Thrift Store Tips: How to Try On Pants Without a Dressing Room

You stumble upon a pair of to-die-for jeans at a thrift store, flea market or garage sale. Here are three ways to tell if those jeans will fit without a dressing room! 

You stumble upon a pair of to-die-for jeans at a thrift store, flea market or garage sale. The size tag is cut out or faded and there is no dressing room available.

Uh-oh. Problem. How do you know if the jeans are going to fit?

Do you buy them and hope for the best? Put back on the rack what may be your dream jeans?

Not so fast. We have three ways to tell if those jeans are right for you, starting with . . .

The Waist
Holding the waistband's side seams in each hand, drape the jeans over your back like you are putting on a cape.


Try On Jeans Without a Dressing Room - Waist


The pants will fit around your waist if there is a slight overlap of material after going around your neck. If it overlaps by more than an inch or two, the pants may be a bit too big. No overlap is a clear indicator that the pants are too small.

Another thing to keep in mind, if they are low-waisted jeans, you may need more overlap around your neck to compensate for the fact that the "waist" will be far lower on your body than other pants.

If the waist fits, move on to . . .

The Hips
Hold the pants where they are widest in the hips across your chest -- shoulder to shoulder. Are your shoulders wider than the wide part of the pants? Then the pants may be too small for your hip region. If the pair of pants is wider than your shoulders, it will be too big for you.




If they are just slightly wider, the jeans will fit just right.

Something to consider here is "stretch" or how much give is in the pants. If there is a bit of stretch, you may get away with it being a bit short. However, use caution and don't rely on the stretchiness of the fabric.

Next up is . . .

The Length
Locate where the seams come together in the crotch area and hold it to your own crotch area to check the rise. The rise is how high up the top of the pants "rise" from the crotch area. Low rise is around the hips while a high-rise pair of pants goes up and over the belly button. Where does the top of the pants hit? Your waist? Hip? Where do you want the top to reach?


Try On Pants Without Dressing Room - Length


This also is you check where the bottom of the pants hit. Does the hem come to the floor? Your ankle? Mid-calf?
Are they long enough for you?

These three simple tests may not work for all fabrics and all situations. However, it will give you a bit more information and a good idea as to whether those jeans were meant for your closet or not.

Good luck!

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