well, you might also want to measure along the outseam.
As the name suggests, this measurement is similar to the inseam measurement but runs along the outside of the leg.
For this measurement, you’ll want to measure from the very top of the waistband or where you would like the waistband to rest to the bottom of the pant leg.
Ensure Your Measurements Are Accurate
When you’re measuring for pant leg length, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the most accurate measurements, and there are a few steps you can take to do this.
First, you’ll want to wear tight-fitting pants to measure over. This helps to ensure that no bulky fabric adds to your measurement. Yoga or athletic pants are often a good choice.
You’ll also need to make sure that you’re standing up straight and that your legs are not bent. This can make measuring yourself tricky, so you might want to have someone help you so the measuring tape stays straight and even.
You may also want to use a rigid measuring tape, as this stays straight and will often give a more accurate measurement, especially if you’re measuring yourself.
To easily get an accurate measurement, you can place a stiff, flat object, such as a ruler, between your legs and measure from your ankle to that object.
This helps to create a reference point that might be easier to pinpoint than the location of the crotch seam.