The Perfect Fit: Simple Steps to Figuring Out Your Pants Size

cropped shot of young woman buttoning up her jeans

Are you looking to buy some new pants?

Finding the perfect-fitting pair of pants can be tough. Sometimes, your size can be completely different depending on where you shop. So, how do you determine your pants size?

Check out this guide to discover the simple steps you need to follow to learn your pants size. 

Measure Yourself 

The best way to figure out your true pants size is to measure yourself. Here’s how you can measure yourself:

Measure Your Waist 

To measure your waist, you’re first going to want to grab a soft tape measure and loop it around your waist. Place the tape measure about 4 inches below your belly button.

When measuring, make sure you’re placing the tape measure against your skin and not a pair of pants. If placed against pants or a belt, the measurement won’t be as accurate. 

Also, when measuring, think about how you’re going to wear your jeans. High-waisted jeans are very popular at the moment. If you plan to wear high-waisted jeans, then you should take a measurement above your belly button as well. 

A lot of jeans and pants are sized according to waist measurements. If you’re a woman, sizes typically range from 24 inches to 36 inches. For men, the waist size typically ranges between 30 inches and 52 inches. 

Measure Your Inseam 

You can also measure your inseam to figure out your pant size. 

To do this, you’ll need to stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and then measure from your crotch to your foot on the inside of your leg. If you need to, you can ask someone to help you take this measurement. 

When measuring to your foot, stop measuring wherever you like your pants to fall. You’ll typically see inseam measurements in men’s clothing. 

When taking the measurement, make sure you stand up straight. Instead of bending over to read the tape measure, look in the mirror to see what it says. 

Measure Your Hips 

To figure out your true pant size, it’s also a good idea to measure your hips. To take this measurement, wrap your soft tape measure around your hips where they’re at their widest. 

When measuring, make sure the tape measure isn’t drooping on your back or lifting up. 

Measure Your Thighs

It’s also a good idea to measure your thighs, especially if you’re getting your pants custom-made. 

To measure your thighs, wrap the tape measure around the thickest part of your upper leg. It’s not uncommon for one of your thighs to be slightly thicker than the other. If this is the case, only take the measurement from the thickest thigh. 

Make sure you’re not pulling the tape measure too tight, as this will result in an inaccurate reading. You want it so the tape measure is snug but you can still fit a finger underneath it. 

Once you’ve made all of these measurements, you should easily be able to determine what size of pants you in. Instead of sizing pants based on inches, some clothing stores use more generic numerical sizing. For example, you’ll typically see sizes 0 through 16 for pants. 

If this is the case, the store should still have a converter chart that will show you what size of pants you need to get based on your measurements. 

Measure a Pair of Pants 

Instead of measuring yourself to figure out your pant size, you can also measure a pair of pants. 

To do this, just lay a pair of well-fitting pants flat out on a workspace. Then, smooth them out and button and zip them up before beginning. 

To get your waist measurement, measure the waistband, and double the measurement. For example, if the waistband is 14 inches across, this means that your waist is about 28 inches. 

If the waistband is made from an elastic material, don’t stretch it as you measure, as this will give you an inaccurate number. 

Try Before You Buy 

Of course, it’s always a good idea to try on a pair of pants before buying them to make sure that they fit properly. Here’s what you should pay attention to when trying on a pair of pants:


As a general rule of thumb, you want your pants to fit comfortably on your hips without needing a belt. Whether the pants are high-waist, straight cut, or hipsters, the waistband should be snug without feeling uncomfortable. 

Remember, wearing a belt with your pants should be an option, not a necessity. 

Thighs and Hips 

For both men and women, there should be a couple of inches of wiggle room between the fabric and your hips and thighs, unless you’re wearing skinny jeans. This way, your legs will still have room to breathe. 

To make sure there’s an extra couple of inches of wiggle room, give your pants a little pinch. You should be able to gather just a bit of fabric. 


You’ll also want to note how the pants fit around your ankles. 

Whether you’re wearing cropped, capris, culottes, or bell-bottoms, make sure the length is where it should be. If you can’t easily move while wearing the pants, then the fit isn’t right. 

It’s also a good idea to try the pants from Pink Pineapple women’s clothing on with the shoes you plan to wear them with. This way, you can get an idea of their true fit. 

Are You Ready to Find the Right Pants Size? 

Now that you know how to find the right pants size, it’s time to put these tips into action. Pretty soon, you’ll have a closet full of pants that fit perfectly. 

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more clothing-related tips and tricks.

Vivianne Sterling

Editorial Manager at Beautips. I love street style and I'm always in search of bits of inspiration around me. I also believe in home-made solutions for fitness, beauty tricks and healthy cooking.

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