How to Measure Your Inseam

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How to Measure Your Inseam

A person's inseam is the length of the inner leg, from the top of the thigh to the ankle. It is necessary to know this measurement when buying a pair of pants. Inseam measurement helps ensure an accurate length so that the pants are neither too long, nor too short. Being aware of the length of your inseam makes the buying process easier and the clothes fit more comfortably.


Measuring Your Inseam

Taking an inseam measurement is not hard to do. However, it is helpful to know exactly how to do it in order to get properly fitted pants. The most accurate way to measure is to do so by standing tall against a wall. However, you can also measure the inseam of an existing pair of jeans or pants, if they fit well.

Measure the Inseam of Existing Pants

Many men's pants already have the inseam or length listed on a tag, but most women's pants do not. In order to measure an existing pair of pants, fold the article of clothing in half, the long way. At this point, both pant legs are touching back to back. From here, use a tailor's measuring tape and find the length (in inches) from the bottom of the zipper to the bottom of the pant leg, or the lowest inseam point. If there is no zipper, begin at the fold where the top of the inner thigh is, this is the top inseam point. This process measures from the top inseam point to lowest inseam point. Only use this method of inseam measuring if the existing pant length is to your liking.

Measure Your Inseam While Standing

The ideal method for measuring the inseam is to do so while standing with your back against a wall. This process is easiest with help from another person. While standing tall, have another person use a measuring tape to measure from the top inseam point to the heel, or lowest inseam point. It is important not to wear shoes during the process. However, it is essential for women to consider the length of heels usually worn. It is helpful to add 1/2 to 1 inch to the measurement in order to accommodate for heels.


Shopping by Your Inseam

Once you know your inseam, it is time to begin shopping for the right length jeans and pants. The process is typically easier for men than women since men's clothing comes with the length already noted. However, it is still necessary for both men and women to know what to look for when shopping by inseam.

Men's Pants

The waist size is the first number listed on the label of men's pants. The pant length follows the waist size, and all measurements are in inches. For example, 30 x 32 indicates a waist size of 30 inches and an inseam of 32 inches. Some pant labels use letters to indicate this further, such as 30W x 32L.

Women's Pants

When women shop for jeans and pants, the inseam does not display as obviously as the men's does. Often the sizing shows as petite, short, regular, long, and tall, based on height. Most manufacturers abide by similar sizing charts in order to have a uniform sizing method.


Average Height

Pant Inseam (Inches)

Pant Length Description

Up to 5 ft.



5 ft. 1 in. to 5 ft. 4 in.



5 ft. 5 in. to 5 ft. 8 in.



5 ft. 9 in. to 5 ft. 11 in.



Over 6 ft.




When shopping for the right length pants, it is essential to keep heel length in mind. It may be necessary to purchase pants in a couple of different lengths as a short pair is appropriate for flats and flip-flops, but regular or long is a better fit with heels and boots. It is also important to know that all pant lengths vary slightly by brand. When buying pants made out of a fabric that has a tendency to shrink, it is best to round the inseam number up to the nearest 1/2 inch.


How to Buy Pants on eBay

Shopping for pants on eBay is a straightforward process with seller pictures, detailed item descriptions, and a refinement process. Both men and women have thousands of pant options with a wide variety of colors and fabrics for every shape and size. Enter "women's pants" or "men's pants" into the search bar to see all the listings, and then sort out further by size, brand, style, color, fabric, and inseam. Using eBay to shop for pants is having the largest and most organized retailer right at your fingertips.



Measuring your inseam is a simple, yet essential step to do before purchasing a pair of pants. It is the best way to ensure a good fit every time. Keeping the shoe height in mind, either method for measuring the inseam is useful. In fact, even a child's inseam is measurable using the same methods. Once you have the magic number, it is time to begin shopping for a great fitting pair of pants.


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