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Why are my blue jeans smaller than my tape measurement?

Discussion in 'General Health/Fitness & Injuries' started by vanDutton, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    When I use my GNC (I know...) soft tape to measure my waist, it says about 40". However - I just went down a size to 34 in my pants. I don't do the 'lay down, suck in the gut, push air out' to get my pants on. I still even have (a very little) room extra in these.

    Which is more accurate, my jeans or my tape? Should I get a different brand of tape for accuracy's sake?

    Note: I wear Old Navy and Faded Glory brand jeans - not sure if this is relevant, but wanted the info here in case it was.
     
  2. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Vanity sizing for one thing. Lots of people hate admitting they need bigger pants, so sizes have shifted.

    Also, it depends on where you wear your pants and where you are measuring. The true waist is the narrowest point, which is generally higher than the belly button by an inch or more. However, many people have that roll of fat that allows the pants level to be significantly smaller than the biggest part.

    I doubt a tape measure is inaccurate.
     
  3. Hort

    Hort Well-Known Member

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    :tucool::tucool::tucool:
     
  4. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Soft tape measures do go off with time. But they strecth. Which is the opposite of what you are seeing.

    That's a lot of vanity sizing. I can't imagine they are that off. I'm going with how you wear the pants.
     
  5. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    I measured exactly where I wear my pants. And I mean exactly.

    2 - For those of you with TRUE 30" or so waists - what size pants do you wear. If I have a 40 and wear 34, then how can a 30 fit into anything but kids?
     
  6. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    My waist is generally 32" or so, and I wear a 32-33" pair of pants. Below my navel I'm generally 1-1.5 inches bigger than my true waist when I'm in my typical 12% BF range.

    My problem is my butt and thighs are too big for a lot of jeans that fit my waist. That's what doing squats and deads will do for you.
     
  7. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    My waist is 28 and a fraction. 29" is a good fit. 30" I need a belt. I agree with the bit about thighs ending up being the problem.

    Were is the top of your jeans ending up? Above your belly button? Normal jeans not low riders.
     
  8. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    I buy normal loose fit jeans - they sit below my... well, below my gut. About 2" below my belly button. Working on that problem - I've gone done 6 notches on my belt and two pants sizes. I was a 38x34, now a 34x34.

    And I also have the problem in the thighs if I don't get the loose fit jeans, I bought some that were straight leg boot cut types - and were quite uncomfortable when standing - much less sitting.
     
  9. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Thats the reason for the big difference between the tape measure and the jeans. Next time try on a pair that fit at the belly button level. I bet they'll be closer to the tape measure.
     
  10. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    I measured exactly the same place as my jeans fit. Without my jeans on, of course.
     
  11. kevin_in_ga

    kevin_in_ga Active Member

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    My waist is currently 34 inches by soft tape measure. Pants are a 34 waist, jeans are a 32 waist (different brands). I measure across the navel, rather than at the "waistline".
     
  12. sgtiger

    sgtiger Active Member

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    This may seem obvious, and maybe it was suggested above and I missed it.

    Why don't you just measure your pants when they are off?
     
  13. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    Hmm... so obvious I didn't think of it. Guess I'll do that tonight.
     
  14. synecdoche

    synecdoche Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about this as well. I've been fitting into my 32" pants again, and my waist is still a good five inches bigger than that. I wear my pants above my hips, but below my belly button. (I think.)

    With that said, odds are, my measurements are way off. I am terrible at measuring myself and am not even sure if I am doing it in the right place. Right now I get 37.5" around my belly button.
     
  15. Hort

    Hort Well-Known Member

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    I have jeans from many years ago, same size and "model" (all levis in this case)... they are wildly different fitting than more current jeans of the same size and cut.
     
  16. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Here is also a weird situation, but I think I know why.

    Lost 1 inch on waist 41 inch waist by tape. Pants size 38

    BUT I gained 2 lbs.
     
  17. mattback

    mattback Active Member

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    Levi's 501XX Shrink-to-Fit are exact measurements pre-shrink.
     
  18. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    In my case, the smallest girth (which is where I wear my jeans) is a few inches below the navel (maybe what is regarded as the usual position for low- to medium-rise jeans). The circumference here hardly changes much between about 36 and 37 inches regardless of substantial changes in body fat elsewhere, so I can wear most of the same jeans regardless. My navel is currently 38 inches, and it continues to get wider still as we go further up, with the widest point reaching something like 40 inches near the middle of my upper abdomen.
     
  19. badgolfer

    badgolfer Well-Known Member

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    So simple.

    MannishBoy had the correct answer for you way up there however. The "size" of the jean will vary from designer to designer.

    What's the verdict?
     

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