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Do PacSun Jeans Run Small?

These days you may find it easier to shop for a new pair of stylish jeans online rather than strolling through the mall to try on multiple pairs and see what fits. The problem with the ease of online shopping is that you sometimes end up with jeans that don’t fit unless you do your research to learn about each brand. For example, do PacSun jeans run small?

PacSun jeans generally fit true to size, though the individual style selected can impact this. Using a sizing chart allows buyers to pick the best size of PacSun jeans. Like most denim, PacSun jeans will shrink up to 10% in the wash, which can also change the size of the jeans.

In this article, you will learn about the characteristics of PacSun jeans. You will discover what to look for when picking the best fit for this brand. Finally, you will find out if you should size up or down in denim clothing.

Do PacSun Jeans Run Small

What Are PacSun Jeans?

PacSun jeans provide trendy, durable, and affordable denim wear for young adults. Originally launched in 1980 by Pacific Sunwear in California, the small company expanded to include over 1,000 physical stores in the 1990s and used young athletes to model its products and reach its teenage target audience.

Unfortunately, the decades of success ended in 2011 when Pacific Sunwear declared bankruptcy. The same company that handles the Eddie Bauer brand ended up buying out the PacSun brand, which continues to sell both jeans and a variety of swimwear and apparel options today.

PacSun Women's Eco Light Blue Ripped High Waisted Bootcut Jeans Size 25Despite its shift away from its original parent company, the PacSun brand continues to gain popularity, possibly due to its ability to tailor its image to the modern teen. In 2020, the brand launched a nonprofit called PacCares, which promotes diversity, equity, and good mental health. The brand also uses a mix of social media marketing, such as bi-weekly live Instagram talks and brand partnerships with well-known entities like Vogue, to remain relevant to today’s teens.

You can find pretty much any style of jeans sold by PacSun today with an emphasis on the latest trends, such as ripped or frayed denim, jeans with extra seams, mom jeans or boyfriend jeans, and so on. Jeggings and flare overalls make a strong showing in the lineup, showing the broad range of denim styles offered by this brand.

One of the big reasons these jeans remain so popular today, besides their trendy styles, is that they have a super affordable price. You can find many pairs of jeans for just $20 to $30 through the company’s online store.

While browsing the online store, you will quickly notice that while the jeans may have an official categorization as “men’s” or women’s”, all of the models look extremely youthful. This is no coincidence, as PacSun markets its denim toward teens, not adults.

You may also notice that all the models look extremely fit and slender. This hints at one really important sizing tip to note about PacSun jeans, which is that they come in a limited size range. The brand uses numeric waist sizes in inches. This means that the size listed indicates the waist measurement of the jeans in inches.

Women’s jeans come in sizes 23 to 28, and men’s in sizes 28 to 32. PacSun does not offer any plus sizes for youth or adults.

Of course, the question remains, will PacSun jeans fit you if you buy them true to size?

Do PacSun Jeans Run Small?


How do pacsun jeans fit

PacSun jeans do not usually run small and should fit true-to-size, though each style will fit your body differently. You may also find that your denim shrinks over time, though you can easily learn how to avoid denim shrinkage with proper care.


The way you want your PacSun jeans to fit, you can determine if you need to buy a size up or a size down from your true size. For example, if you want to buy a pair of mom jeans and like a super loose, relaxed style, you may want to buy them a size up from your true fit. This depends on your personal preferences, though, as the brand recommends buying the pants true to size.

The best way to determine how a PacSun denim style will fit is to explore the official PacSun Denim Fit Guide. This breaks down the many styles available into broad categories, such as stacked, skinny, or flare jeans. You can then explore the many options for each style. For example, you can find flares with frayed hems or flares in a dark wash.

Once you find a pair you like, select the “fit and sizing” tab to learn more about how the jeans should fit. For example, some jeans will have descriptions like “roomy through the hip and thigh” or “skinniest fit.”


The style of PacSun jeans you select can also feature many different lengths. You can easily check this by selecting the “fit and sizing” tab and reading the inseam measurement, often 29” for women’s jeans and 32” for men’s jeans. However, some styles, like stacked jeans meant to bunch up above the ankle, may have longer legs than a slim-fit style.

If you tend to find that jeans don’t fit your height so well because you have longer legs than the average, you may want to size up to get a little extra length in the leg.


Depending on the style of PacSun jeans you buy, you can expect them to arrive feeling tight and stretch out to fit you as you wear them. This is pretty common for close-fitting styles like jeggings or skinny jeans.

That said, you can do some research to anticipate how much the jeans will likely stretch to accommodate your shape.

