We get it: finding the perfect jeans is difficult. But aside from recommending the best style for your body type, we’re also here to help you determine your inseam. With careful consideration to your favorite stylish plus size jeans, Dia&Co is here to unlock the secrets of inseams.

What Is An Inseam?

It’s simply the length of your pants from the hemline to the crotch. Though it may seem like a lost art, breaking down the inseam for your cute, plus-size jeans is simple. If the ankles of your jeans are dragging on the floor, or if they never seem to reach down and cover your ankles, then measuring the right inseam of pants for your body will be the key to helping you find jeans that actually fit.

Plus size inseam.

Rise vs. Inseam—What’s The Difference?

Great question. We’ve talked a bit about how to measure your inseam—the measured distance from your crotch seam to your inner ankle down the inside of a pant leg—but what is a pant’s rise all about? The rise is the measured distance from your crotch to the top of the waistband. Inseam is the inner-leg length of the pants, jean or short to your ankle, while the rise will tell you how high your waistband will hit.

Some of the typical rises you can choose from include:

  • Low Rise – where the length from your crotch to the top of your waistband is the shortest. These waistbands will hit just under your hips, showing off your navel. Think: low-rise bell bottoms of the ’60s and ’90s.
  • Mid Rise – where the length from your crotch to the top of your waistband hits your navel or just below. This is the typical rise most pants or jeans default to, as it hits the “sweet spot” on comfort for most people.
  • High Rise – where the length from your crotch to the top of your waistband is the longest. This type of rise hits more at the top of your waist and is typically used to achieve either a nostalgic or lengthy look. Think: mom jeans and high-rise wide-legs.

Why Is It Important to Measure the Rise of Your Jeans?

If you have a pair that you particularly love, you’ll want to know every reason as to why they strike your fancy—which includes their rise. You might love a jean that has a low rise for the sultry feeling it brings, or you might notice that you gravitate toward high rises because you love the long leggy effect they bring to your look. Some people also have longer torsos or curves they might not discover until they measure their rise. Plus, the more info you have on your measurements and the features make you feel comfortable, the better. You’ll start noticing exactly which pants or jeans will make you feel the best and be able to shop for them easily.

How to measure your rise:
1. Sit in a chair with your back totally straight. 

2. Find your waist where it intersects with your navel and place the measuring tape at that central location—but on your back. 

3. Measure from the waistline down the center of your bum and locate where the tape measure stops at the seat of your chair. 
This number is your personal measurement for your typical mid-rise pant. From here you can dial up or down in inches depending on whether you’re looking for a high rise or a low rise.

How To Find The Right Inseam Length By Height

Now that you know your inseam measurement as well as your rise measurement, let’s talk about how to use them in relation to the jean styles you need to build your denim wardrobe. Your inseam length is not the same as the length of the pants, and your height has a lot to do with finding the correct fit. You’ll need to use your height to find the right inseam, depending on the pant and jean style you’re after. Whether you’re into cropped jeans, wide-legs that hit the floor or ankle-length skinny jeans, this table will help you figure out your inseam sweet spot based on your height.

If you’d like jeans and pants that are longer or hit the floor, go for styles that feature the outside figure from the above table. Want them shorter? Go with the shortest possible inseam length from the above table. 

How to Measure an Inseam

Tools to Get Started:

  • Your favorite pair of cute plus size jeans (that fit you super well) 
  • Measuring tape 
  • A flat surface (a table will work perfectly)
  • Your fingers
Learn the ins and outs of your plus size jean in-seam | Dia&Co

Step 1: Break Out Your Favorite Jeans

Most people have that favorite pair of jeans that hugs their body just right, if these plus-size jeans are the perfect length, you can use them to determine the inseam that’s right for you. This method will also work with any pair of pants that are a great length on you. Find a flat surface with enough space for your jeans and lay them out.

Learn the ins and outs of your plus size jean in-seam | Dia&Co

Step 2: Fold Your Stylish Plus-Size Jeans in Half

For the most accurate measurement, fold your jeans (or pants) so one leg is laying over the other and the backside of your pants are facing up. Make sure that the crotch of the jean is not folded under, but is pulled out.

Learn the ins and outs of your plus size jean in-seam | Dia&Co

Step 3: Smooth the Jeans

To get the best inseam measurement, place your index finger between the two pant legs, using your finger, gently pull to stretch out any folds in your plus-size jeans. You’ll want the jeans as taut as possible to prevent wrinkles or folds.

Learn the ins and outs of your plus size jean in-seam | Dia&Co

Step 4: Measure the Distance from Crotch to Hem

For this next step, you’ll need your measuring tape. Using the tape, measure the length between the point of the crotch (where you pulled taut) to the hem (the end of your pant leg).  Don’t worry about the curve of the leg, as there’ll be a gap that the measuring tape is accounting for (see image). This measurement simply captures the distance between the crotch and the hem.

Record the number on the measuring tape near the hem of the jeans and you’ve found your perfect pants length and mastered how to properly measure an inseam. If you like to wear heels with a pair of bootcut jeans, you might want a longer inseam. If you are looking for ankle jeans or capris, you might prefer a shorter inseam.

Keep in mind that your inseam measurement isn’t determined by your height, as each and every body struts different proportions. This tip will ensure that your stylist is sending the right jeans and pants for your perfect shape.

Take the personalized quiz to learn your body shape, and our stylists will help you discover styles you’ll love.
Exclusive designs to fit all shapes in sizes 14-32.

Photos by Jen Davis; styling by Genevieve Yraola