How Do You Read a Pants Size Chart?

A pants size chart has measurements, which typically include the waist and inseam, listed in a column or row that corresponds to each size. Compare these size measurements to your own measurements to determine your pants size. Sizing charts vary depending on the brand.

The waist measurement corresponds to the circumference around your waist at its smallest point. The inseam is a measurement of the top-inside part of your leg to the floor when standing straight. Pant size charts sometimes include a hip measurement, which is the circumference around the widest part of your hips. Women's pants use hip measurements more often than men's pants. An associate at a clothing store can take your measurements for you, or you can do it at home. A tailor or seamstress can alter clothing so it fits you better.

Pants sizes may be classified according to the waist size. Another method uses standard size terms, such as small, medium, large and extra large. Women's pants may use numbers other than waist size to classify sizes.

An alternative to buying pants using a size chart is custom clothing. Retailers that offer custom clothing make the clothes when you order, based off your measurements. The retailer may allow you to send the clothing back if further modifications are necessary.