Rack with different pants size and color.

Buying men’s pants without understanding how size measuring works is like ordering a pair of boots online without knowing your foot size. It’s a gamble at best, which is why we’ve prepared this comprehensive A-Z men’s pants size guide, put together to ensure you never second-guess your bottom purchases again.

We’ll go over everything you need to know, starting with US pants sizes you need to be aware of through taking measurements yourself, and everything in between. Whatever they say, size does matter. At least when it comes to your pants.

So, better scroll down and say goodbye to guesswork.

What Men's Pants Sizes Are There? Men’s Pants Size Guide 101

In the US, pants sizes generally range from XS to XXXL. These sizes refer to all of the most commonly worn pants in the States, such as lounge pants, work pants, and jogger pants. In other words, pants sizes are a fairly reliable metric you can look at when browsing for a new pair. 

These days, it’s not unusual to find pants sizes that exceed the regular XXXL limit, such as 4XL, 5XL, and so on. What’s different about these pants is that they measure a wider waistline but not necessarily a longer inseam. So, keep that in mind when shopping.

The standard sizing for men's pants typically follows the format of waist/inseam length measurements. Here’s a men's pants size chart that breaks down the waist measurement in inches, as well as centimeter measurements, and their corresponding pants sizes:


Waist in Inches

Waist in Centimeters
































Inseam length measurements are slightly different in that they don’t directly correspond to predetermined size categories such as XS or L. The width of your waistline is a much more important indicator of the pants size you should be wearing, but don’t neglect their length, which is measured from crotch to ankle.

Here's an inseam chart (including sizes in centimeters and inches):

Size Length

Length in Inches

Length in Centimeters

Extra Short












Extra Long




Now that you know how pants sizes are determined in the US, we’ll show you how to take your own measurements so that you know which size to get. Before we do that, we’ll explain another common way of representing pants sizes that you could potentially come across.

W/L Men Pants Sizes Meaning

What does pant size 32x32 mean? In some cases, you might see pants sizes represented as two numbers separated by a forward slash or the “x” symbol, e.g., 34/32 or 34x32. That's because men's pant sizes are typically listed as waist size followed by inseam length (W x L), e.g., 34x32.

The first number represents the width of your waistline, while the other shows the length of your inseam. This is an alternative way to define men's pants sizes, ideal for people who are unsure if size categories such as L or XL are right for them. 

Waist Size:

  • The waist size is the circumference of the waistband of the pants.
  • It’s usually measured in inches and can range from about 28 inches to 44 inches or more, depending on the brand and style.
  • The waist size is the first number listed in men’s pants sizes, e.g., “34” in “34x32”.

Inseam Length:

  • The inseam length is the distance from the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.
  • This measurement also uses inches and typically ranges from 27 inches to 36 inches.
  • The inseam is the second number in the size, e.g., “32” in “34x32”.

In the US, the sizes shown are always in inches. So, from our pants size example, a person with a waist width of 36 inches and a leg length of 31 inches would find our sample pants to be a perfect match for them. If you need to convert inches to centimeters, just multiply the number by 2.54. For example, if you have 36x31-sized pants, you’d get 92x79 dimensions in centimeters. Oh, and when measuring pants sizes – always round up.

How Do I Know My Pant Size? Measure Twice, Shop Once

Men's pants with measuring tape.

As the saying goes, "To measure is to know"; in this case – your pant size. What gets measured gets managed, and the same goes for your slacks. Hence, our men's pants size guide is here to help you ensure the perfect fit by providing instructions on obtaining accurate body measurements. Shopping for footwear online? Refer to our work boot sizing guide – we’ve got your back either way. 

It’s important to note that there can be variations in sizing between different brands, so it’s always a good idea to try on pants before buying or to check the brand’s sizing chart and compare it to your personal measurements when purchasing online for the best fit.

How to Measure Waist Size for Pants

All you need to take waist measurements at home is the good old tape measure. You’ll want to place the measuring tape above your hips where your natural waist is. Make sure you’re either wearing a very tight shirt or none at all in order to get the most accurate measurement possible. For the sake of accuracy, don’t suck in your stomach It's tempting, we get it, but you’ll end up with the wrong measurements and, consequently, pants that don’t fit.

