Now that you’re fully equipped on measuring a blazer by following this guide, we can move on to the exciting world of measuring pants.
Pants are fairly straight forward to measure, especially when it comes to figuring out your ready to wear size. Retailers typically show size as “30×30″ or “32×34″ where the first number is waist and the second number is pant length or out-seam. As mentioned earlier in blazer measurements, it’s not uncommon for retailers to add in up to 6 inches to pants that are listed as size 30. Don’t believe it? Check out this comparison chart done by Esquire.
Typically, you should expect atleast 1.5 inches of vanity sizing, although the likes of H&M and Zara (European or Asian brands) may have a smaller size bias. Basically, there is no set criteria for vanity sizing as every brand has its own way of going about it.
This is also based on whether the pant is a casual or formal styled pant. For dress pants or pants that come with suits, typically the sizing is based on a “6 inch drop”. This refers to the chest size to waist size ratio, if the chest size is 38, than the pant waist size will be a 32. Casual pants are typically worn 3 inches below the belly button, while dress pants are typically worn at the belly button. Although recent styles show that even formal pants are worn lower, adding to the confusion on size.
The beauty of pant sizing is that it all can be solved with a good belt assuming the pants are slightly loose!
Ensure that you measure while wearing an existing pant that you have that fits you well. This will allow you to see where the pants comfortably sit on you (belly button or 3 inches below your belly button). Here is how to measure your waist.
As mentioned last week, retailers typically size pants as “30×30″ or “32×34″ where the first number is waist and the second number is pant length or “out-seam”. This second number is typically true, the vanity sizing only seems to pertain to width and not height. In most cases, if you’re shorter than average, you’ll have to get your pants continually hemmed. Unlike dress pants which have a solid rule of ensuring there is a “break” (crease) between you knee and ankle, casual pants have no solid rule. Having said that, casual pants look better slightly longer than shorter (unless you’re deliberately trying to rock a semi-hipster in the summer look with no socks. A short, casual pant that is not trying to be ironic will make you look like you’re in a flood.
Ensure to measure to the floor and subtract 1. To be very precise on the length, measure the space from the floor to the cuff (which is the width of your shoe), and subtract that number. Ensure that when measuring, you’re wearing the pants with the shoes that you would typically be wearing the pants with. Here’s how to measure pant length.
The inseam measurement refers to your inner pant length and can be a bit tricky to measure. Unless you’re working with an experienced tailor, its best that you hold the tip of the measuring tape at your crotch where it’s most comfortable. The tape measure then goes down to the floor and again, you subtract one. It’s best to subtract the same amount you did as the pant length. This measurement is typically around 10 inches smaller than your pant length, but not exactly.
The crotch is another tricky measurement. Essentially, the measuring tape must go between your legs comfortably, to measure the front rise and back rise. Typically, your front rise (front waist to crotch) is smaller than your back rise (crotch to back waist).
Thigh & Knee
Thigh measurement is a very straight forward measurement. Simply place the measurement around the highest point at which your crotch meets your legs. A similar measurement is optionally done for the knee (around the middle of the knee), yet it is not necessary since the pants are usually sewn straight based on the thigh width to the cuff width.
The pant cuff is a very important measurement as it determines if your pants are baggy, straight or skinny. This typically ranges between 12 inches (super skinny), regular (15 to 16 inches) and wide leg (17 to 18 inches). Currently, style and trend suit a straight to skinny pant, however this is completely dependent on body type as large thighs will favor a wide leg pant.
The neck measurement is really important as most ready to wear shirt sizing is based on the neck measurement. Thankfully, there is no vanity sizing added to the neck measurement. Retailers and brands understand that a collar should fit exactly and properly when buttoned up and worn with a tie, and so its easier to buy shirts from all brands with one size.
When measuring your neck size, lift up the collar of your favorite shirt and measure around the neck, specifically around the Adam’s apple. Ensure that you leave 2 fingers between the measuring tape and your neck so you account for the room you’ll need to breathe!
Here’s how to measure your neck:
Please refer to the guide to jacket measurements for chest, sleeve, waist, hip and back measurements for the shirt.