Finding the jeans that fit just right can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. No two jeans ever fit the same. Every style, silhouette, and brand fits differently. Only a lucky few will ever find their dream jeans. The ones that fit just right and work with every outfit.
We’ve all tried on jeans with the same size on the label, with some not fitting at all. That’s why you should learn how to read a sizing guide to make it easier to find your perfect denim fit. Sizing charts can differ between countries, making it harder to find the right size when buying from international brands.
When selecting jeans, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right pair that fits your style, body type, and comfort preferences (Credit: H_Ko / Shutterstock)
The rise of unisex fashion means you might also be trying to buy denim jeans from the men’s section. Understanding how to navigate your way around a sizing chart can help you shop across every department and brand for your perfect jeans.
Our jean size chart conversion and sizing guide shares everything you need to know about buying jeans to make shopping easier and stress-free.
Different Types of Jean Sizing
Most of us are used to shopping with a size number in mind. While this style of sizing guide works for most garments, jeans are slightly different.
The United States typically uses standard sizing, meaning your jeans usually have a digit sizing. This sizing reflects the waist and hip range of the jeans.
Most people will pick up the same size of jeans as what they wear in dresses or shorts, but this is where problems can start to come in.
Jeans sizes can vary between brands and regions, and they are typically represented using a combination of numbers and sometimes letters (Credit: Warongdech Digital / Shutterstock)
There’s only a half-inch difference in the waist and hip for each jean size you go up. If you’re more voluminous in the waist, you may have to size up for a better fit. You want to use the standard sizing as a guideline and check the waist and hip measurements before choosing your size.
Waist and Inseam Measurements
Some brands stick to a waist and inseam measurement chart (W/L). However, these can feel confusing if you’re unfamiliar with this type of sizing. It shows precisely the waist size and the inside leg measurement on the jeans.
This sizing is measured in inches, with the waist size shown before the inseam length. W/L sizing is usually the easiest to get right when shopping for jeans for the first time from a new brand as you’re searching using your exact measurements.
Small, Medium, and Large Sizing
Alternatively, some brands keep it simple with standard small, medium, and large sizing. You’ll usually find this sizing with the inseam size also included on the label.
While most of us are used to shopping standard sizing for every pair of trousers, using this style of sizing for jeans can leave you sitting awkwardly between sizes.
Levi’s jeans labels typically include a style number in addition to the waist and inseam measurements to identify the specific style or model of the jeans (Credit: Good dreams – Studio / Shutterstock)
American and European brands typically use waist and hip measurements in inches, regardless of which type of sizing chart they use for labeling jeans. You should be able to find these measures on the care tag or product description when shopping online.
Women’s Jeans Size Charts
Every brand that sells jeans will provide its own sizing chart that reflects the one used by its manufacturing.
This sizing chart will usually provide information on the waist and hip measurements. Most brands typically stick to a standard inseam length of 28 to 34 inches in increments of 2 inches.
Women’s Jeans Size ChartWomen's jeans sizes can vary among different brands due to variations in sizing standards, especially in the waist and hips measurements. Typically, inseam lengths are expressed in inches, with common options being 28, 30, 32, and 34 inches. For example, a label reading "26/32" indicates a 26-inch waist measurement and a 32-inch inseam length. It's crucial to pay attention to both the waist and inseam measurements when choosing jeans to ensure a proper fit.
