Pants Measurement Guide

A Few Tips Before You Start

  • Take measurements while only wearing underwear, a bodysuit, or other close-fitting clothing.
  • Always hold your tape measure level across your body; tilting it up or down will throw your numbers off.
  • Don’t pull the tape measure too tight, or leave any slack — this will help get accurate numbers.
  • You can take your own measurements, but you’ll get the most accurate numbers if you’re standing naturally with your arms down, looking straight ahead. So recruit a helper, if you can!

10 Key Pants Measurements

1. Waist

Your natural waist is the smallest point around your middle. The waist measurement is taken as a circumference measurement around your waist just above your belly button. Stand in a relaxed posture and breathe out.

2. Belly

The belly is the point around your upper butt and across the fullest point of your lower belly (it will likely cross your belly button).

The belly measurement is taken as a circumference measurement around your waist at the widest part.

3. Hip

The hip is just above your crotch.

The hip measurement is taken as a circumference measurement around your hip at the widest part.

4. Upper Thigh

Measure the circumference around your thigh, just below your crotch.

5. Thigh

Also measure the circumference of your thigh at the midpoint, between your crotch and knee. This, along with the upper thigh measurement, will help you make sure your pants fit well through the thigh, as you may find you need to blend between sizes.

6. Calf

Measure your calf around its fullest point. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step; calf sizes can vary dramatically, even among two people who wear the same pant size (not to mention one calf could be bigger than the other).

7. Ankle

If your pants are designed to be fitted at the ankle, this is a pretty important number. Measure at the point where you want the pants to hit.

8. Length

To measure pant length, you need to take note of a couple places. First, measure the distance down the side of your body, from the waist to where you want the pants to end when hemmed.

Then, measure from the crotch to that same spot.

Finally, put on the shoes you plan to wear with the pants and see if the length you’ve selected still works. If not, adjust accordingly.

9. Crotch Length

Start with the tape measure at the waist, bring it down under your crotch, up around the curve of your butt and back up to the waist in back.

It’s key to include any curves of the belly and butt into this measurement; otherwise, your pants will feel too snug.

10. Crotch Depth

This is the distance from the waist to the crotch. Again, be true to your curves to make sure it fits correctly.