How to Measure Inseam on Shorts: A Step-by-Step Guide
When the temperature soars, it’s time to break out your shorts collection. If you plan to freshen up your summer wardrobe this year, you may need to order a few new pairs. However, before you click that checkout button, make sure you’ve taken the correct shorts measurements to avoid having to exchange or return your order.
Not sure how to measure short length? The easiest and most accurate way to determine the perfect length of shorts for your height is by measuring the shorts’ inseam. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to measure inseam on shorts so you can confidently order your next pair.
The Importance of Accurate Measurements
Nothing is more frustrating than buying a great pair of shorts online only to find that they don’t fit because you’ve miscalculated your size. Though your shorts must fit around the waist, it’s just as vital that each pair is the correct length. Generally, well-fitting shorts should hit just above or below the knee, depending on your particular cut and personal preference. Shorts that are too long stop at an awkward mid-calf point, while those that are too short leave your thighs exposed.
Taking accurate measurements is especially important for shorts because many styles have low cargo pockets or hem details, making it difficult or impossible to alter the length. Here’s a quick overview of how to measure shorts so you can calculate your precise size and avoid unpleasant surprises the next time you order.
Taking General Measurements
Take a pair of shorts that you already own (that fit well) and lie them on a flat surface. Choose a pair without an elastic waistband and smooth out all wrinkles. Use a measuring tape or ruler to take the following measurements:
- Waist - Button the shorts and measure the waistband from side to side. Double this measurement to calculate the total circumference.
- Front crotch (or rise) - Measure buttoned shorts from the top of the front waistband above the fly to the point where the crotch and leg seams meet below the fly.
- Back crotch (or rise) - Measure from the top of the middle point of the rear waistband to the point where the crotch and leg seams meet.
- Hip - Measure across the widest point of the hips and double the number to calculate the total circumference.
- Thigh - Measure the width of one shorts leg from the side seam to the crotch seam directly beneath the fly. Double the number for the total circumference.
- Leg opening - Measure the opening of the shorts leg from the side seam to the crotch seam at the bottom hem and double the measurement for the circumference.
How to Measure Shorts Length
There are two different measurements needed to calculate length, using the same method as above.
- Length - For total length measurement, shorts should be measured from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the hem.
- Inseam - For inseam measurement, shorts should be measured from the point where the crotch and leg seams meet below the fly to the bottom of the hem.
What is the In-Seam of Shorts?
Of all the shorts measurements, calculating the length of the inseam causes the most confusion.
What is an Inseam on Shorts?
In order to find the inseam on your shorts, you’ll need to locate the seams — lines of stitching that sew the front and back leg panels of fabric together. The inseams are the two seams that run from the crotch of the shorts below the fly to the bottom of the hem. The inseam under the fly will start where all four seams — front seam, back seam, left inseam, and right inseam — meet along the inner thigh. Some styles of shorts do not have stitching along the inseam, but the method for measuring the length of the inseam remains the same.
What is an Outseam on Shorts?
The outseams are the two seams (lines of stitching that sew the front and back leg panels of fabric together) that run from the top of the shorts’ waistband on the side along the outer thigh to the bottom of the hem. Like with the inseam, some styles of shorts do not have stitching along the outseam, but the method for measuring the length doesn’t change.
How to Measure In-Seam on Shorts
Now that we’ve determined what is inseam on shorts let’s take a step-by-step look at how to measure inseam on shorts to ensure a perfect fit.
- Lay your shorts out on a flat surface and smooth any wrinkles. If you have someone who can help you take measurements, you can put the shorts on and stand up, looking straight ahead of you while the other person measures the seam.
- Take a measuring tape or ruler and place one end at the point of the crotch below the fly where all four seams — front and back seams, left and right inseams — meet.
- Pull the tape measure or lay the ruler along the line of stitching on the inside leg of the shorts to the bottom of the hem. If there is no line of stitching along the inside leg, just measure along the inner thigh.
- Use this measurement as the inseam length.
How to Measure Out-Seam on Shorts
In addition to knowing how to measure the inseam on shorts, you may also need to measure the outseam to determine the most accurate size to order. Here are detailed instructions for taking the outseam shorts measurement:
- Lay your shorts on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles. If you have someone who can help you take measurements, you can put the shorts on and stand up, looking straight ahead of you while the other person measures the seam.
- Take a measuring tape or ruler and place one end at the top of the waistband on the outside of the shorts.
- Pull the tape measure or lay the ruler along the line of stitching on the outside leg of the shorts to the bottom of the hem. If there is no line of stitching along the outside of the leg, just measure along the outer thigh.
- Take this measurement as the outseam length.
If you follow these step-by-step instructions on how to measure the inseam on shorts, you can compare your measurements to the inseam details on each of our product pages to find shorts with the perfect fit. Have additional questions or concerns about sizing shorts for men or shorts for women? Contact UNIONBAY for more details!