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Women's Pants Size Chart & Fit Guide

BY: Editors | Oct 5, 2018

Women's pants are probably the trickiest item of clothing to buy online. After all, with pants, you have to consider things like rise, overall length, and waist and hip size—not to mention how they'll fit if you're wearing flats vs. heels. To help you navigate this intimidating process, we created this women's pants size chart and fit guide. Because forgoing the agony of bad dressing-room lighting is completely worth it.

Close up of woman in pants

A note: there is no such thing as standard women's sizing, so this is just a general fit guide. If a brand provides a women's pants size chart, go with that sizing. 

Standard Women's Pants Size Chart
Size Numeric Size Bust Waist Hip
XXS 0 33" 25.5" 35"
XS 2 34" 26.5" 36"
S 4 35" 27.5" 37"
6 36" 28.5" 38"
M 8 37" 29.5" 39"
10 38" 30.5" 40"
L 12 39.5" 32" 41.5"
14 41" 33.5" 43"
XL 16 42.5" 35" 44.5"
18 44" 36.5" 46"
XXL 20 45.5" 38" 47.5"
22 47" 39.5" 49"
Plus Women's Pants Size Chart
Size US Size Bust Waist Hip
1X 12W 42" 36" 45"
14W 44" 38" 47"
16W 46" 40" 49"
2X 18W 48" 42" 51"
20W 50" 44" 53"
3X 22W 52" 46" 55"
24W 54" 48" 57"
4X 26W 56" 50" 59"
28W 58" 52" 61"
Petites Women's Pants Size Chart (for Women 5'4" or Shorter)
Size Numeric Size Bust Waist Hip
XS 0P 32" 25.5" 34"
2P 33" 25.5" 35"
S 4P 34" 26.5" 36"
6P 35" 27.5" 37"
M 8P 36" 28.5" 38"
10P 37" 29.5" 39"
L 12P 38.5" 31" 40.5"
14P 40" 32.5" 42"
Junior's Women's Pants Size Chart
Size Numeric Size Waist Hip
000 22 22" 32"
00 23 23" 33"
0 24 24" 34"
1 25 25" 35"
3 26 26" 36"
5 27 27" 37"
7 28 28" 38"
9 29 29" 39"
11 30 30" 40"
13 31 32.5" 41.5"
15 32 33" 43"

How to Buy Pants on Our Site (or Any Other)

Measure, measure, measure.

The very first thing you have to do is figure out your measurements—it will make shopping for pants infinitely easier. That's because every brand has a different fit, so not all smalls are smalls. What's more, you can't necessarily go by the numbered sizes either because there's no such thing as true standard sizing. So you may be a size 10 in one brand, an 8 in another, and a 12 in yet another.

If you have your measurements, you can compare those to the listed pants size chart and get a more accurate match.

women's measuring guidelines

Don't forget your inseam.

Men's pants sizes rely on inseams more than women's pants sizes, but knowing your inseam as a woman can save you a lot of hassle when you're shopping online. To find it, measure your inner leg from your crotch to where you want your pants to fit on your ankle. Add 1/2" to 1" if you plan on mostly wearing heels with them.

Or take a pair of pants you currently wear, lay them flat, and measure the inseam—the visible inner leg seam—from the top to the hem.

If possible, use this measurement to select the pant length you need, rather than relying on words like "short," "regular," and "long." Those descriptive words aren't helpful if you're a short woman with really long legs, for instance, or a tall woman with short ones.

 

Check if the pants are for juniors.

Before you select your pants, see if the word "junior" is listed anywhere. Junior cuts are designed for tweens and teens, and thus, are narrower and slimmer than women's (AKA misses) cuts. They'll often be labeled with odd-numbered sizes, whereas misses cuts have even-numbered sizes.

Know your rises.

Low Rise

Characteristics:

  • Often worn to display more skin around the hips, waist, and stomach
  • Sitting pulls them down farther, so they may cause underwear to show

Good for:

  • Women with long legs who want to elongate their torsos to create more balanced proportions
  • Women with long hips who want to visually cut them in half
  • Women with flat abs who want to show them off

Low rise jeans

Mid Rise

Characteristics:

  • Most common rise
  • Stays up without requiring a belt
  • Generally the most flattering rise on everyone

Good for:

  • Women who want more coverage around the stomach
  • Women who want to elongate their legs
  • Pretty much everyone!

Mid rise jeans

High Rise

Characteristics:

  • Tends to feature long zippers
  • Won't fall down no matter how much bending over you do
  • May dig into your stomach

Good for:

  • Anyone—but especially petite women—who want to elongate their legs
  • Women who want to visually shorten their torso
  • Women who want to make a statement with their pants
  • Women who want to emphasize their butt

high rise jeans

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