How to Calculate Pant Size

Written by louise harding
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How to Calculate Pant Size
Armed with your measurements, you can buy a great fitting pair of trousers regardless of the size on the label. (stop image by nutech21 from

Calculate trousers sizes by knowing your body measurements. Body measurements will yield accurate size results regardless of the size assigned to a pair of trousers by a brand or store. Keep your measurements in your wallet along with a tape measure when you go shopping and you'll be armed with the necessary calculations to score a great fitting pair of trousers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Second person optional

Show MoreHide


    Waist and Hips Measurements

  1. 1

    Wrap a tape measure around your waist at the narrowest point, under your ribcage, but above your pelvis. Assume a natural position. According to Clearwater Knits, "At the point where the tape overlaps, pinch with your fingers to record the exact spot." This is your waist measurement.

  2. 2

    Determine your hip measurement by wrapping the tape measure around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks. According to Transprism Shop, "When you wrap the measuring tape make sure it is not too tight or too loose. There should be no gap between the tape and body, but the tape should not sink into the skin at all."

  3. 3

    Write these measurements on paper.

    How to Calculate Pant Size
    Keep your measurements in your wallet. (Black Dress Shoes image by TMLP from

    Trousers Length and Inseam Measurements

  1. 1

    Measure for trousers length in two ways: waist-to-floor and inseam. According to Clearwater Knits, "Wear the shoes and undergarments you will be wearing with the finished garment. Heels affect fit and drape, especially for skirts and trousers."

  2. 2

    Hold the tape measure at your waist, dropping the tape to the floor. Have another person note where the tape hits the top of your foot. This is the overall length of the trousers needed.

  3. 3

    Find your inseam measurement, or the length of the trousers leg required, by placing the end of the tape measure against your inner thigh where your groin meets your leg. Measure down your inner leg to your ankle. This is easier if another person assists. Men's jeans are sized by waist measurement and inseam; size 36x34 means a man has a 36-inch waist and a 34-inch inseam measurement.

    How to Calculate Pant Size
    Jeans are often sized by waist measurement and inseam measurement. (jeans... image by Saskia Massink from

    Crotch Depth and Length Measurements

  1. 1

    Sit on a hard chair while holding the tape measure in your hand. Measure along your side from your waist, stopping at the chair. This is your crotch depth or rise. Many trousers indicate rise measurements to let you know where they'll rest on your body.

  2. 2

    Determine your crotch length. According to New Mexico State University, "Measure from centre front waist through crotch to center back waist. Mark the measurement from the front waist to the centre of your body and the measurement from back waist to the centre of your body."

  3. 3

    Write these measurements on paper.

    How to Calculate Pant Size
    Crotch depth and length let you know where the trousers will rest on your body. (sexy tummy image by Leticia Wilson from

Tips and warnings

  • Look for trousers that have your waist, hips and inseam measurements. If you're choosy about the rise of your trousers, use your crotch depth and length measurements to assist you in selecting trousers. Measure trousers in the store with a tape measure and compare measurements with your body's measurements. Some companies provide size charts allowing you to compare and match your calculated measurements to the numerical or lettered (S - small, M - medium, L - large, XL - extra large) size.

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