What is inseam and How to measure it

Measuring the inseam that runs from the crotch area to the hem of the pant leg is an important criteria when it comes to fitting pants, trousers, or shorts, for determining the length of the garment

Inseam is the short form for the ‘inside seam.’ In pants, inseams are the vertical seams between the legs. The inseam length is the distance from the base of the crotch of your pants to the bottom edge of the legs of the pant. In sewing, the inseam is the measurement you take to determine the length of the pant leg.

what is inseam

When taking measurements on the body for making bottom wear, it is the measurement from the top of the thigh to the bottom of the ankle or wherever you want the hem of the garment to be.

Why inseam is important

 The inseam is a key measurement for pants, as it can affect how comfortable they are to wear and how well they fit. The length of the inseam can influence the look of your pants.

You can make your pants better fitting by releasing or tightening the stitching at the inseam. You can perfect the fit of pants by minor adjustments to the inseam like letting out the back inseam, taking in the front inseam etc. 

When the inseam length is too long, there are two ways to repair the problem – either make a new hem or decrease the crotch area of the pants.

The inseam seam allowance is important in future alterations of the clothing if the fit is a problem. If the crotch area is too tight, you can let out the back inseam at the crotch to make the area loose and make the pants more comfortable. If the crotch length of the pants seems short, you can give some ease by releasing the stitches along the crotch seam on either side of the inseam.

If the crotch area is not fitting, a good way to make it more shapely is to take in the crotch inseam. But this can decrease the inseam length of the pants.

When ordering clothing online, the inseam is a very important measurement to pay attention to.

If the inseam of a garment is too short and tight, the garment will not fit appropriately along the leg and crotch depth of the pant. If the inseam of a garment is too long, You will have some alterations to do to reduce the inseam.

Inseam measurements

The length of the inseam can change depending on the style and type of clothing, the brand, the size, and the way it fits. Even within the same style, the inseam length can vary from one pair of pants made by the same brand to another.

When performing an inseam measurement, it is essential to consider the size of the garment. The inseam on a piece of clothing with a Large size may have a longer length than the inseam on a piece of clothing with a small size, even if both pieces of clothing are the same brand and style.

It is also important to take into account the fit of the clothing. The fit of the clothing can be determined by how tight or loose the clothing fits around the body.

The standard length of inseams in different garments

There is no definitive answer for what the perfect inseam length should be. It really varies depending on your height and preferences. But most brands have a set standard for the inseam length of their clothes. 

measurement for inseam for different pant lengths

For shorts the average inseam lengths can be 4-6″ but this also depends on the length of shorts which varies a great deal.

For capri pants the average inseam length is 19-21″

For straight pants the inseam length is 30-32″

For long pants, boot cut pants, flared pants/jeans the inseam length can be upwards of 32 inches. 

But then again, the inseam measurement of pants can depend on the style of the garment, height of the person and also preferences. Different styles of pants and jeans have different standard inseams. But generally, for normal pants, the standard inseam length for men’s pants is 32 inches, and for women, it is 27 inches.

But there can be variations depending on the style and also the tallness of the person. So there will be a range given for inseams for most brands. The average inseams for full-length pants for men can range from 23 inches to 36 inches. 

Short pants/capri 

The range of inseam length may vary for short pants, according to preferences and the height of the person. Capri pants can have a range of inseam lengths from 21 inches to 28 inches, according to the height of the person. 

Ankle-length pants/ skinny pants

For skinny pants or jeans, the inseam usually is short. The hem ends near the ankle. Standard inseam measurement for short pants can be 26 inches. The average range of inseam lengths is usually between 25 inches to 27 inches for women of average height. But very tall girls may find that these range appears short on them – then the inseams can go up to 30 inches. 

Straight pants or jeans

Straight pants or jeans are longer than skinny pants/jeans. The shortest inseam length for these pants starts at 27 inches and can go up to 34 inches for tall sizes.

Boot cut/flare pants/ jeans

These pants have the longest inseam length. They can range from 28 inches to 36 inches.

How is inseam measured

Taking the inseam measurement on your own can be a challenge. It is best to get the inseam measured by someone else or take the measurement on good, well-fitting pants. I hope you have one, at least with the perfect inseam measurement

To take measurement on a well fitting pant, lay them flat infront of you without wrinkles. Measure along the inner seam from crotch seam to the hem.

To measure the inseam, some basic rules have to be followed

Wear well-fitting pants. When measuring inseam, it is important to fit the clothing as close to the body as possible in order to get an accurate measurement.

Wear the shoes that you normally wear.

Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Keep the measuring tape against the inner thigh, at the crotch. Measure the distance from the top to the bottom leg hem.

Measure the distance from the crotch of the pants all the way down to the bottom edge of the pants (or where you want the hem to be).

For perfect fitting on the back, the inseam measurement of pants is kept a tad shorter than the front to avoid bagging in the back

Inseam measurement can be taken from crotch to floor length. This is a useful measure to take for sewing. Ths standard inseam length in this measure goes like this.

Crotch to floor measurement for 5.2″ height – 29″

Crotch to floor measurement for 5.5″ height – 31″

Crotch to floor measurement for 5.10″ height – 33″.

Related posts: How to measure body for sewing.; How to measure hips

Subscribe to get weekly notifications of posts in your email

Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.