To help you select a great-fitting pair of denims everytime, especially when ordering online, we’ve put together this handy guide explaining how to measure for jeans.
When it comes to men’s jeans, size tags tend to follow the same format made up of two numbers - for example 34-30. The first number relates to the waist size, and refers to the measurement of the wearer’s waist in inches. The second number specifies the length of the jeans in inches. This measurement is taken from the inseam crotch to the ankle hem.
Although some brands adopt the same sizing system for women’s jeans, especially traditional denim brands, other clothing retailers in the UK use standard women’s sizes. As a rule, a UK size 6 equates to a 24-inch waist, an 8 is a 26-waist, and so on. Leg length for women’s jeans will either be listed in inches, the same way men’s jeans are labelled, or will simply be tagged as ‘short/petite’, ‘standard’ or ‘tall’.
The most important measurement to take when sizing up jeans is the waistband. To do this, lay the jeans flat on a flush surface and then, using a flexible tape measure, carefully measure the length of the band, from one side pocket to the other. Simply double this number to find the waist measurement. It’s important to remember that different cuts of jeans will have different waist measurements, depending on the rise. So, only use measurements to purchase a new pair of jeans when you are shopping for like-for-like cuts.
This measurement is more significant when measuring women’s jeans due to the greater variation in rise height from cut to cut. To measure this part of your jeans, measure the distance between the crotch seam and the top of the waistband. As a rule of thumb, high-rise jeans are anything over 10 inches, mid-rise are up to 9.5 inches and low-rise are anything 8 inches or less.
The easiest measurement to take, to determine the length of a pair of jeans, use your tape measure to measure from the crotch seam to the ankle hem.
To find jeans that fit comfortably, try to take loose and relaxed measurements. It’s important not to suck your waist in when you are measuring and to avoid pulling the tape too tight, as this will give a false measurement.
As touched upon above, when it comes to measuring leg length for jeans, your inseam is what you need to measure. Although you may be able to carry out the following steps yourself, asking a friend or family member to help is a good idea. To measure your inseam:
1. Stand up straight with your legs slightly parted.
2. Place the top of a tape measure on the inside of one of your thighs, touching the crotch inseam.
3. Pull the tape tight and run it down the inside of your entire leg until you reach the bottom of your ankle, roughly where you would like the hem of your jeans to sit.
4. Note down this length. This measurement is your leg length size.
The short answer is no - it is a common misconception that you should select a size up when purchasing jeans to ensure comfort. On the contrary, there are those who believe buying a smaller size is a good idea, especially when buying skinny jeans. This is because denim and cotton/denim blends can stretch over time. However, we would always advise buying the size that best corresponds to your individual measurements.
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