Ever since the pandemic hit, we have been seeing more and more cuffed pant legs. Having pants or skirts hemmed is one of the most common alterations requested, and more and more people are realizing the need for measuring their own inseam at home. This is especially true if you’re wanting to use online alterations services, such as the ones offered at Tad More Tailoring, but is also true if you plan on doing online shopping for pants or you want to avoid changing rooms while in-store shopping. If you are mailing in your pants alterations, you will have to send in your clothing with pins of where you want them altered. You can also include your inseam measurements written on a sticky note if you prefer.
The inseam of pants is the seam that runs from the crotch to the inner ankle, coinciding with the natural length of your inner leg. Remember that this is just a guideline. Not all of your pants’ hems have to hit right at your ankle, at your shoe, or anywhere in particular for that matter! In fact, sometimes it is more fashion-forward to have a larger break or no break at all. A break in a pair of pants refers to the bunching of fabric that “breaks” the straight line of a pair of pants as the wearer is standing up. To read more about breaks, check out this article on the TMT blog. It is not always easy to measure your own inseam accurately so here are three ways to make that task a little easier.
Measure the inseam of pants that fit you well
If you have a pair of pants that fit exactly how you want them to, you can use these pants to measure your preferred inseam. To do this, fold the pants in half, lengthwise. Make sure to smooth or shake out any bumps or wrinkles in the fabric. Lay the folded pants on a flat surface like a countertop or table, making sure that none of the fabric is draping over the edge. Take the top pant leg and fold it up, revealing the inseam on the other leg.
Now take your measuring tape- we suggest a malleable tailor’s measuring tape for the most accurate results. If you don’t have one of these, Tad More Tailoring offers tailoring kits that include a paper measuring tape- just reach out and request one! You can also find them for a couple of dollars at your local fabric store. Once you have your inseam measurement, you can apply it to any pants that need a hem. When mailing in your pants alterations just include your preferred inseam measurement along with the pants.
Measure your inseam yourself using a mirror
If you do not have a pair of pants that have the correct hem, you can also measure the length of your own leg, which is best done at home in front of a floor mirror. To get the most accurate inseam measurement, make sure the tape measure is flush to your skin. Yes, this means preferably no pants!
This is where a tailor’s tape measure is extra handy. While standing in front of a full length mirror, start at your upper inner thigh/groin area, holding the start of the measuring tape firmly there. Let the tape unravel until it touches the floor. While still using one hand to hold the measuring tape at your groin, reach down and pull the tape taught at your ankle. Look at the mirror to make sure the tape is straight and taught then read the corresponding measurement.
Have someone help you measure your inseam
For those of us who are a little less flexible, call in some reinforcements to help you out! Though the ideal person, in theory, to measure your inseam is a trained tailor or seamstress, this is not always possible. A trusted friend or family member, such as a spouse or sibling, can serve nearly the same purpose. While wearing either a pair of pants that fit well or that need to be hemmed, have your loved one hold the tape measure at the top of the inseam and follow it down to the ankle area. It’s still helpful to stand in front of a full length mirror so that you can guide your friend, be able to see where you want your hem, and to make sure they are holding the measuring tape correctly.
If you really want to triple check yourself, you could try using all three of these measurement methods to see how accurate you can get your inseam number. If all else fails, email Tad More Tailoring to set up a Zoom meeting so that one of our skilled seamstresses can guide you through the process. Measuring your inseam doesn’t have to be stressful; TMT is here to help make measuring your inseam simple and painless!