First, look at the fabric composition under the “care and composition” tab for your style. This will tell you if the jeans contain 100% cotton, common for looser-fitting styles, or a mix of cotton and elastic fibers, which is more likely in tight-fitting styles. Pure cotton denim has some stretch in it because of the special diagonal twill weave used in the fabric, but jeans containing a blend of cotton and elastic will stretch a lot more, as you might expect!

If you plan to shop in person at one of PacSun’s stores, you can find the same fabric composition info listed on the manufacturer’s care tag inside the waistband of the garment.

Second, always check a sizing chart to see how tightly the jeans should fit before making a choice. This matters because they could feel too tight when you first try them on, but they will stretch out to their intended fit over time.


PacSun sells jeans in a wide range of styles, and each style has a distinctive looser or tighter fit around the body. The best method to use when picking a style you like is to buy a size intended to fit your body measurements rather than buying a bigger size to get a looser look or a smaller size to get a tighter look.

Take a look at some of the most popular styles sold by PacSun here:

  • PacSun boyfriend jeans have a long inseam so that the leg opening breaks in a fold on top of the foot, making them look extra long and slouchy. This style also has a high-rise waistline for a retro vibe. If you want an extra-slouchy look, try going for a stacked jean style rather than buying a size up in the boyfriend style.
  • Stacked jeans from PacSun come in several fits, including skinny, but they all have extra-long legs, so the leg opening crumples up over the top of the shoe. This stylish look adds a slouchy, edgy vibe to a modern teen’s outfit.
  • Bootcut styles from PacSun have flared lower legs but a tightly fitted waist, seat, and thighs. This means that you need to check your measurements before ordering these jeans and make sure the waist and seat circumference matches yours.
  • Tight-fitting styles like slim fit, skinny, and jeggings cuts should all cling pretty closely to the shape of your lower body. Most of these PacSun styles will contain a percentage of elastic fibers, allowing the denim to contour closely to your shape. Of course, this also means that you need to buy these styles in a shape that matches your particular measurements.

Pacsun Jean Sizing

PacSun Women's Light Blue Mom Jeans Size 28The key to picking the right PacSun jean sizing for you is to take your measurements accurately and then compare them to a sizing chart. For guys, you will need to measure your waist and inseam to make sure you find jeans that fit you well. For ladies, you need a few more measurements, including the waist, hips, and inseam, to get an accurate fit.

To measure your waist:

  1. Find your natural waist by locating the skinniest part of your torso. Or pick a point about two inches below your navel if you find that easier.
  2. Ask a friend to wrap a tape measure around you at this point. The friend can make sure the measure stays level to give you an accurate measurement.
  3. Write down the waist measurement in inches.
  4. This is important: when you compare your waist measurement to the measurement on a size chart, the chart should tell you how the jeans fit a person with your natural waist size. This does not tell you about the actual circumference of the waistband on the jeans, which will vary depending on the rise. For example, a pair of high-rise jeans will have a smaller waistband to fit above your natural waist, but a pair of low-rise jeans will have a much larger waistband to fit around your hips.

To measure your inseam:

  1. Put on a pair of close-fitting pants or leggings.
  2. Place the short end of your tape measure at the crotch seam, where the pant legs come together.
  3. Run the tape down your inner leg to your ankle bone.
  4. Write down your inseam measurement.
  5. Remember that the style of jeans can determine their length, so not every pair of jeans needs to match your precise inseam measurement. For example, you want boyfriend jeans to hit your ankle bone, but stacked jeans should scrunch up on the top of your foot.

To measure your hips/seat:

  1. Find the widest part of your hips and seat. To do this, wrap a tape measure around yourself a few inches below your waist and take a measurement. Then move the tape down, making sure it circles your hips and seat in a level line parallel to the floor. Continue taking these measurements, moving one inch down your hips at a time till you find the biggest measurement.
  2. Write down the measurement.
  3. Check the sizing measurement for a pair of women’s PacSun jeans to make sure the hip measurement for the size you want matches yours. This matter a lot because the hips form the widest part of a woman’s body, and you always want to start by making sure a garment fits your biggest measurement before you consider anything else!

Once you know your key measurements for jeans, all you need to do is compare them to a sizing chart to make sure you pick the correct size of PacSun jeans for your body.

Jean Sizing Chart

Pacsun sizing

You can visit the PacSun website to read more about each style you like in the “fit” tab or take a quick look at this handy chart to pick your size.

PacSun Size S, M, L Equivalent Size Waist Hip
23 XS 24” 34.5”
25 XS 26” 36.5”
27 S 28” 38.5”
29 M 29” 40.5”
31 L 33” 43.5”

Men’s Jeans:

PacSun Size S, M, L Equivalent Size Waist Inseam
26 X 28 S 26” 28”
28 X 32 M 28” 32”
29 X 30 L 29” 30”
30 X 30 XL 30” 30”

What Size is a 24 in Jeans Equal to?

