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Jeans fit


Well-Known Member
May 5, 2004
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How do you know when jeans are the right waist size?

Sounds like a stupid question, I know, but let me explain. I've always worn my pants on the low side, partly due to fashion and partly because I was overweight. Now, not only do I feel too old to wear my pants that way, but I've also recently lost about 40 pounds.

I'm not used to wearing normal sizes, and most pants I try on feel too tight even though people around me say they are still too big.

I've heard some people say that if you can fit two fingers in the waist then it's the right size, but this can be interpreted in a couple of ways, so I don't know.


Distinguished Member
Mar 3, 2004
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I think they mean two fingers as in you put them in "Al Bundy" style -- you know what I mean?

I think that the best way to know whether they are the right size is when you sit down. If you can sit down and they feel comfortable, then you're okay. Then, stand up and make sure they aren't sagging or anything. Just as important as the waist is how they fit in the hips and the butt.


Senior Member
Jun 13, 2004
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Essentially, you've got five areas to check when it comes to fit: the waist itself, the seat, the front rise (the distance from your crotch up to your front button), the rear rise (distance from crotch up to center back belt loop), and the upper thigh area.

You can have a great waist fit, but the front rise can be too long, making you look like an old geezer with high-waist pants, or hanging too low below your crotch; the rear rise can be too short, causing pulling on your backside that is annoying. The upper thigh is important, because from there down, fits are "styled" into loose fit, straight fits that don't taper, slim fits that follow the skin, etc. But they have to start out right on the upper thigh for you.

Look at the jeans from the top down into the crotch. One of the reasons people like Levis 501 so much is that the circumference is oval in shape, somewhat like the human body. Other companies are round, which very few people are shaped like. So determine your shape as best you can, too.

If there's a lot of odd pulling that doesn't feel right, then the jeans were probably cut off-grain, and nothing can correct bad cutting.

If you find a pair that's close to perfect, then they'll probably fit well after a few wearings, because twill weave denim (not plain weave) will actually mold itself to your particular shape over time.

Anyway, those are some general guidelines. Hope that helps.

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