Hi there, I'm Mathew and I hate shopping for jeans.
Unlike women's pants, men’s pant sizes are measured in inches. You would think that "measurement" corresponds to the exact size of the waist, but unfortunately it doesn't.
I've always found men's jean sizes to be really inconsistent. For me, jean shopping involves taking stacks of different sizes into a tiny, warm, poorly lit dressing room, where I struggle to get in and out of each pair. Plus, I'm sort of picky and prefer a snug waist, but room in the legs, which is why I opt for regular rise/non stretch jeans. Oh, how I wish jean sizes were easier so I could order a decent fitting pair online.
Consider this example: My waist currently measures in at around 34 inches, but my favorite pair of pants are labeled with a 31-inch waist measurement? Pretty confusing, right? Like, where did those extra three inches come from?
And how am I supposed to know which number to go with when I need to buy my next pair of pants?
As a person who would love to find a more painless pant-shopping experience, I decided to get to the bottom of this discrepancy among sizes.
H&M (Dark Wash)
Guess (Dark Wash)
Guess (Light Wash)
Old Navy (Light Wash)
Calvin Klein (Dark Wash)
Uniqlo (Dark Wash)
Express Men (Dark Wash)
Levi’s (Dark Wash)
Calvin Klein (Light Wash)
Forever 21 (Dark Wash)
Banana Republic (Dark Wash)
Banana Republic (Medium/Light Wash)
H&M (Medium/Light Wash)
Levi’s (Light Wash)
Express Men (Light Wash)
Forever 21 (Light/Medium Wash)
Old Navy (Dark Wash)
Uniqlo (Light Wash)
Mossimo (Dark Wash)
Mossimo (Light Wash)
Wrangler (Dark Wash)
Topman (Medium/Light Wash)
Wrangler (Light Wash)
Topman (Dark Wash)
1. Men's jean sizes are super inconsistent. Like, even more so than I'd expected.
Check out the difference between the snuggest (Topman) and loosest (H&M) jeans I tried on:
Am I wrong in thinking size 32 jeans SHOULDN'T fit that differently?
2. Even among the same brand, slight differences in washes or styles can also make a dramatic impact on sizing.
With the exception of Old Navy, practically all of the darker washes I tried on fit more loosely than their lighter counterparts.
The best-fitting jeans I tried on were these Forever 21 dark wash jeans, which had me feeling rather... on point.
Trying on a good-fitting pair of jeans made me feel hot, momentarily putting my insecurities at bay. If every pair of jeans I tried on fit like this then I wouldn't dread shopping for them nearly as much as I do.
3. Unfortunately, becoming familiar with a brand's specific jean sizing still requires dragging one's ass into their actual stores and trying the pants on.
But I'm hoping that now, after going through this process, I'll have more success ordering jeans online.