Question: Pant Sizes?

Ben asks…

Okay, so I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable with myself, I’m finally deciding to buy whatever clothes I like no matter if they are “mens” or “womens”. I have a problem with confidence in buying clothes when I am by myself, though. Anyway, that not what this is about. I have some questions concerning women’s pants size.

I know my waist which is a 6-8 but my leg length I am very unsure of. And when I am shopping by myself I get scared of asking what pants I should buy and what sizes fit me best. I would shop online, but with out knowing my leg size I cannot. my only question is, is this: if I am a mens 30 waist and 34 leg length, what does that make my leg length in women’s? I’m lost and very confused as to what to do in this matter and because of my shyness i am afraid to ask people in the store. please help. Also, these are U.S. sizes, if that matters.

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on March 10th, 2017 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Question: Pant Sizes?”

  1. anta

    I’ve never understood any kind of clothing sizes that aren’t strictly measurements, so I can’t be much help here.

    Would it be possible for you to go to a store and try on some pants? That might help you gauge your size without having to talk to anyone, though I do realise that some stores scrutinise everyone who walks in and that can be horrible.

    Not having a lot of money, I usually buy my clothes used, and count myself lucky if I get the right waist size. If the legs are too long, I use trouser blousers to be able to walk around, but I realise that’s not for everyone.


  2. Jules

    In my experience, women’s pants don’t have inseam measurements, but instead just have petite, regular, and tall (actually I’m not sure what that last category is usually called, because I’m not it). Also, those categories aren’t necessarily just inseam length but sometime other proportions as well (e.g. petite tends to have a shorter rise crotch to waist). Anyway, you end up buying something that kinda fits or is maybe a bit long and then hemming. It’s a pain!


  3. Anonymous

    I had the same issue. what i did is i looked up my own size by comparing online size charts of online stores. or google some size charts, see what inches or mm your size relates to, and then go from these inches or mm to the size in your preferred clothing size.
    and i also found some people to act really strange when you ask for help in a store, and others to be really kind and helpfull. that is partly what shop you go, and partly your own confidence. i found that on days that i was strugling, i would come across more insecure which would make shop staff insecure.
    good luck. clothing the way i want to can be a very empowering thing! enjoy!


    W replied:

    I never developed my musculature and I am Gender Fluid (“M to F”) so I decided to emphasize my feminine side a few years back, without explicitly “crossing” the gender.

    I tend to dress in “masculine women’s clothes.” I feel women’s clothes fit better my body type, I just buy them noting that I am flat chested, so I buy things that look good on flat chests, and I never stray too far into the fem side.

    I have bought a lot of clothes over the Internet, in US and Asian websites, as well as in person at US stores. So I can give you a few pointers:

    As Jules mentioned there are three categories for pant lengths, tall, regular or short. On top of that you may have “Curvy” and “Petite” which basically just means that hip measurements are larger relative to the length of the pants.

    Pants’ lengths are usually limited to 3 sizes, because women-style trousers tend to be “skinny” or show more ankle anyway, so the exact length is not so critical as with a man’s dress pair of pants.

    For 34 inches inseam, that is really tall by women’s standards. In my experience, “Short” pant length corresponds to 29 inches inseam (I’m a size 12 “short”), according to some sellers going by US Standard sizes.

    Note that only a few big-box sellers actually hold fast to those US Clothing Standard numbers (typically Sears/Kmart, JC Penneys, so there is a lot of variation compared to say “Forever21,” not to mention some Asian seller online.


    I strongly suggest getting a tailor’s tape measure, and if possible one that has a centimeter scale as well as inches. Why? Because with all the confusion over international size standards, a lot of online sellers especially in China and Europe and other places, have started posting charts with sizes in centimeters – and that is a really useful piece of info when buying online.

    Now. let’s say you’re not sure if you are really an American Size “8” – I suggest never assuming you’re an 8, unless you actually have bought a size 8 pair of women’s pants or shorts in that brand, and size 8 really did fit.

    Otherwise, (I’m assuming you are “M to F”) consider your hips will be smaller than expected, and your “waist” larger than expected (read below). So from now on you have two different sizes to learn, one for tops and one for bottoms.

    So when looking in any charts provided, you have to discard any correlation to “Waist” because that “Waist” they’re talking about is the Natural Waist (measured near the belly button), which would only be useful if you’re buying women’s high waited pants, women’s skirts or a man’s kilt. Basically for M to F people, their natural waist will always be larger than expected in the charts.

    Instead, when buying women’s medium/low-waisted pants or shorts try to gauge the size of the pants by looking at your “Hip” measurements. That’s the only useful number, really. The only exception to the rule is that every now and then, women’s jeans will be sold with the “low waist” (pelvic bone) measurements and inseam measurements in inches, just like men’s jeans or pants.

    You will have a similar problem with tops: Your “waist” size will not correspond, so discard it. For tops you will have to take into account your shoulder width being greater than expected, so that is the critical size. In any size charts for tops, try to judge the size by “Bust” -OR- if provided, use the shoulder width -typically Asian online sellers will have the shoulder width listed as well.

    I hope this helps



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