How To Measure Outseam

When it comes to buying clothing online, knowing your measurements is crucial to ensure a perfect fit. While many people are familiar with basic measurements like chest, waist, and inseam, there is one measurement that often gets overlooked – the outseam. The outseam measurement is particularly important when it comes to pants and trousers, as it determines the length of the garment from the waistband to the hem. In this article, we will guide you through the process of measuring outseam accurately, allowing you to make informed decisions when shopping online.

What is Outseam?

Outseam refers to the length of a garment, usually measured from the waistband to the hemline. It is an essential measurement for pants and trousers because it determines how they will fit and whether they will be the right length for your body. By understanding how to measure outseam correctly, you can ensure that the pants you purchase will be the perfect length, avoiding any unnecessary alterations or returns.

Tools Needed for Measuring Outseam

Before diving into the process of measuring your outseam, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools. Here are a few things you will need:

  1. A flexible measuring tape: This is the most crucial tool for measuring outseam accurately. Make sure it is long enough to measure from your waist to your desired hemline.
  2. A mirror: Having a mirror nearby will enable you to see where the hemline should fall, ensuring a more precise measurement.
  3. A sturdy surface: You’ll need a flat and sturdy surface to stand on while taking the measurement.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Outseam

Now that you have all the necessary tools, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of measuring outseam:

Step 1: Find Your Natural Waistline

The first step in measuring outseam is to locate your natural waistline. This is the narrowest part of your torso, typically above your belly button and below your ribcage. Take your measuring tape and wrap it around your waist, ensuring it is level all the way around. Mark this point with your finger; we will reference it later in the process.

Step 2: Put on the Pants

Put on the pants or trousers you want to measure. Make sure to wear the appropriate undergarments and any shoes you plan to wear with the pants, as this can affect the measurement.

Step 3: Stand Upright on a Flat Surface

Stand straight on a flat and sturdy surface, such as a hard floor. It’s essential to maintain a natural posture during the measurement process to ensure accurate results. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed.

Step 4: Measure from Your Natural Waist to Desired Hemline

Take the end of the measuring tape and position it at your natural waistline, which you marked earlier. Let the tape fall along your body, following the outer side seam of the pants. Hold the tape taut but not too tight, as this may skew the measurement. Continue to lower the tape until you reach your desired hemline. Check yourself in the mirror to ensure the tape is parallel to the ground and the hemline is at the right length. Make a note of the measurement once you have reached the desired hemline.

Step 5: Double-Check Your Measurement

After obtaining the initial measurement, double-check it to ensure accuracy. Retake the measurement if necessary, making sure to follow the same steps as before.

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Step 6: Record Your Outseam Measurement

Once you are confident in the accuracy of your measurement, record the outseam length. This measurement will serve as a reference when shopping for pants online. Make sure to note whether the measurement is in inches or centimeters, as different retailers may use different systems of measurement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I measure outseam using a measuring tape alone?

A1: Yes, a measuring tape is the ideal tool for measuring outseam accurately. However, having a mirror and a flat surface to stand on can help ensure a more precise measurement.

Q2: Do I need to wear shoes when measuring outseam?

A2: It is recommended to wear the shoes you plan to wear with the pants when measuring outseam. Shoes can affect the length of the pants, so including them in the measurement process will give you a more accurate result.

Q3: How can I ensure the accuracy of my outseam measurement?

A3: To ensure accuracy, make sure to maintain a natural posture while standing and let the measuring tape fall along the outer side seam of the pants. Also, double-check your measurement and retake it if necessary.

Q4: Can I measure outseam by myself, or do I need assistance?

A4: You can measure outseam by yourself using a measuring tape, mirror, and a flat surface. However, having someone assist you can make the process easier and more accurate.

Q5: What if the outseam measurement of the pants I want to buy is too long?

A5: If the outseam measurement of the pants you want to buy is too long, you can either have them hemmed or consider purchasing a shorter size.


Measuring outseam is a crucial step when it comes to buying pants or trousers online. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can accurately measure your outseam and ensure a perfect fit. Remember to record your measurements and use them as a reference when shopping online. With these tips, you’ll be able to confidently find the right length of pants without the need for alterations or returns.