Since the measuring tape needs to stay parallel to the ground and level on each side, it’s best to stand in front of a mirror while you’re taking the measurements. Make sure that the measuring tape is neither loose nor too tight. Hold one end of the tape in front of your body, then wrap it around the narrowest part of your waist until the tape reaches the starting position. 

Pro tip? If you're going for low-cut or high-waisted pants, measure your waist at the point where the pants are supposed to sit. Now, all that’s left is for you to note down the results, and you can move on to measuring leg length. Alternatively, you could just grab an old favorite pair of pants that feel comfortable and take a look at the label. It could be a decent indicator of the men's pants size you need.

But keep in mind that your old faithful pair might not give you the most accurate pants measurements if you’ve worn them for a long time. Over time, clothes stretch, shrink, and adapt with each wash and wear. 

How to Measure the Length of the Inseam

For men, measuring the length of pants is quite straightforward since men’s pants usually show sizes on the label. That means that any old pair of pants that are still the right length will suffice, as you’ll be able to simply read the number listed on the label and get a new pair of pants just like that, knowing they'll fit. The most common inseam lengths are 28", 30", 32", 34", and 36".

If you don't have a pair to rely on – take inseam measurements (measure the inner part of your leg). For this, you’ll need a measuring tape and a pen again. Measure from the crotch seam all the way to the hemline and note down the length. Make sure that your pants are laid out on a flat surface and buttoned up to get the most accurate measurements.

Keep in mind that the shoes you’ll be wearing also matter. You don't want to get that pant leg dirty (nobody wants to play "guess the stain"), or worse – get pants with a shorter inseam and flaunt your ankles. Let's keep them under wraps, shall we?

Common Men’s Pants Cuts & Styles

The cut and fit of a pair of pants are just as relevant as the size, which is why they had to be included in this men's pant size guide. Not all pants are cut the same way, and the comfort (and look) of the pants you get can vary significantly based on how they were cut. After all, different styles of pants sit differently.

So, among the typical pants styles, the most common cuts include:

  • Straight leg (Straight pants): The classic straight-cut pants with a cut that runs straight from the hip to the ankle, providing a timeless and versatile look.
  • Slim fit: These pants are tailored closer to the body, offering a modern and streamlined silhouette.
  • Skinny fit: Even slimmer than slim fit, skinny jeans have a snug fit throughout the leg, often tapering tightly towards the ankle.
  • Bootcut: This style features a slight flare from the knee down, accommodating boots or larger footwear while maintaining a straight fit through the thigh.
  • Relaxed fit: Offering more room in the seat and thigh, relaxed-fit, casual pants, such as baggy styles and drop crotch (low-hanging hipster styles), provide comfort and ease of movement.
  • Athletic fit: Designed for those with a more muscular build, athletic fit pants have extra room in the seat and thigh while tapering towards the ankle.
  • Tapered fit: These pants are roomier at the top and gradually narrow towards the ankle, providing a tailored look without being overly tight.
  • Pleated: Pants with pleats have folds of fabric at the waistband, offering extra room in the hip area and a more traditional style.
  • Cargo: Cargo pants, characterized by multiple pockets on the sides, are functional and casual, often associated with outdoor or utility wear.
  • Chinos: Chinos feature a straight or slightly tapered leg and are typically made from cotton twill fabric, offering a versatile and polished option for casual or semi-formal occasions.

Men's Cuts.

Follow Our Men’s Pants Size Guide for the Perfect Fit

Before you decide to buy a pair of men’s pants, no matter the style, make sure you know what size you’re looking for. While using the pants label as a size indicator is all well and good, it’s best to use a measuring tape to get a more accurate pants size. 

At Overlook Boots, we've got a wide range of top-quality men's work pants to keep you comfortable all day long and provide you with the much-needed protection that certain jobs require. So, browse away, and when you find a pair that catches your eye, follow our men's pants size guide to find the right fit and the best cut for your needs.

Men's pants size