Do you remember buying that pair of jeans that wouldn’t fit no matter how hard you tried? That is probably because your inseam does not match the inseam of the jeans.
In today’s article, I will answer your question, “What is Inseam and how to measure it?” Armed with this knowledge, you will never buy ill-fitting pants.
What is Inseam?
Inseam measures the trousers’ crotch seam down to its hem. Designers and tailors often take this measurement alongside the waistline and trouser full length whenever they want to make a trouser.
The inseam plays many roles in modern-day fashion. But the most critical role is that it enables you to determine the fit of a trouser, how comfortable the trouser will be, and its versatility.
People commonly mistake Inseam for waist measurement, but it is not. Here’s a video that beautifully shows the difference:
Why is Inseam Important in Cloth Measurement?
Below are some of the importance of Inseam and why everybody should know theirs.
It Ensures Proper Fitting
Knowing your correct Inseam will help you get a pair of pants that will fit perfectly. In the fashion industry, designers utilize Inseam to produce different sizes of pants. And a pair of pants will only work if its measurement matches your Inseam.
Note that different heights and body shapes have different Inseams. If you do not know your Inseam, it will be difficult for you to get a properly fitting pair of pants.
Comfort and Flexibility
A pair of trousers will only be comfortable and flexible with the correct Inseam measurement.
Trousers that are too short or too long are never comfortable or flexible. They hang on your ankle or cover the whole length of your shoe and may cause you to fall if you are not careful. But if you know your Inseam, this becomes one less problem.
It Improves Appearance and Style
Have you ever seen a man wearing a pair of trousers with the hem hanging awkwardly above his ankles? Or a man whose trousers cover the length of his shoes?
Those are not pretty, but thankfully, these are some of the disaster Inseam measurements will help prevent. Other than improving general appearance, Inseam measurement also determines the style of the trousers; tight or loose; baggy or skinny; mom jeans or bootcut.
How Inseam Varies with Individual Measurement and Different Types of Pants
Variation of Inseam Among Individuals
Inseam measurement varies among individuals because of the difference in height and body type. A tall man will have a longer Inseam than a shorter man. Similarly, an individual with long slender legs will have longer Inseam measurement when compared to another individual with shorter legs.
Inseam measurement is also influenced by an individual’s torso length, weight, and general body build.
Variation of Inseam Among Different Types of Pants
Pant type also influences inseam measurements. It’s naive to believe that every pant type has the same inseam, without factoring their material quality or stretchiness.
Different pant types also have different inseams. Skinny and tight pants like jeans and chinos have shorter Inseams. But the flared and dress pants have longer Inseams.
Additionally, the trousers’ circumference determines how long or short its Inseam will be. The wide ones have more extended Inseams, while the narrow ones have shorter Inseams.
Tools Needed to Measure Inseam
- Jeans: The first on the list is a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. It must be perfectly fitting because anything too loose or too tight will give you an inaccurate measurement.
- Measuring tape: A measuring tape is used to read the distance between the crotch seam and the hem of the jeans. Always use a tailor’s tape for this process because it is highly flexible and easy to read.
- Notebook: Using a notebook is highly advisable, though not compulsory. Using a notebook is also more comfortable if you are getting someone else’s measurements.
- Full-length mirror (optional): A full-length mirror is not one of the compulsory essentials of Inseam measurement. But you will have an added advantage if you measure while standing in front of a full mirror.
How to Measure Your Inseam Like a Pro: Step-By-Step Guidelines
Here’s what you should do:
- Put on your best-fitting pants and stand in front of a full-length mirror.
- Stand with your back against a straight wall and place your legs slightly apart.
- Place a notebook between your legs and mark the starting and end point with chalk.
- Once you do that, measure between those two points with your measuring tape. This measurement is your Inseam. Feel free to size up or down once you realize it’s between sizes.
- Repeat the process on the other leg. If you get a similar measurement, you are good to go.
Here’s a video to guide you:
Best Practices When Measuring Inseam
Here are some of the best practices you must stick to for accurate Inseam measurements.
- Do Not Wear Shoes: Do not wear any shoes while taking your Inseam measurement. If you do, you will alter the original measurement because shoes add a few inches to the length of the trousers. But if you cannot remove your shoes, ensure you do not measure beyond the trousers’ hem.
- Remain Straight: While taking the measurement, stand straight and do not slouch. Slouching reduces the length of your leg and alters the Inseam measurement.
- Measure Both Legs: Before you finalize, measure both legs and ensure the measurements obtained on both occasions are identical. If they differ, it can only mean you made a mistake while taking the measurement. You shouldn’t feel bad if this happens, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
- Consult a Tailor: Always consult a tailor whenever you want to measure your Inseam. Although the process is something you can do yourself, a professional tailor will always do it better. This is because they have more insight.
How to Use Your Inseam Measurement To Buy Pants
When shopping for new pants, your Inseam measurement will help you get that perfect fit you desire. Here is how;
- Get The Measurement First: The first step is to get your inseam measurement. You can do this yourself by following the process described above. Or better still, you can employ the service of a tailor or ask the store attendant to help you.
- Go through the Sizing Chart: Ask for the sizing chart whenever you want to buy a new pair of pants. This chart contains information such as the name of the brand, the number of pants available for sale, and the Inseam of each pair of pants. After going through the sizing chart, choose the ones with the same Inseam as you. If you don’t find your exact Inseam measurement, go for the closest option. Most people don’t find their exact measurements, either.
- Check the Design and Fitting: As mentioned earlier, different pants designs have Inseam measurements. Therefore, you should consider the individual design of each pair of pants as you go through that sizing chart. Note that the Inseam of pants with wider circumference is often longer than those designs with narrow circumferences.
- Try to See If It Fits: The final step is to try them on and be sure it fits. This step is as significant as every other step just described. Even if you are sure of your Inseam measurement, always try on new clothes to see if they fit before making purchases. While at it, pay attention to every little detail; the pants length, waistline, circumference of the jeans, and even the colors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Everyone Have the Same Inseam?
That’s not possible. The inseam can’t be the same for everyone. If I have a specific Inseam size, then someone of different gender with varying weight, body type, and height will certainly not have the same Inseam size as me. Plus, tall and slim people have more extended Inseams than their shorter counterparts because of their torsos.
Does inseam size matter?
Yes, Inseam size is way more vital than you think. Unless you’re going for a bohemian or funky style, no one likes wearing oversized or ill-fitting trousers. Inseam helps you to choose the perfect fitting trousers. With the appropriate Inseam measurement, you will never worry about spending money on ill-fitting trousers.
Is the Inseam similar to the waist size?
No. Inseam is way different from waist size. Inseam measures from your crotch down to your hem to help you to choose better-fitting trousers. Waist size, on the other hand, measures your natural waistline so the trousers sit on your waist perfectly.
What if my inseam measurement is between sizes?
If your inseam measurement is between sizes, size up or size down. However, you might be lucky to find brands that make provisions for customers with in-between Inseam sizes.
How does the Inseam relate to height?
An individual’s height greatly influences Inseams. The taller a person is, the longer his Inseam measurement will be, and vice versa.
I hope you found this article helpful and that your question, “What is Inseam and how to measure it?” was answered.
Armed with this information, you can confidently walk into a store and buy jeans for yourself, your friends, family members, and loved ones. Now that you have this information at your fingertips, you can confidently find the perfect pants fit. Happy shopping!
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.