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US Trousers sizing system

Measurement locations

Most modern civilian sizing systems ignore the fact that people come not only in different widths, but in different lengths too. US Army sizing system incorporates both dimensions in a very simple way. The sizes should sound familiar, but beware: civilian S, M, L etc are a completely different thing. US Army X-Large is really pretty effin' large, way bigger than normal civilian XL.

Because of the two different measurements, US sizes have two parts. For an example, Medium Regular is Medium in width and Regular in height. Surprisingly, this is the average male size! Medium Long would be exactly the same width but with longer pants. Large Regular would be same length as Medium Regular but more roomy on the waist. Most new items come only in regular lengths, because most people fit regular and the manufacturers want to cut costs. If it were to us, we'd have longs and shorts on almost every product, but it isn't.

Looking for US jacket sizes? See US jacket size charts here.


Trouser width is measured from your waist, your height has nothing to do with it!

Military trousers are high waisted, because high waist is practical. If you want good looking clothing, measure yourself at the navel. If you want to sag your pants and look like a tramp, measure from where ever you keep your pants.

The difference between two adjacent sizes on this system is 10 cm or 4 inches.

The table below shows the waist circumference for each size. If your waist is equal or below the number on the table, take that size, if it is bigger, take one size up. Don't order one size bigger just to be sure - you'll end up with really big trousers!

SizeWaist (cm)Waist (inches)
X-Small69 cm27"
Small79 cm31"
Medium89 cm35"
Large99 cm39"
X-Large109 cm43"
2X-Large119 cm47"
3X-Large129 cm51"
4X-Large139 cm55"

Length sizes

SizePerson heightInseam (cm)Inseam (inches)
Short160-170 cm75 cm29.5"
Regular170-180 cm83 cm32.5"
Long180-190 cm90 cm35.5"

Once more: if your waist is medium and you are tall, it's no use getting large sized pants, as they are just as short.
The inseam is not directly comparable to jeans inseam. The correct way to wear military pants is (usually) to blouse them over the boots. If this is too much for you, you still don't want the pant ends to touch the ground. If you are unfamiliar with military trousers, you should look more at the height recommendation than the inseam length.