What Is An Inseam and How Do You Measure It?

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When buying a pair of jeans or pants, what measurements do you check to make sure that they are the right size? Most people will say that they check the waistline or the hipline measurements.

But there’s another measurement you should consider when buying your pants: the inseam. So, what is an inseam and why should you consider it when buying your pants?

An inseam is the measurement of the distance from your crotch to the ankles. This greatly helps you to make sure that your pants aren’t too long and will fit perfectly depending on the cut you choose. 

I’ll go into more detail on inseams and how to measure them below.


What Is An Inseam? How Do You Measure It?

When selecting pants to purchase, one of the measurements that you should consider is the inseam. It is the measurement that starts from the crotch until the bottom of the hem. The inseam usually varies depending on the cut or style of pants you are wearing. 

Measuring Tape

There are several you can measure the inseam. The first one is to use a measuring tape. Start from the top of your inner thigh and measure in a straight line down to the ankles. 

Start from the top of your inner thigh and measure in a straight line down to the ankles. 


As an alternative, you can use a piece of string and get the length from your thigh to the ankles. Once you’ve got that, you can now measure the string using a ruler. Most prefer this method as it is more accurate than just using a tape measure on your own. 

A friend

Another way is to have someone measure it for you. To do this, they need to stand behind you and start measuring from the middle of your backside down to your ankles. 

How To Check Your Existing Wardrobe For Your Preferred Inseam

You can take the inseam measurement on well-fitting pants that you already have in your wardrobe. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a pair of pants that fit you well.
  2. Fold them in half with the outer leg sides on the same side.  
  3. Lay the pants down on a flat surface
  4. Lift one leg so you have access to the lower part of your pants.
  5. Start to measure the part just below the crotch, and end at the bottom hem. 

This is known as your preferred inseam and is usually measured by many people because of how easy it is to measure especially when you don’t have anyone available to help you measure your personal inseam. 

The inseam measurement isn’t only used for pants, it is a good measurement for shorts too. It helps determine the length of the fabric that covers your legs.

The inseam for shorts usually ranges from 1.5 inches to 11 inches or longer depending on the style. 

Is Knowing Your Inseam Really That Important?

Palazzo Pants

The inseam is a measurement that represents how long your legs are. This can be a good measurement to know if you want to make sure that your pants fit you well. It can help you select pants that aren’t too short or too long that they drag on the ground. 

The inseam is a measurement that represents how long your legs are. This can be a good measurement to know if you want to make sure that your pants fit you well.

When you know your inseam, you can apply it to pants of different styles so that you can select the right pair that fits you well. This is particularly useful when ordering online, and there’s less chance you’ll need your pants tailored or returned because they do not fit you perfectly. 

Aside from that, knowing your inseam will help you achieve the look that you want. For example, if you prefer jeans that bunch slightly at your ankles, then you should get something that’s a bit longer than your inseam. 

In some cases, you might be looking for pants that will graze the floor while you’re wearing your heels. This would be easier to pick if you know what your inseam is (as well as your heel height!). 

When getting your ideal inseam, two factors will affect it. The first is the shoes you are going to wear. Second is the style of pants you are going to wear. 

If you plan to wear heels with those jeans, you might want an inseam that’s slightly longer. On the other hand, if you’ll be wearing sneakers or flat shoes with cargo pants, a regular-length inseam should be chosen so that your pants don’t scuff the floor. 

Is There A Standard Inseam Measurement?

If you are looking for the standard inseam measurement, then you’ll be disappointed to know that there isn’t any. Different brands and designs will have different measurements. Sometimes, the style of the pants comes with different inseam measurements. 

Don’t be surprised to see a different inseam measurement for your skinny jeans and boyfriend jeans, even if they come in the same brand.

They can still differ. 

What’s good about most brands today is that they place the inseam measurements of the pants on the label. Some are written as “27 x 30”. In this example, the waistline measurement is 27 inches while the inseam is 30 inches. 

Although there isn’t a standard inseam measurement, there’s a range that classifies the size of the jeans. Those that have an inseam measurement of 25 up to 30 inches are usually for petite pants. 

Those that have inseam measurements ranging from 28 inches to 34 inches are considered average pants. Lastly, those that have an inseam measurement of 31 inches to 36 inches are considered tall pants. 

Is The Inseam The Same As The Pants Length?

The inseam measurement of pants can help you determine which pants are just the right size — not too long, not too short. However, they are not the same as the pant’s length measurement. 

The inseam only measures from the crotch to the bottom hem. On the other hand, the pant length starts from the waist down to the hem. 

If you are to measure high-waist pants as compared to low-waist pants, the length will be different even if the inseam measurement is the same.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).