How to size pants

Written by regina edwards
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How to size pants
Standard sized trousers can be modified to fit any body shape. (measuring image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com)

Clothing manufacturers vary sizes according to brand and style. Take your own measurements to get a customised fit for trousers, tailor your trousers or customise a pattern to sew your own trousers. Many brands have general, regular sizes for women between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-10, with adjustments for the "petite" and "tall" builds. Children's trousers sizes can vary according to body proportions as they grow. You can save money and widen your options by purchasing standard-sized trousers and tailoring them to fit your body measurements.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the following dimensions with a loose hold on your tape measure:

    Natural waist

    Top of foot to crotch (for your inseam measurement)

    Natural waist to top of foot (for the overall length)

  2. 2

    Write down the following measurements:

    Height

    Waist

    Inseam

    Length

  3. 3

    Check whether your height measurement puts you in the "regular" build category by comparing your height and waist measurements against your brand's size chart. For example, JC Penney's men's size chart for a regular build (of height 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11) is:

    Regular small: Waist = 28 to 30 inches

    Regular medium: Waist = 32 to 34 inches

    Regular large: Waist = 36 to 38 inches

    Regular extra large: Waist = 40 to 42 inches

    Regular extra large: Waist = 44 to 46 inches

  4. 4

    Check whether your height measurement puts you in the "tall" build category by comparing your height and waist measurements against your brand's size chart. For example, JC Penney's men's size chart for a tall build (of height 6 feet to 6-foot-3) is:

    Tall medium: Waist = 32 to 34 inches

    Tall large: Waist = 36 to 38 inches

    Tall extra large: Waist = 40 to 42 inches

    Tall extra large: Waist = 44 to 46 inches

  5. 5

    Measure your pant leg according to your inseam and length. Fold and hem accordingly.

  1. 1

    Measure the following dimensions with a loose hold on your tape measure:

    Natural waist

    Hips

    Top of foot to crotch (for your inseam measurement)

    Natural waist to top of foot (for the overall length)

  2. 2

    Write down the following measurements:

    Height

    Waist

    Hips

    Inseam

    Length

  3. 3

    Compare your height measurement against the "build" category in your brand's size chart. For example, JC Penney's misses size chart has the following build categories:

    Petite: Height = 4-foot-11 to 5-foot-3

    Regular: Height = 5-foot-3 1/2 to 5-foot-7 1/2

    Tall: Height = 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11

    Ultra tall: Height = 5-foot-11 1/2 to 6-foot-2

  4. 4

    Compare your waist and hip measurements against your brand's size chart according to your build category. For example, JC Penney's misses size chart for regular, tall and ultra tall builds uses the same size chart:

    Size 0 (extra small): Waist = 24 inches and hips = 34.5 inches

    Size 2 (extra small):: Waist = 25 inches and hips = 35.5 inches

    Size 4 (small): Waist = 26 inches and hips = 36.5 inches

    Size 6 (small): Waist = 27 inches and hips = 37.5 inches

    Size 8 (medium): Waist = 28 inches and hips = 38.5 inches

    Size 10 (medium): Waist = 29 inches and hips = 39.5 inches

    Size 12 (large): Waist = 30.5 inches and hips = 41 inches

    Size 14 (large): Waist = 31 to 32 inches and hips = 42.5 inches

    Size 16 (extra large): Waist = 33.5 inches and hips = 44 inches

    Size 18 (extra large): Waist = 35.5 inches and hips = 46 inches

    Size 20 (extra large): Waist = 37.5 inches and hips = 48 inches

  5. 5

    Measure your pant leg according to your inseam and length. Fold and hem accordingly, if needed.

  1. 1

    Measure the following dimensions with a loose hold on your tape measure:

    Natural waist

    Hips (for your seat)

    Top of foot to crotch (for your inseam measurement)

    Natural waist to top of foot (for the overall length)

  2. 2

    Write down the following measurements:

    Height

    Waist

    Seat

    Inseam

    Length

  3. 3

    Compare your child's height, waist and seat measurements to identify the "build" category in your brand's size chart. For example, JC Penney's kid's size chart has the following guidelines for build categories according to frame and body proportions for boys and girls (note: the difference between the waist and seat can be greater for girls):

    Slim: Small frame and thin body where the waist is about 5 to 6 inches less than the seat

    Regular: Average frame and proportions where the waist is about 4 to 5 inches less than the seat

    Plus or husky: Fuller body in proportion to height where the waist measurement is greater than 27 inches and is about 4 to 6 inches less than the seat.

  4. 4

    Compare your child's waist and seat measurements against your brand's size chart. For example, JC Penney's kid's regular (build) size chart is:

    Girls size 7 (small): Waist = 23 inches and seat = 27 inches

    Girls size 8 (small): Waist = 23 inches and seat = 29 inches

    Boys size 8 (small): Waist = 23 inches and seat = 27 inches

    Girls size 10 (medium): Waist = 24 inches and seat = 29 inches

    Boys size 10 (medium): Waist = 24 inches and seat = 28 inches

    Girls size 12 (medium): Waist = 25 inches and seat = 31 inches

    Boys size 12 (medium): Waist = 26 inches and seat = 30 inches

    Girls size 14 (large): Waist = 26 inches and seat = 34 inches

    Boys size 14 (large): Waist = 27 inches and seat = 32 inches

    Girls size 16 (large): Waist = 27 inches and seat = 36 inches

    Boys size 16 (large): Waist = 28 inches and seat = 34 inches

  5. 5

    Measure your pant leg according to your inseam and length. Fold and hem accordingly.

Tips and warnings

  • All brands vary slightly in sizing. Check the sizing chart for your specific brand or store (such as Gap or Old Navy).
  • Buy trousers that fit in the waist and rise and take them in (i.e., tailor them) along the leg seams and bottom hem, if needed.

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