Putting on that perfect pair of sweatpants is like sinking into a warm bath and sipping on a stiff drink at the same time. If you could see comfort, it would look like a pair of sweatpants. But if the fit isn’t right, then nothing is. The waist is weird, the ankles are tight, everything is off. Don’t let that happen to you. Get sweatpants in the perfect size every single time and create your own comfort whenever you need it with an easy-to-use sweatpants size chart.
Getting the Perfect Pants
If you want to get a perfect fit for your sweatpants, start by getting perfect measurements of your body. Use a soft tape measure to get a perfect fit around your body and write the measurement down in inches to the eighth of the inch.
To properly measure your waist, wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your body slightly below your natural waist. This will be slightly under your belly button. Don’t wrap it as tightly as you can around your waist. Wrap it naturally so that it fits against the skin and insert one forefinger between the measuring tape and your skin. When you eat and drink, your stomach and waist will expand slightly. You definitely want sweatpants that will expand with you. That’s pretty much what sweatpants are supposed to be about!
You don’t want to measure right at the natural waistline because usually, you’ll wear your pants slightly lower than this. This is the main body measurement you need if you want great-fitting sweatpants.
To get a hip measurement, wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your hips, right around the fullest point. Don’t forget to add a finger between the tape and your body. Sweatpants are supposed to have a looser fit, after all. Most of the time, sweatpants will be sized by the waist measurement and the leg length. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a hip measurement as well when you’re seeking the correct size for sweatpants.
Take a leg measurement from the inside of your leg, not the outside, for proper sweatpant sizing. Go from the top of the inner leg, at the top of your thigh, to the bottom of your ankle. Stand up straight with your foot flat to take the length measurement. This is also known as the inseam measurement. You may see a leg or inseam measurement listed; both mean the same thing. Usually, an inseam length measurement is only included in men’s sweatpants.
You don’t need to take any additional measurements of your chest, neck, sleeve length, bust, arm, shoulder blades or any other part of your body unless you’re buying matching sweatshirts and tees for your sweatpants. Since sweatpants are only on the lower half, you only need to measure the lower half. Knowing your own height is also helpful, as a height measurement is usually included on size charts.
Usually, sweatpants come in S, M, L, XL and 2XL sizes (small, medium, large, extra large and extra extra large). And this can be pretty confusing. No wonder it’s so hard to get a pair of sweatpants that fit perfectly.
When you know your body measurements, you can use these against the size chart to find the right size of sweatpants. The various sizes will cover a range of measurements. Match this up to your measurements.
Women’s sweatpants usually come in sizes XS, S, M, L and XL (extra small, small, medium, large and extra large). Women who want a larger size will usually have to buy men’s sweatpants. Avoid this if you can and stick to women’s sweatpants, which are designed to more properly fit the female body. Men’s sweatpants are made differently and will not fit as well or as comfortably, particularly around the hips and crotch. Use your measurements to find your range among these standard sizes.
If you need a plus size or a tall size, you may have trouble finding a pair of sweatpants that fit properly. Look for brands that make specialty sizes, such as big and tall sizes, to get something that’s going to fit. If you have trouble finding a pant to fit properly, it’s likely you could have a little trouble with sweatpants, too.
Using a Size Chart
Don’t assume that because you wear a size L from one brand, you’ll wear the same size in another. Sizes are not standardized across brands or across countries, so you always want to check the manufacturer’s sizes by measurement. Most manufacturers try to stick to standard sizes but you should always double-check the size chart.
Sweatpants by Any Other Name…
Classic sweatpants are made in soft cloth material, usually cotton, with an elastic waistband and elastic ankle bands at the bottom of the pants. Sometimes they also have a drawstring. They fit uniformly, usually with a somewhat loose fit, in a straight seam from the waist to the ankle. They are not meant to hug or support the body anywhere. Sweatpants are commonly worn as athletic wear, though they also worn as pajamas and loungewear.
Yoga pants are also worn as athletic wear. These pants are also usually made with soft cloth and they look a bit like sweatpants. However, yoga pants are meant to fit close and somewhat snugly through the waist, hips and thighs, not becoming loose until they reach the knees. Yoga pants also do not have elastic waistbands, though they are often made with some spandex so they are stretchy all over.
Track suit pants also look very much like sweatpants and usually fit in a straight seam like sweatpants. They may even have elastic waistbands. The difference is that track pants do not have elastic at the ankles.
Joggers, or jogging pants, are almost indistinguishable from sweatpants. They have cuffed or elasticized ankles at the hem and an elastic waistband. However, they fit somewhat closer to the body than sweatpants and they’re usually made to be more lightweight.
How Should Sweatpants Fit?
Should sweatpants be baggy? Should they be tight? Why do workout pants always look like they’re tight? If you’re confused about sweatpants, it’s only logical. There are lots of different pants out there and some of them look a lot like sweatpants but they’re actually styled differently.
Most sweatpants will be classic fit. But some companies offer different styling and different types of sweatpants, just in case you want to really up your fashion game. Some of the most common types of fit are:
- Skinny fit: In pants, skinny fit is always supposed to fit quite close to the body, following the curves and lines somewhat snugly. This is a tricky style because you don’t want the fit to be too tight or too loose.
- Slim fit: The slim fit is a bit more forgiving than skinny styles. Slim fit pants are meant to fit close to the body, following most of the curves pretty closely. These pants give a pretty good indication of your shape under the pants, while the skinny fit doesn’t leave much of anything to the imagination.
- Relaxed fit: Relaxed fit styles are even looser than classic sweatpant styling. These pants are meant to be somewhat baggy and roomy all over. This is a good fit to choose if you want something loose and roomy, which is great for sleeping and lounging.
- Cropped: In cropped or capri designs, the sweatpants will end somewhat before your ankles and below your knees.