Whether you’re wearing them for casual or formal wear, getting the right fit of hats and gloves can make all the difference to your outfit. So how do you know which size to buy?
With many aspects of clothing and accessories, it’s relatively straightforward to know how to measure yourself and get the right fit and it’s also a much more common way of determining fit.
With hats and gloves measuring guides are generally lesser well known and you can be forgiven for not having a clue about how to go about measuring your head or your hands.
Many hats aimed at casual wear and sold in popular high street shops don’t have a great deal of variation with sizing. They may come in small, medium and large sizes or, in the case of hats such as baseball caps or straw hats, may have no obvious sizes to them at all. In this case, the best option is to try on a variety of different hats and find a style that fits you well.
The ‘one size fits all’ mentality works to a certain extent with casual wear hats, but there may be occasions where you really need to have a hat that fits properly. Some occasions where this becomes important include weddings, where you need a hat to wear that will stay put all day and, for men, top hats for formal wear.
There are also other instances, such as specialist sports or activities, where it’s crucial that you have a hat that fits securely and safely.
It’s a similar situation with gloves, as they generally tend to come in sizes such as small, medium, large and extra large for both women and men. But there are some situations where you need gloves that fit properly and securely, such as if you’re wearing them as formal wear for an occasion or if you need safety gloves for work or a specialised sport.
In these situations, it’s good to know that you can still get gloves that are designed to fit your hands perfectly.
Obtaining Your Hat Size
In the UK, most hat manufacturers use the imperial measurement method and base hat sizes on the diameter of the head. The measurement is usually taken in inches, although some companies prefer centimetres.
You’ll also find that some companies then convert these measurements into hat sizes. For example, a 22” head may be regarded as a hat size 7 by some companies, or as an extra small by others.
The main thing is that you know your measurements, as this is what every company goes by.
To measure your head, use a tape measure and put it around your head at the point just above your ears. Keep the tape taut and note down the measurement.
As is the case with other clothing sizes, different systems are used in the US and in Europe, so if you need to buy a hat anywhere other than in the UK, you’ll have to use a conversion chart to work out your sizing. North American hat sizes, for example, use the imperial scale, but the measurements are an eighth of an inch bigger than British hats of the same size! In Europe, a metric sizing method is used, whereby the circumference of the head is measured and the size is taken in centimetres.
Obtaining Your Glove Size
Most specialist glove manufacturers base the fit of gloves on the width of the palm of your hand. To obtain your glove size measurement, use a tape measure and measure the circumference of your hand around the palm area – just above the crook of your thumb, at the widest point.
Keep your fingers together and the hand relaxed. It’s best to get your measurement in inches, rather than centimetres, although it can always be converted if need be.
If you need to purchase gloves that are long in the arm, then you can measure the length of your arm as well. In this case, take a measurement from the tip of the middle finger to where you’d like the glove to come to.
The exact way that manufacturers use glove measurements varies slightly, with some assigning certain widths to generic categories, such as extra small, small, medium, large, extra large etc. But in general, you can expect to find glove widths of 6” to 8” for women, and from 7.5” to 13” for men.