|Jean Size||US Misses Size||Intl. Size.||Waist (in.)||Hip (in.)|
|23||0||XXS||23.5” - 24.5”||33” - 34.5”|
|24||0||XXS||24.5” - 25.5”||34” - 35.5”|
|25/26||2||XS||25.5” - 27.5”||34.5” - 36.5”|
|27||4||XS||27.5” - 28.5”||37” - 38.5”|
|28||6||S||28.5” - 29.5”||38” - 39.5”|
|29||8||S||29.5” - 30.5”||39” - 40.5”|
|30||10||M||30.5” - 31.5”||40” - 41.5”|
|31||12||M||31.5” - 32.5”||41” - 42.5”|
|32||14||L||32.5” - 33.5”||42” - 43.5”|
|33||16||L||33.5” - 34.5”||43” - 44.5”|
|34||18||XL||34.5” - 36.5”||44.5” - 46.5”|
|36||20||XL||36.5” - 38.5”||46.5” - 48.5”|
|38||22||XXL||38.5” - 40.5”||48.5” - 50.5”|
|40||24||XXL||40.5” - 42.5”||50.5” - 52.5”|
|42||26||XXXL||42.5” - 44.5”||52.5” - 54.5”|
It’s worth considering that most jeans will shrink in the wash, especially with frequent wear. You may want to purchase your jeans 2-3 inches bigger than needed to counteract the eventual shrinkage.
Women’s Jean Size Conversion Charts
Online shopping means you can buy jeans from anywhere in the world. However, not every country uses the same sizing standard.
Even jeans that are designed and manufactured in the same country can use different sizing. That’s where international sizing charts come in helpful.
Women’s Jeans Size Chart ConversionThe women's jeans size chart conversion is a reference tool designed to assist you in identifying your jeans size in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), and Japan.
There’s some quick math you can do when converting your US jeans size to international sizes if the brand uses a standard size chart. Add 4 to your US size to get your UK sizing. You can get your EU jeans size by adding 30 and your Japanese jeans size by adding 3 to your US sizing.
Converting Men’s Jeans Sizes to Women’s
Fashion is becoming more unisex. While it’s easy to buy men’s shirts and tops, you might struggle with converting your women’s size into a men’s jeans size.
The issue comes from the fact that women’s jeans put more of an emphasis on their curves with wider hip measurements than what you’ll find with men’s jeans. The waistband and hip measurements are also larger for women’s jeans.
Men to Women’s Jeans Size Conversion ChartWhen converting men's jeans sizes to women's, consider the waist and hip measurements, style, and inseam length. Be aware of brand variations, use inches as the unit of measurement, and utilize online size conversion charts or try on the jeans. Prioritize comfort and style in your selection and be open to alterations if needed for a perfect fit.
|Men's Jeans Size||Waist Size (inches)||Women's Jeans Size|
|21||24” - 24.5”||0|
|23||25” - 25.5”||2|
|25||26” - 26.5”||4|
|27||27” - 27.5”||6|
|29||28” - 28.5”||8|
|31||29” - 29.5”||10|
|33||30” - 30.5”||12|
|35||31” - 31.5”||14|
|37||32” - 32.5”||16|
|39||33” - 33.5”||18|
However, you can still experiment with men’s jeans. The easiest way to do this conversion is by adding 21 to your women’s jeans size to find your men’s size equivalent. You’ll still want to consider the inseam size when shopping for men’s jeans.
What to Consider When Buying Women’s Jeans
The number on the back of your jeans isn’t the only thing you should be considering when buying jeans. We’re rounding up a few of our top tips to help you find the best denim jeans for you.
Avoid Guessing Your Size
Some things must be exact. It’s always best to work off your actual measurements when shopping for jeans. Don’t fixate too much on the number on the back of your jeans.
Everything from the denim used to the silhouette of the jeans will determine what size works for you. It’s not unusual for one person to wear jeans that range between two or three different sizes.
When buying women’s jeans, especially if you’re concerned about them being too tight, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a comfortable fit (Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa)
You can measure your hip, waist, and inseam in inches or take the measurements from a pair of jeans you already own that you’re happy with the fit of.
Consult the Brand’s Size Guide and Product Description
The quickest way to determine your jeans size is by using the brand’s sizing guide. You’ll usually find these in the sizing chart section of the brand’s website or the product description. The waist size is almost always included, along with the sizing metrics used.
It’s worth checking the product description to see if the jeans are likely to stretch, depending on the denim used, and how they should fit.
Finding the right size of jeans isn’t always easy. Bookmark our women’s jean size chart conversion sizing guide to make it easier to find your right size when shopping for jeans online.