How to Measure an Inseam

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If your tailor's not around, you'll have to take your measurements solo.
If your tailor's not around, you'll have to take your measurements solo. (Image: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

If you have to provide your inseam for a clothing order, giving an inaccurate measurement can result in a disastrous pair of pants; for bottoms that fit just right, nailing this measurement is key. The inseam is a mercifully straightforward measurement to get -- all you need is a minute's time and a flexible measuring tape.

Step 1

Remove your shoes and socks and don a pair of well-fitting pants or simply undertake the task in your underwear. Stand on level ground with your feet flat, spaced about 6 inches apart.

Step 2

Position the beginning end of the measuring tape right at the bottom of your foot, inside the leg. Hold the tape's tab in place under your foot or enlist a partner to hold the tape down for you -- the starting point should be right where your foot meets the floor.

Step 3

Stand straight up and hold the tape so that it runs up the inside of your leg. Record the measurement from the floor to the point where the tape meets your crotch -- this is your inseam. Typically, you'll need the number in inches and can round up odd measurements to the nearest half inch.

Tip

  • In a pinch, you can measure the inseam of a pair of pants that fit you well instead of on your body. Lie the pants down flat and measure the distance from the bottom of the hem to the crotch on the inside leg.

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