Learning how to accurately measure pant size 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.

The three primary pants measurements are waist, hips, and inseam, but sometimes other measurements such as calf width or hem width are also needed.

In this article, we will shed light on the most used measurement points and explain how to measure for pant size.

How to take body measurements for pants

These are the most common measurement points used in the fashion industry for pants.


Waist circumference

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.

This measurement is different from the waist width measurement, which is a finished garment measurement. The waist width is taken by laying the pants flat on a surface and measuring across the top of the waistband from one side to the other.

Hips circumference

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

When looking at a size chart, your typical shopper will think of their own body measurements. Nevertheless, on some occasions you may want to create size charts based on garment measurements.

If that’s the case, you can still use the measurement points we described in the paragraph above.

There are anyways some measurements which are specific for garments, and they are the following ones.


Pant length

How to measure pant 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.


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

How to measure the rise in pants

Front rise

How to measure 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 the material of your pants 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.

Tips for taking pants measurements

  • Some measurements describe a circumference, therefore all the flat measurements you are taking on a garment will need to be multiplied by 2.
  • Knowing the most common measurements 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.
  • When adding measurements to your size chart, take into consideration that your shoppers will most likely refer to their own body measurements, therefore it makes sense to use body measurements also for your chart.
  • If you prefer to use garment measurements, keep in mind that your shoppers will need to compare your measurements with those of a pair of trousers that fits them well. This process might be tedious and not so accurate for them and they will need indications on how to correctly measure a pair of pants they already own.
  • In both cases you should make sure to specify which type of measurements you are using to help the user have a better understanding of the fit of the pants.

If you want to understand how to take clothing measurements for other garment types, please refer to this guide.

As you already know, 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 size charts to your 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.

Interested in testing Sizefox? Create your free account!