When shopping for jeans, you may encounter a lot of confusing terms. Jeans come in different rises, cuts and fits as well as different sizes. The most crucial part of the process is getting the right size, and that is made much simpler if you know what an inseam is, how to measure it and what to do with that information once you have it.

What Is an Inseam?

On a pair of jeans, the inseam is the seam that runs from the crotch of the pants to the bottom of the pant leg. This is the seam that runs down the inside of your leg to the floor.

How to Measure Your Inseam

To measure your inseam, take your shoes off and stand with your feet flat on the floor. Use a tailor’s tape measure to measure from the place where your legs join your body down to the floor.

What Does This Really Mean?

On men's jeans, the size label usually has two numbers separated by an “X.” The first number on the label indicates the waist size of the pants, while the second one is the inseam. Sizing women’s jeans is a bit more difficult. Most clothiers have a size chart that indicates which inseam measurement correlates to which jean size. Like a man, a woman usually needs to know her waist size in addition to inseam length to ensure a proper fit.