How to Measure Waist for Pants: Men’s Guide

This is how to measure your waist for pants sizing.

How to Measure Waist for Pants

Waist + Waistband

To measure your waist for your pants start by using a sewing measuring tape (flexible.) With your feet slightly apart, place the measuring tape above your belly button at the smallest part of your waist. Relax your stomach and wrap the tape around your waist. Keep the tape snug, but not tight, and ensure that the tape measure is parallel to the floor.

This is How to Measure Waist for Pants: Men’s Guide.

Welcome to our guide on how to measure your waist for your pants correctly. 

Take these steps below to order your next pair of jeans online confidently or tailor a pair of slacks at home that doesn’t fit exactly how you want. 

Tools needed to measure your waist:

  • Sewing tape measure

How to Measure Waist for Pants

1. Use sewing tape

Using a sewing measuring tape (flexible.)

This is a photo of flexible sewing tape

2. Put the tape above belly button

Place your feet slightly apart, put the measuring tape above your belly button at the smallest part of your waist.

this is a photo of tall paul placing sewing tape above his belly button

3. Wrap the tape around your waist

Relax your stomach and wrap the tape around your waist.

This is a photo of Tall Paul wrapping sewing tape around his waist

4. Take the measurement

The number you come up with where the ends meet, is the measurement of your waist.

This is a photo of the exact measurment of your waist

How to Measure Waistband for Pants

If you have a pair of pants that fit you perfectly in the waist, you can skip the step of measuring yourself and instead measure the pants waistband.

1. Choose a pair of pants

Choose a pair of pants that fit your waist best. Jeans, slacks, dress pants and joggers will all work.

This is tall paul wearing a good fitting pair of pants

2. Lay the pants flat

Zip up the pants and lay them down on a flat surface.

This is a photo of pants being laid flat

3. Measure the waistband

Using the sewing tape, measure the waistband from one end across to the other. 

This is a photo of measuring the waistband of pants

4. Multipy that number x2

Take the number from step 3 and multiply it by two. That is your waist measurement. 

How to Measure Waist for Pants: Tips

  • If you want a higher-waisted pair of pants, wrap the measuring tape accordingly under your belly button.
  • If you want a low-rise pant, wrap the measuring tape just above the top of the buttocks.
  • If you want ‘normal’ sitting pants, measure from the top of your butt to your belly button and place the tape precisely in the middle.
  • Do not suck your stomach in when making the measurement. Stand in a neutral position
  • Make sure to keep the tape snug, but not tight, and ensure that the tape measure is parallel to the floor.
  • Grab a friend to help if possible.

Find our other guides to help you make precise measurements as you build your wardrobe.

How to Measure Waist for Pants FAQ

To measure yourself for pants size you will need to take these 5 measurements: inseam, outseam, waist, hip, thighs. With these measurements you can then check the brands size guide.

A 36 inch waist size for men usually is a Large pants size. This all depends on the brand size guide however.

Written and reviewed by:
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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