How to Know the Proper Fit for Women's Trousers

Written by jinnene foster
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If you often find yourself confused about how to select the proper fit in women's trousers, try to focus on two factors. First, it's helpful to determine which type of trouser and fit you're targeting. Trousers are manufactured for slim fit, boot cut, wide leg, capri and flare, to name a few of the most common fashions. Second, take your body's measurements prior to shopping to ensure purchasing a fit that is custom tailored to your body and style.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Take the proper measurement. To determine your fit in trousers, measure lengths for your waist, your hip and your inside seam. Record the three measurements.

  2. 2

    For waist measurement, use a tape measure to pull around your natural waist. Hold the tape in place tightly, but comfortably. You don't want your trousers to prevent you from breathing naturally. It might be effective to wear whatever type of underwear you will wear with the trousers you select, as underwear could affect your measurements slightly. You can likely take a solid waist measurement reading yourself, though you might also find it useful to ask someone else to take the measurement for better accuracy.

  3. 3

    For hip measurements, wrap the tape measure against the biggest part of your buttocks around to the front part of your thighs. Again, hold the measure tightly, but not so taut that you cut off any circulation in your legs. Trousers should brace your body loosely in order to accentuate your natural curves. At the time of taking hip measurements, you may want to wear whatever underwear you will later wear with trousers. As with waist measuring, you can take hip measurements yourself, but having someone else take this measurement might be easier, and can contribute to greater accuracy.

  4. 4

    To measure your inseam, hold the tape measure at the top of your inner thigh, and pull it to span the length of your leg down to your ankle. You can determine here how long you like your trousers to fit. For women that wear heels, wear the shoes when you take your measurements to avoid selecting trousers that are too long or too short. Conversely, if you wear flats often, measurements can be taken without shoes or with shoes that contain flat soles.

  5. 5

    Bring a tape measure with you when you visit a store, and measure the trousers to fit appropriately. Take note of the sizes recorded in each store you visit. For example, one store might coincide with your measurements to represent a size 6, while another store will represent these same numbers as a 7 or an 8. Such possible disparities should caution you to find exact measurements if you buy items online.

  6. 6

    Use one custom-fitting pair of trousers as a guide for your ideal. After you have taken your measurements, and have found one manufacturer's style and size to work for your body, use this as a gauge for other trousers that you purchase down the road. If you don't know what attributes to avoid in trousers, stick with trousers that fit your measurements.

Tips and warnings

  • A flattering fit in trousers will not be too long or too short, will not grip the buttocks but gently lay against it and will not ride too high up in the crotch.
  • It's often helpful to look on a manufacturer's website for exact measurements so that you know what size you take in their brand.
  • When shopping online, be mindful that sizes of trousers may not fit your style, though a website reflects your measurements. It's possible that you prefer the look of a trouser that contains measurements slightly off from your proper measurements. To avoid poor fits to your style choices, visit a store to see yourself in the pair of trousers prior to purchase.

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