How Long Should Jeans Be? Ultimate Fit Guide


If jeans don’t feel comfortable when you put them on, then something isn’t quite right.

While they won’t feel as soft to the skin as lounge pants, jeans are up there with the most comfortable forms of legwear you can buy – provided you find the perfect fit for your body.

Jeans are a stylish yet comfortable staple of just about everyone’s wardrobe, yet the fit can be tricky to nail.

The perfect jeans should conform to your body in a way that’s both flattering and comfortable. They should wrap around your waist and stay there – even if you’re not wearing a belt! The inseam tapers off before your shoes, though longer is fine if you don’t mind folding up the legs.

You might never have worn a well-fitted pair of jeans before, and if so, you’d be in good company!

So many of us don’t give a second thought to the clothes we buy, other than of course how they look and how much they are.

However, buying all the designer brand jeans in the world is no substitute for a single well-fitted pair.

If you adhere to some general rules surrounding how a pair of jeans should fit, you’ll be able to elevate your style without increasing the amount of money you spend on clothes.

The Waistline

The most important factor for getting a pair of jeans that fit you well is making sure they fit you around the waist.

The Belt

This is an issue that is incredibly easy to overlook, given the convenience of the belt.

It’s too easy to rely on belts to prop up all of your jeans, but this is a crutch and is probably one of the main reasons you keep on buying jeans that don’t fit as well as they should.

Now we don’t have anything against belts; in fact, we’d highly recommend you use them as a way to elevate your style, but don’t mistake their purpose – they aren’t intended to hold your jeans in place and stop them from falling down.

If you remove your belt and your jeans fall to your ankles, then you can safely conclude that they are far too loose.

Likewise, if you put on a belt and find that your stomach feels like it’s going to burst, you might assume that your jeans are too tight.

As such, an easy way to remedy the issue of jeans that don’t fit well is to try them on at the store without a belt, and see how they feel.

The Two-Finger Test

If you’re wondering how you can easily check whether a pair of jeans you own or are considering buying are too loose or tight, you can rely on the two-finger test.

This test simply requires you to place two fingers in the space between the denim and your waist.

This can tell you an awful lot about the fit of your jeans.

For example, if you find that you can only get one finger in the space or your two fingers feel like they’re being crushed, your jeans are too tight.

If you find that you can actually get your whole hand in the space, then the jeans are almost certainly too loose.


If you don’t already know your waist measurement, then we implore you to find a tape measure and measure your waist as soon as possible.

Once you have the figure, write it into your phone, so that the next time you’re shopping you can quickly check your size against that of the jeans in the store.

Your waist measurement is most useful for knowing which sizes to consider in the store, but mostly for when you shop online, since you won’t have much else to go on and you won’t be able to try the jeans on for yourself.

How Long Should Jeans Be?

Jeans that don’t fit the waist well are common, but what about length?

The length of the jeans may not seem as important as how snug they feel around your waist, but it can make a big difference to how they look.

The last thing you want is to show leg not by choice but because you bought jeans that are too short for you.

Likewise, jeans that are too long aren’t flattering either, and they will require you to roll the legs up everytime you put them on.

The first step to getting the right length jeans is to measure your inseam.

The inseam is a measurement taken from the crotch down to your feet.

Once you have this measurement, along with your waist measurement, you’re in a much better position to make an informed purchase when the time comes.

Ideally, you want your jeans to come down to your shoes without resting on top of them.

However, a little extra length is a lot better than a pair of jeans that has shorter legs, since you can always just roll up the excess fabric.

Other Suitability Tests

There are a few more tests you can do to determine whether or not you’re rocking a pair of jeans a few sizes too big or small.

The Pinch Test

If you’re concerned that your jeans are too tight or loose around your thighs or calves, the pinch test is a perfect way to find out for sure.

Basically, if you are able to pinch more than an inch of fabric, it’s probably the case that the jeans are too large. Conversely, if you can’t grab much fabric at all, they might be too tight.

The Squat Test

This is a potentially dangerous test if your jeans are too tight, so proceed with caution!

Essentially you want to lower yourself into a squat, and pay attention to how the jeans feel as you do so.

If they feel like you’re going to bust them open like the hulk, then you either have huge quads or you’re working with a pair of jeans that are too tight.

The Fly Test

If you have to unbutton your jeans after every meal, it might just be that they’re too tight for you.

We all want to let go from time to time, but if you do this regularly, there’s a good chance the jeans are applying undue pressure to your stomach.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jeans

How tight should Jeans be when you buy them?

Ideally, if you know your waist measurements well, when you buy a new pair of jeans they should fit you snugly.

If you have your doubts, see if you can fit two fingers in between your waist and your jeans.

If you can get your fingers in but they feel constricted, the jeans might be too tight, and if you can easily slide your whole hand into the space then they’re too loose.

How do you know if jeans are too loose?

You’ll know your jeans are too loose if you can easily fit your whole hand in between the denim and your waist.

Other telltale signs are bagging in the crotch area, excess fabric around the legs, and needing a belt to hold the jeans up.

There’s also a good chance that if you ask a close friend or family member, they’ll be able to tell if the jeans are too loose for you.

Do jeans get tighter after washing?

Yes, unfortunately, it’s true; jeans do in fact get tighter when you wash them.

While the water from the wash spreads out the fabric, the drying process draws it back in tighter than before.

But something interesting happens when you wear them again – you actually loosen the fibers, so you’re back to where you started!

Over time, this stress on the fibers can lead to damage, so this is a strong argument for keeping the machine washes to a minimum if possible.

A Final Word From The Trending Man

Above everything else, jeans should feel comfortable.

They shouldn’t restrict your mobility or make you feel like you’re walking around in cardboard leggings.

They should feel snug around the waist without feeling tight, and the inseam should end just before your feet for the perfect length.

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The Trending Man

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