A Size 24 pair of jeans often equates to a size 0 or extra small in women’s clothing sizes. When jeans list a double-digit number as the size, it usually indicates the waist measurement in inches. A size 24 pair of jeans will often fit someone with a natural waist measuring between 24 to 26 inches, depending on the brand and its fit.

On the other hand, size 24 can also mean a plus size in the even-numbered women’s dress size system. In this case, size 24 equates to a 3X for many clothing brands and will have a larger waist measurement of around 48 to 51 inches.

Women’s clothing sizes use several different systems, which is why you should always check a sizing chart before making a purchase!

What is a Size 28 in Pacsun Jeans?

A size 28 in PacSun jeans correlates with a size medium for most men’s and women’s pants sold by popular brands. It indicates jeans that will fit someone with a 28 to 29-inch natural waist. PacSun sells both men’s and women’s jeans in this size.

Should You Size Up or Down in Denim?

Whether you should size up or down in denim depends on a couple of key factors, including the style of the jeans.

You may want to buy one size larger if:

  • You do not have time to care for the jeans properly and plan to throw them in the washer and dryer. This will cause the denim to shrink.
  • You do not want the jeans to fit according to the brand’s style. For example, if you like an extra-baggy fit and do not want the waistband to fit precisely around your waist, you should buy a larger size so the waistband can slouch around your waist.

On the other hand, you may want to buy a size or a half-size smaller if:

  • You like super close-fitting jeans styles such as jeggings or skinny jeans. These jeans include a small percentage of elastic fibers in the fabric, which will stretch out a bit over time. If you want to keep them looking skin-tight, you may want to buy them a fraction too small.
  • To find out if you bought too-small jeans, try sitting down on a low chair or bench to see if you feel uncomfortable. If you can comfortably sit in a smaller size, you may want to buy that size and allow the denim to stretch up to half a size as you wear the jeans.

That said, the best practice is to carefully take your measurements and buy jeans that match your measurements. Then take appropriate care of the denim to ensure it does not lose its original shape and size.

Do PacSun Jeans Shrink in Wash?

PacSun jeans can shrink in the wash or stretch out over time from normal wear and tear. The good news is that you can often fix these issues and return the denim to its original shape and size with some care.

The brand does not specify if it uses preshrunk denim to make most jeans, but it does state that its jeans are machine washable in the “care and composition” tab for each style of denim. What this means is that you can expect a pair of PacSun jeans to potentially shrink as much as 10% in the wash.

That said, pretty much all denim shrinks easily when exposed to heat. Denim fabric contains cotton threads in a twill weave, which means that the threads cross each other in a special way to form a diagonal pattern with extra give in it. Cotton expands and contracts in hot or cold temperatures. It also absorbs tons of water and can stretch or shrink easily when wet.

But even though your PacSun jeans could shrink or stretch over time, you can use these handy tips to fix them:

  • Most importantly, always wash your denim in cold water. Simply change the temperature setting on your washing machine before you put the clothes in. Cold water will not cause the cotton fibers to relax and cause the jeans to shrink as hot water will.
  • Another pro tip to keep your PacSun jeans in their original condition is to always turn them inside out before washing them. This will protect the dye job, especially if you have dark wash, black, or heavily distressed jeans. Some of PacSun’s trendier styles, like their “destroyed denim” with large rips and frayed cuffs, may rip and fray even more in the wash because the friction will cause the torn denim to separate even further.
  • If possible, avoid putting your jeans in the dryer. The dryer absolutely will cause your jeans to shrink. The high heat and friction will cause any type of cotton, no matter how high-quality, to shrink slightly.
  • On the other hand, if you notice that your PacSun jeans have stretched out over time, you may want to wash them in cold water and then put them in the dryer to shrink them back down to their original shape. This works best on jeans containing 100% cotton. Skinny, slim-fit, or jegging styles that contain many elastic fibers can lose their stretchiness if you put them in the dryer for too long.


PacSun jeans do not usually run small and should fit true to size if you take careful measurements and buy the right size for your body type. However, like most denim clothing, PacSun jeans can shrink in the wash or stretch as you wear them. To avoid this, use careful laundering practices to keep the denim in good condition.

Another important factor to consider when you pick a size of PacSun jeans is that the brand sells many different styles ranging from jeggings to boyfriend and mom jeans. Each style should fit your body with varying levels of tightness and looseness, so you should consider that as well before picking a size.

Have you ever worn PacSun jeans? What did you like best about them? Leave a comment below to let us know!