Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Buying women's pants can be tricky. Every brand is cut slightly different, and the size on the tag isn't always accurate. It's rare that a pair of pants fits correctly in the waist, hip, and length. If the waist is right, the hips are too loose. If they're perfect through the hips, the length is too long. It gets frustrating to run in and out of dressing rooms trying to find the right pair.

In an article from RealSimple called 14 Shortcuts for Everyday Tasks, they shared a couple of measurement tricks to use when you're trying on pants. One of them piqued my interest. Evidently, the distance from the side of your neck to the tip of your fingers (on an outstretched arm) is about the same length as your inseam. In theory, you could determine if the length of a pair of pants was correct without trying them on. Of course I had to see if that was true, so today I sized the inseam of pants by using my arm.

I used the pants in my closet to perform the experiment, because I knew they were the correct length. Although a good portion of my cold-weather clothes have been put away, there were still a half-dozen pairs of pants hanging on the rod. I held each pair against my outstretched arm, holding the hem between my thumb and index finger. I was amazed to find out the theory was pretty accurate, although I had to stretch my arm out to the point of uncomfortableness. I don't know if that means I have proportionally short arms or long legs.

I can't wait to try this trick the next time I'm shopping for pants.


  1. Let us know how this works for you - we all have the same pant frustrations!

  2. This is good to know, since I managed to put a huge hole in my fav jeans today while cleaning. (right in the butt so there isn't a patch that could possibly hold) So I will be shopping for a pair this weekend. Now I won't spend so much time running to the changing room, thanks!

  3. I hate shopping for just about anything [other than groceries]...but pants are the worst. I rarely wear pants anymore as a result.