Here's a quick and easy step-by-step guide of how to measure and determine your jean size so you'll feel 100% confident online shopping for vintage jeans and/or pants!
It's really simple - and once you have your measurements down, keep them in your phone notes, and you'll find yourself snapping up vintage threads with ease.
Step One -
Locate and find your very favorite pair of pants - or pants that fit you the BEST.
Step Two -
Grab a measuring tape ( anything works from construction measuring tapes, to yardsticks, or finding a soft measuring tape at your local craft store)
Step Three -
Measure! Make sure you write down the numbers in a safe place so you can easily access them when the time comes.
There are 4 main measurements you will want to take. The first is called the Waist - or referred to as "W" in some online listings. This is across the top of the waistband, usually with the band laying natural - not pulled tight. You will take this measurement across and then double this number. In this pair of Wrangler's I measured 13" - so the Waist will be 26". Always double check that the listing is noting the waist, or the doubled number. If it's under 20" it's usually just across and you will want to double it.
Next measure the Hips. This is the widest part of the jean, and I recommend taking this measurement across jeans laying flat, from the point of the bottom of the zipper. In this pair I measured 16" across, which would be in total a 32" Hip measurement.
Before you measure the length - be sure to check the Rise! *This is super important because the rise determines if the jeans are low-rise, mid-rise or high-rise. Different rises will change how jeans fit you in the waist. Personally I would consider 8" or smaller to be "low-rise" and 9" -10" to be a mid-rise, and 11" or more to be high-rise. This can also vary depending on how long your torso is, and where your belly-button is placed. Everyone is different, and so it's really important to know your RISE so you can ensure a proper fit when ordering vintage jeans/pants online!
The rise is the measurement taken from the crotch to the top of the waist-band along the zipper. These pair of jeans measure 10", so I would consider them to be a "mid-rise" jean.
Lastly - check that inseam (aka Length of the leg). This is measured from the bottom of the crotch on the inside pant leg to the bottom of the jean. This pair of Wranglers measures 30". Honestly, I find 28" to be the magic ankle hitting number. You can of course, always have jeans hemmed, or cut them yourself for that perfect fray!