How To Measure The Inseam

For pants and bottoms, one of the most important measurements you’ll need to find the best pants size or jeans size is your inseam.

There are three ways to get the inseam measurement at the convenience of your home. But how do you know which part to measure? Or what size to put in? Is it done differently if someone else will measure it for you?

In this guide, we will give you a comprehensive look at the things you need to know about measuring the inseam. We’ve also compiled some tips to make the experience accurate, easier and more fun. It’s pretty simple, read below to find out.

What is Inseam?

The inseam is the measurement of the inner side of the pants. It is the length from the crotch to the hemline or the ankle. If your inseam measurement is wrong, the tendency is that your pants will be either too long or too short for you. Luckily, measuring inseam is easy.

Measuring the Inseam

The most convenient way to know your inseam is to actually measure it. Men, have the option to check the label or tag of their existing pants for the inseam. Women’s pants generally do not show inseam measurement.

If you’ll resort to measuring your inseam, you can do it by yourself using your existing pants. Or you may ask someone else to do it for you. Measuring the inseam of children and adult are generally the same. But for kids, it is easier to measure the inseam using their pants particularly the very active kids.

Remember: When measuring the inseam length, you may also need to consider the shoes you will be wearing. The shrinkage of the material is also important, and the style of the pants.

Ways To Measure The Inseam

1. Check the Tag of Existing Pants for Inseam

This technique is used to find the inseam of men’s pants, since the inseam measurement is usually shown in the label size.

The first number in the size on tag represents the waist size of the pants. The second number indicates the length of the inseam. A man’s “36-34” size, for example, would mean the pants measures 36 inches around the waist and 34 inches long from the crotch area to the edge of the pants.

2. Measure Inseam Using Your Pants

Measuring inseam is easy. First, you will need a measuring tape, a pen, and paper to jot down the measurements. You will also need the best fitting pair of jeans as a guide. This will depend on the type of bottom that you will buy with the inseam measurement.

If you buy a pair of jeans, then you should use the pair of jeans which fit you nicely for measuring the inseam. The same rule applies to buying other types of bottoms. Use the perfect fitting pants/khakis/trousers or jeans as the basis for the inseam measurement.

Proceed with these steps after finding the right pants to measure:

  • Lay your perfect fitting pants on a flat surface – get the pair of pants that fit you perfectly. Lay it out on a neat and even surface.
  • Fold your pants in half, lengthwise – from the laid out position, fold your pants with one pant leg over the other. Double check that it is buttoned up and make sure the pant legs are lined up, and the back side is the exposed side. Also, the crotch of the pants must not be inside the fold.
  • Flatten your pants – for an accurate measurement, make sure your pants have no wrinkles. To ensure this, put your finger between the pant legs, then pull gently so that the crotch of the pants will not have wrinkles. Try to smoothen the folded pants with your hands.
  • Measure the length of the crotch to the hemline of the pants – the crotch area of the pants is the part which intersects with the seam along the pant leg. The hemline is the bottom edge of the pant leg. With a measuring tape, get the distance between the crotch and the hemline. Adjust the measurement for the hemline according to your desired length.
  • Jot down your measurements – once finished with measuring the inseam of your pants, write it down a piece of paper.

Remember: Always round up the inseam measurement to the nearest quarter inch. This will give you a slight allowance for more movement. For example, if you measured your inseam to be 34 1/8″ inseam, round it up to 34 1/4″, not the 34″ for inseam.

3. Ask Someone To Measure Your Inseam

If you cannot do it on your own, you may ask someone to help you measure your inseam. Here’s how to do it:

  • Wear tight or body-hugging pants. To make sure you get the accurate measurement of the inseam, it is recommended that you wear a pair of tight pants. You can also wear leggings for the most effect.
  • Do not wear shoes or any footwear. Measuring the inseam means measuring the length of the pants from the crotch area. To ensure that you don’t add the height of the shoe to your inseam measurement, it is better to take the size while barefoot. For some designs of pants, you may need to wear the footwear you will use to easily adjust with the size.
  • Stand up straight with your back flat on the wall. To get the most accurate measurement of your inseam, maintain a good posture while your inseam is being taken. Stand up straight with your back flat on the wall. Avoid unnecessary bending of the knees or other movements so as not to affect the actual inseam measurement.
  • Have your inseam measured from your crotch area (groin) to the desired length. The inseam measurement is the distance between the crotch and the hemline. The hemline is the edge of the pants leg.

Tips in Measuring the Inseam

  • Always remember that your height does not determine your inseam. Everybody has different body proportions.
  • Remember to round up the inseam measurement to the nearest quarter inch. This will give you enough allowance for movement depending on the style of pants.
  • Shoes: add .5 or an inch to your inseam measurement if you plan on wearing high heels with your pants.
  • Shrinkage: add .5 inches to your inseam measurement if the material of the pants that you will buy tends to shrink like. In general, fabric that has loose fibers are more likely to shrink more. Cotton, rayon, and wool are more likely to shrink more.
  • Style: some pants are designed to be shorter or longer like cropped pants, cargo or high waist. Knowing the style will help you determine the right length.
  • There is no one rule for measuring the inseam length, as the hemline measurement will depend on personal preference. Some may opt for shorter cut pants, while other styles are longer.
Remember: Bear in mind that finding your inseam size does not guarantee finding the perfect fit. It is still recommended that you refer to the size guide of the specific brand of clothes which you are planning to buy from.