How to Measure Your Pants Size

Views 2 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
How to Measure Your Pants Size

Measuring an accurate pants size is imperative for people who are in the market to buy new pants. With sizes varying greatly between manufacturers, one brand's size small may have the same measurements as another brand's size large. Coupled with the fact that certain brands have implemented "vanity sizing," this makes finding an accurate pants size daunting.

Generally, men's pants sizes are easier to determine using measurements than women's pants sizes. However, it is possible to get correct measurements for both sexes by determining a reference point and making sure correct measurements are taken. Making a little extra effort before a purchase is made can help users avoid choosing the wrong size and then having to return items. With the way clothing sizes can vary these days, it is almost impossible for someone to try to guess their pants size accurately, and it is not always possible to try on pants before buying. Even if a certain size is worn in one brand, the sizing can be completely different for another brand.

Tools Required to Begin Taking Measurements

As with any task, it is important to have the proper tools that are required to perform the task efficiently. If accurate results are desired, taking the time to gather the right tools is well worth the effort.

Tape Measure

A tape measure is more than likely the most obvious tool needed to effectively measure pants size. Cloth tape measures are the most common type of measuring tape used by seamstresses to accurately get a good measurement, followed by vinyl tape measures. It is important to note that both cloth and vinyl measuring tapes can stretch as they age, and this can lead to inaccurate measurements. For this reason, it is important to measure old or worn measuring tapes against a ruler or yardstick before using them to take clothing measurements.

Sizing Chart

Having a sizing chart available as a reference point for comparing measurements is a good idea. A size chart is available online for men, women, and children to help users find the correct size needed. It is important to realize that this chart is only a reference and that actual sizes may vary by brand. If there is a specific brand of interest, a brand-specific guide may be requested from the seller or from the manufacturer to act as a guide.

Full-Length Mirror

Having a full - length mirror available during measurements is not essential to get correct measurements, but it is certainly helpful. If a full-length mirror is not available, one can be purchased fairly inexpensively and also used for many other purposes for years to come.

Another Person to Help Measure

Having another person doing the measuring can save users a lot of aggravation when they are trying to get accurate measurements. It is necessary to stand straight with arms at the sides to get accurate measurements, which is impossible for someone to do alone. Trying to obtain measurements alone makes the results inaccurate, and this makes calculating the proper pants size impossible.

Taking Measurements

When all the necessary tools are obtained and the measurements are ready to be taken, the proper way to take pants measurements depends on whether a man or a woman is being measured.

Properly and Accurately Taking Pants Measurements on a Woman

With the way clothing is sized these days, taking pants measurements on a woman may be overwhelming. However, with a few simple steps, it is possible to obtain accurate measurements.

  1. The woman to be measured should be dressed in undergarments or lightweight clothing, and she should stand with her feet slightly apart and her arms down by her sides.
  2. The first measurement to be taken is at the smallest part of the waist. The tape measure should be wrapped around the smallest part of her waist, and it should be snug to the waist without being too tight. The waist measurement should be written down to make sure it is not forgotten.
  3. The next measurement to be taken is at the hips. The measuring tape should be placed around the hips at the widest part of the hips, again making sure that the measuring tape is snug to the body without being too tight. The hip measurement should be written down.
  4. The inseam should be measured by placing one end of the measuring tape at the crotch and extending the other end of the measuring tape down to just below the ankle of one leg. The inseam measurement should be written down.
  5. Taking the measurements that have been recorded, users can then compare these measurements to the sizing chart that was already obtained. The numbers are convertible into women ' s pants sizes, such as size 2, size 4, size 6, size 8, et cetera. If standard numeric sizing is not available for the brand of pants desired, the measurements should translate into size small, medium, large, et cetera.

If the measurements do not quite match up with the sizing chart, users can take the hip measurement number and compare it to the closest size, aiming for a size that is slightly larger than the hip size. This is important due to the fact that even if the pants are slightly big in the waist, a belt can be worn. However, if the hip area is too snug, the pants cannot be worn at all.

It is also important to note that all women are built differently, and if the woman has a larger waist size than hip size, then the waist size would need to be used instead to ensure a proper fit.

Properly and Accurately Taking Pants Measurements on a Man

Taking pants measurements on a man is usually a little easier and more accurate to relate to sizing than taking measurements on a woman. The basic steps involved in taking a man's pants measurements are about the same as taking them on a woman, but relating them to a correct size is simpler because of how men ' s pants are sized.

  1. The man to be measured should be dressed in underwear or lightweight clothing, and he should wear his shoes. He should stand up straight with his feet slightly apart and his hands at his sides.
  2. Waist measurements should start at the area of the waist where his pants normally sit and should be measured around his waist snugly without being too tight. This is his waist measurement, and it should be written down to make sure it is not forgotten.
  3. The inseam measurement is taken by placing one end of the measuring tape on one leg at the crotch area and measuring down to the length that he would like the bottom of his pants leg to sit on his shoes. The inseam measurement should be written down.
  4. Measurements can be matched up to the sizing chart that was selected, and the closest size to the measurements gathered can be chosen. It is better to round the size up instead of down, if necessary, to ensure the pants fit properly.

Buying Pants on eBay

Buying pants from an online source, such as eBay, generally means a large selection is available, and this can be a convenient way to find exactly what you want in a pair of pants. However, buying online also makes it even more important to have proper measurements and a sizing guide available that pertains to the brand of pants of interest in order to know the correct size needed.

Searching for Pants on eBay

Searching for pants on eBay could not be easier. Simply type the desired phrase into the search bar and browse the results. Simple, generic phrases, such as "pants," return numerous results. To narrow the results to match the type of pants desired, try entering more specific terms like "women ' s cargo pants" or "men ' s dress pants" for a selection that more closely fits your needs.

While purchasing a pair of used pants may be economical, it is important to check with the seller on the sizing because of the possibility of shrinkage from washing and drying. Although the item may be listed in excellent condition, it may be beneficial to have the seller measure the waist and inseam of the pants up for bid to determine if shrinkage has occurred.

Bidding with Confidence

When the perfect pair of pants has been found, it is time to place a bid. Placing a bid on eBay is not only easy, but the fact that eBay has many secure payment options makes purchasing through eBay a safe option.

Seller's Feedback

Every seller on eBay has a feedback score that is associated with his or her account. Sellers receive positive feedback from positive transactions and negative feedback from negative transactions. It is important when looking for items to find sellers with positive feedback scores. Luckily, many of eBay's sellers are considered Top - Rated Sellers, which helps ensure that the service received is the best available. Sellers work hard to obtain this standing, and, in return, they receive benefits for continuing to maintain their good standing.


Taking the time to accurately learn how to take pants measurements is a must for determining a truly accurate pants size. Without knowing an accurate pants size, purchasing pants, especially from online retailers, can be a difficult and potentially unsatisfying experience. Considering the added convenience of shopping online, as well as the possible savings from a greater ability to "shop around," it is more than worth a few minutes of effort to determine the correct size to order.

Tools like tape measures, sizing charts, full-length mirrors, and helpful assistants are all necessary to determine the precise body measurements that are used to determine correct pants sizes. For women, the critical measurements are the waist, the hips, and the inseam. Men's sizes also require waist and inseam measurements, but hip measurements are not a determining factor for men's pants sizes. Sizes can vary by brand, but accurate measurements combined with sizing charts can often help buyers ensure that their pants purchases are good ones.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides