Men’s pant sizes can be a difficult and tricky thing to understand if you are not used to wearing them everyday. Unlike women’s sizes whose numbers are more related to a small to medium to large size scale, men’s pant sizes directly correlate to the measurement in inches of one’s waist and legs. This is the standard way of measuring men’s pants and it is used for all styles and materials such as denim, khakis, and even dress pants and slacks. For shorts, the only numerical size you rely on is the waist. The length of the short is never given for men’s clothing and in order to figure out where a pair of shorts will fall on you, you need to simply try it on.
Waist size is the most important measurement because it is used across the board on everything from pants to shorts and from children to adults. Waist is measured in inches with most adult sizes ranging from 28 to 42. If you are on the lower end of this spectrum than your waist is very small and you are most likely very thin. If you are on the larger side than you have a larger body frame and a bigger waist. Most male adults fit somewhere between the 30-36 waist category and thus most stores carry pants in this size range. Your waist is measured slightly below your stomach. A good way to approximate this is to find your body’s diameter roughly one to two inches below your bellybutton. This is most easily measured with a tailor ruler that is flexible and can bend in different directions. If you hold one end down in front of your body and wrap the ruler around you should be able to find our waist size. Most pants come in even numbered waists, meaning 30 or 32 or 34 and so on. If you measure yourself and you happen to fall on an odd numbered waist size than you should round up to find your best fit. You don’t want any of your pants to be skin tight as this will hurt you throughout the day.
Inseam is another crucial measurement to take note of when looking at pants. Inseam measures the length of the pants and essentially is the measurement of how long your legs are. To measure your inseam you need to measure from the top of your inner groin to the heel of your foot. Most inseams run in the 28 to 34 range. Again these are solely measured with even numbers just like the waist. If you have shorter legs you will have a smaller inseam. Those with longer legs will fall on the larger side of this range. Inseam is very important because you don’t want to get pants that are too long or short for you.
When looking at a pair of pants the waist is always the first number you will see. For any pair of pants there will be the waist followed by an “x” followed by the inseam.