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pants legs ride up

blingy | Posted in Fitting on

I hope I am posting this in the right place.  I want to know why some pants really rise up when you sit down and others do not.  I know all pants ride up some but some pants really ride up more.  When I stand, all the pants are pretty much the same length but I can really feel a difference when I sit.  Some feel like they are half way to my knees.  What am I feeling?  And more importantly, what can I do about it?  I have also noticed this with purchased pants but have never been able to figure it out!  I don’t want to add length because they would be too long when standing.  So what is this?



  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    I've been having the same problem, & I think the front pieces need to be wider.  There isn't enough fabric there, so it pulls when you sit down or if you step up.  Adding length to the legs won't make any difference, except that your pants will be longer.  I think the fabric is catching on our thighs, so that may be where we need the extra fabric.  What do you think?


  2. krichmond | | #2

    The one thing I've noticed in relation to this problem is that the tighter the pant leg, the LESS it rides up.  For example, leggings pretty much stay right in place (okay, the stretchy fabric might have a lot to do with that too).  Skinny jeans also seem to ride up a lot less than wider ones.  I think it has to do with the convolutions that the front piece has to go through for the act of sitting -- it has to bunch up at the thigh crease and stretch over the knee.  Since it's essentially  a fabric "tube", the front hem cannot help but be pulled upward.  The back of the leg is going through a similar contortion, but opposite to what's going on at the front (i.e. stretched over the buttock and bunching under the knee).  So unless you can sit with your legs pretty much stretched out straight in front of you, ride-up is going to be a problem.   This is especially apparent on a lot of men's dress pants (e.g.  the sturdy polyester blend wider leg).  Have you noticed that some men will actually 'accentuate' this this rideup by giving their trouser legs a little tug-up just as they sit down?  This takes some of the fabric 'strain' off the knees and helps to prevent bagginess (in the garment)  from developing in the same area.

    I once saw a fashion show that featured, among others, a designer who made clothing for women who were dependent on wheelchairs for mobility, but still wanted to look dressy.  I think she addressed this problem by taking fullness out of the areas that bunched and adding extra ease over the front knee section so the pants looked very nice on a seated person.  Of course, these adaptations aren't particularly useful for those of us that have the option of standing and walking.

    I have also noticed that lined pants seem to ride up ever so slightly less.  



    1. User avater
      blingy | | #3

      I too thought I have noticed that thinner legs ride up less.  One major problem I have with patterns is that all the legs have elephant legs, those billowing extremely wide legs!  No person has legs this wide so why do they make the patterns like this?  I always have to trim inches off of the width.  Maybe I need to trim even more off.

      krichmond, I am not sure I am undrstanding you.  For the women in wheelchairs, she makes the legs wider at the knee area, not narrower?  And wider just on the front piece, not the back?  Just trying to understand.




  3. regatta | | #4

    In Sandra Betzina's book   "Fast Fit - Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure"   from page 234 she has a step by step solution to the problem ......

    "wrinkles form a 'smile' right above crotch, and every time you stand up from a seated position you need to pull down the pants legs so they hang straight"

    ......If this seems like your problem perhaps you could try your library. 


  4. Teaf5 | | #5

    The crotch length and depth can make a big difference in how pants fit while seated; if it's too short,  the leg fabric will be pulled up in order to go over your backside curves, and if it's too long,  the pant legs will have to creep up to fit under the crease at the top of your thighs.

    To check this out, take one pair that doesn't creep up, and one that does.  Turn them inside out, put one leg into the other, and flatten so that you can trace a copy of the top 1/3 of the pants, including front and back center seams, from just below the inseam to the waistband.  When you lay the ill-fitting pattern on top of the good one, you'll see differences in the length and depth of the front and back crotch lines.

    The angle of the seam from the inseam up to the waistband is also important in fitting pants for full or flat behind or tummy, so it's a good idea to learn the standard alterations for your particular figure from a good fitting book.

    1. User avater
      blingy | | #6

      I have done some experimenting.  I made a pair of light weight corduroy pants that seemed to fit well in the crotch but rode up more that I was comfortable with.  One very big problem that I have noticed with patterns is that the legs are jumbo sized.  I have bird legs, I look like an egg on bird legs.  I took those pants and basted the legs, just below the crotch to make them narrower in the thigh area.  That really seemed to help.  I am in the process now of putting together another pair only this time I took the width off of the pattern.  And I finally found out why pants always seemed to hang down to my knees.  I have made countless Capri pants and I can hardly move in them because they seem to bind at the knees!  They always felt just so scrunchy in the front.  I got so mad that I whacked off a full inch off of the top of the front only and had to readjust for the length of the legs but it worked!  Now I feel like the pants fit instead of me tripping and swimming inside them.

      1. Teaf5 | | #7

        Glad that you found a solution. 

        It sounds as if you have a short rise, as I do.  I have to take out almost a full inch at the crotch length line (midway between waist and inseam).  Any pants with an overly-long crotch aren't even worth putting on because they are so uncomfortable; and my friend, who has a very long rise, feels the same way about any pants that fit me!

        RTW pants that tend toward a shorter rise include Chaus, Calvin Klein, Lee jeans, and some Liz Claiborne (naiaw).  The Calvin Klein jeans patterns also tend to fit a short rise, too.

  5. donutty | | #8

    Any new knowledge?

    I know this post is old but I found it searching google for the same thing.  I want to know how to alter my pants so that they do not ride up so much when I sit down.  Some pants are already too long when I am standing.  I also noticed that this doesn't happen as much with leggings.  

    Blingy, did you ever find the answer?

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