Wearing pants that fit your body properly creates a shape and look that is flattering to your figure. While men’s pant sizes are typically the same as their waist (and length) measurements, women’s measurements translate to different pant sizes. Women’s apparel sizes can vary from store to store, as well as from manufacturer to manufacturer, making buying the right pair of pants difficult, even if you already know what size you generally wear. Convert your actual waist measurements to determine your pant size. By taking the time to measure yourself and jot down your size, you can avoid buying ill-fitting pants and make pants shopping easier.

Things You'll Need

Remove your pants so that you can take the most accurate measurements.

Use your tape measure to find your natural waist. Your natural waist will be at the top of your pelvic bone, at the smallest part. Use your fingers to locate this curve. Wrap your tape measure around your waist and write down the number of inches you measure on a piece of paper.

Measure your hips with your tape measure. Your hips will be the widest part of your lower body, usually below the top of the pelvic bone and above the point at which your thighs begin to narrow. Wrap your tape measure around your hips and write down the number of inches you measure.

Compare your measurements to the size charts used by stores at which you shop. Request a size chart in person or search online at the stores’ websites.


  • When measuring yourself, keep the tape measure snug, but not too tight.

  • When measuring your hips, stand with your feet together.