Learning how to accurately measure a pair of pants can be helpful, not just if you’re an aspiring tailor, but also if you are planning on offering a new model of pants in your e-commerce store.

The three primary pants measurements are waist, hips, and inseam, but sometimes other measurements such as calf width or hem width are also needed. Knowing these will allow you to more comfortably produce or sell pants that fit perfectly, saving you a lot of time that you would otherwise have to spend dealing with repetitive customers’ sizing inquiries.

In this article, we will shed light on the most used pants measurements. If you want to understand how to take clothing measurements for other garment types, please refer to this guide.

When adding measurements to your size chart, take into consideration that your shoppers will mostly refer to their own body measurements, therefore it makes sense to use body measurements for your size chart. If you prefer to add garment measurements to your size chart, you should understand that for your shopper to accurately interpret your measurements, they would need to compare them with the dimension of a pair of trousers that fits them well.

This process might be tedious and not so accurate for your shopper. In both cases you should make sure to specify which type of measurements you are using in your size chart to help the user have a better understanding of the fit of the pants.

How to take pants measurements

These are the basic standard measurements used in the fashion industry for measuring pants.



Waist circumference is measured by keeping the measuring tape parallel to the floor, and at the narrowest point of the trunk, above the belly button.


Still with the measuring tape parallel to the floor, this is the circumference measurement of the most prominent point of the hips

Leg length

Please note this corresponds to the inseam in the garment measurement. It is taken by holding the measuring tape perpendicular to the floor, starting from the groin and going down until the ankle.

Thigh, knee, calf circumference

These measurements are mostly used in tailoring, but can be useful to give the shopper a better understanding of the fit of the pants on the leg. Each measurement should be taken at the widest circumference of the corresponding point.

How to take finished garment measurements for pants

As we previously mentioned, your typical shopper will think of their own body measurements when looking at a size chart. Nevertheless, on some occasions you may want to create size charts based on garment and not body measurements.

If that’s the case, you can still use the measurement points we described in the paragraph above. Keep in mind that some measurements describe a circumference (hip width for example), therefore all the flat measurements you are taking on a garment will need to be multiplied by 2.

There are nevertheless some measurements which are specific for garments, and those are the following ones.


Total length

Lay the pants flat on their side and straighten them out. Measure from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the pants, following the side seam of the leg.


Equivalent to the leg length of the body measurements, to measure the inseam lay the pants flat lengthwise. Start at the crotch seam and draw a line down to the bottom of the pants.

Front rise

Start at the crotch seam, and measure all the way up to the top of the pants front waist. There can be different patterns between high, regular and low waist pants: the former reach above the wearer’s waist, the latter to the waistline and the third stops below.

Back rise

The back rise is measured from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband along the back seam. If your pants material is stretchy, be careful not to pull it from its original shape.

Hem width

Measure the width of the pants at the very bottom from one side to another. Double the measurement to get the circumference.

A great fit can keep your customers happy and the quickest way to make sure that your shoppers are getting exactly the size they need, is by adding pants measurements charts to your fashion e-commerce shop.

With Sizefox, you can also offer a complete sizing solution to your shoppers. Recommending the right fit to your visitors, you can increase conversions and returning customers. All of this free of charge for you and with a 15-minutes integration.

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