The Problem

At every store, there is no consistency in the different kind of fits that exist in different stores.  Some stores have “straight fit”, “slim fit”, some even have somewhere in between.  Also, the “straight fit” in one store isn’t necessarily the same as another.    Generally speaking, using only the waist and length dimensions do not tell the whole story, and the dimensions in various parts of the pair of pants (e.g. the waist, length, around the knee, around the foot, etc.) are all different depending on the store.  There has to be a more efficient way find a pair that fits well.  My method minimizes the amount of pants that have to be tried on.

The Solution

My solution basically involves measuring out an existing pair of pants that already fit in different places and measuring the same locations on pants that I am considering to buy.  So the caveat here is that, there has to be an existing reference to compare to (e.g. an existing pair of pants that fit well).

I typically measure out the circumference of the pants at these spots and compare them with the pants that I already own

  • Around the knee
  • Around the foot

I don’t bother using a tape measure, and instead I just stretch out my thumb and pinky as a measuring tool to get a rough estimate.

For me, the waist and length have always worked well for me consistently even between stores, so I just use the same waist and length numbers everywhere.

When I find a pair that works well after this comparison, then I try on the pants.  This helps eliminate pants that don’t fit quickly and doesn’t require knowing the difference between “slim”, “straight” etc.  In a way, I’ve essentially added another two numbers to look at before trying on a pair of pants.