How To Measure Your Hat Size


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How to Measure Your Hat Size


Finding the perfect hat is about more than style and function. It's also about fit. When they fit right, hats can complement an outfit and enhance your face. When hats don't fit right, they may end up hidden in a box in the back of your closet. The most stylish hat in the world won't be much use if it's always sliding down over your eyes or tucked out of sight.

If you're eyeing the perfect headwear, it's important to figure out what size you need before you commit to the purchase. Even hats labeled as "one size fits most" aren't always for everyone. Let's take a look at tips for measuring to ensure you pick the perfect size for your next hat.

How to Measure Your Head Size

how to measure your hat size infographic


To ensure the proper fit, some hat manufacturers and retailers sell a hat sizing tool. This tool is designed to take accurate measurements of your head so you can correctly choose the right size every time. Since hat sizing varies between brands, these tools come with sizing information for a particular retailer.

If you're trying to find the correct hat size, a hat sizing tool can come in handy, especially if you collect hats. But, if you don't want to spend the money, there's a quick and easy way to measure your head size — that is, the circumference of your head — before you make a purchaseTo find out how to measure your head size to find the right hat, you'll need either a sewing tape measure or a 25-inch length of string and a ruler. Employing a friend will make the process easier, but it can be done by yourself as well:

  1. Take your piece of string or sewing tape measure and start at a point roughly 1/2 inch to 1 inch above your ears
  2. While trying to keep it as level as possible, wrap the string or measuring tape around your head until you come back to your starting point. Be careful to hold on to your endpoint on the string or sewing tape measure to properly mark your head size.
  3. For the sewing tape measure, simply correspond your measurement to our hat size chart.
  4. For a length of string, use your ruler to check how long your length of string measures, then reference our hat sizing chart above.

How to Determine Your Hat Size

Once you've measured your head, it's time to compare that measurement with the hat you've been eyeing. Manufacturers and retailers offer sizing charts to help you figure out how to measure hat size. Typically, these charts will show measurements in centimeters and inches, as well as the size that corresponds to each measurement.


A hat sizing guide may show you sizing in S-XL, as well as certain number ranges, depending on whether the hat is for men or women. You'll want to pay close attention to the hat size chart for the hat you're purchasing. Sizing charts differ among brands and stores because hats aren't all sized the same way, so you'll need to look carefully to determine hat size.

While we certainly hope you'll find plenty of hats for all your needs at Hats Unlimited, we know that sometimes you like to compare brands and prices. Keep in mind that the size you wear at one store or from one manufacturer isn't always the size you'll wear somewhere else. Compare your measurements to the size chart of the retailer you're considering before you make a purchase.

Women's Sizing

Women's hats are most commonly designed with a one size fits most approach. In general, a women's hat can comfortably fit a woman with a head circumference between 21 1/2 inches and 22 1/4 inches. The variation in sizing is more commonly addressed by manufacturers today, who increasingly include an adjustable band or interior drawstring into their design.

However, there isn't an industry standard for one size fits most, which means that women's hat sizes can vary between manufacturers. What fits comfortably from one brand may be uncomfortable from another. The best way to avoid this problem is to measure your head's circumference and compare that with the measurements the manufacturer provides for each hat you're considering. 

Luckily, women can also choose any men's style, and often do, and look very fashionable with the right hat.

Men's Sizing

Men's hats often come in very specific sizes. Men's hat sizes can be measured S-XL or with numerical values ranging between 6 and 8. Men's hats may also come in a one size fits most option, and the range of measurements this can accommodate is typically higher than women's sizing. 

Once you've measured your head, consult the manufacturer's sizing chart to determine what size you'll want to order. If you're considering a hat that claims to be one size fits most, compare the hat's measurements to your own. It's also a good idea to check to see if the hat comes with features that allow you to adjust the sizing, such as an adjustable band.

While it's difficult to get an exact measurement of every hat we have on Hats Unlimited because there are so many, we try to include measurements we've taken of our most popular hats on the product page.

Tips and Tricks for Measuring Your Hat Size

Measuring for a new hat isn't complicated, but taking an accurate measurement can be crucial to the enjoyment of your new hat. To avoid buying a hat you won't be able to wear, follow these five tips for success.

1. Measure Twice, Buy Once

The old carpenter's adage rings equally true for measuring hats. It can be risky to use the first measurement you take, especially if this is the first time you've measured your head. If you order a hat based on an incorrect measurement, you may be stuck with a hat that isn't comfortable. Avoid this problem by making a point to measure at least twice before you order.

After the first measurement, write down the circumference in both centimeters and inches. Then measure again. If you get the same measurement a second time, you're probably on track. If the numbers come out differently than the first time, measure a third time. The goal is to get the same numbers every time so you can be confident you're buying the right hat.

2. Size up, Not Down

If you measure your head and the measurement comes out in between numbers, it's a good idea to round up to the next 1/8 inch. It might not seem like a lot of variation, but every fraction of an inch can make a big difference when it comes to a comfortable hat. 

Sizing down may result in a hat that's too tight. We recommend sizing up because you can always size your hat back down using our Hat Sizing Tape, which you can find on our websiteIt's important for a hat to fit securely, but there's a difference between a secure fit and a fit that leaves you uncomfortable. 

3. Don't Pull the String Tight

If you're using a piece of string or a flexible measuring tape to measure, avoid pulling it too tight once it's wrapped around your head. You don't want it so loose that it's hanging down, but pulling it too tight can also alter your measurements and lead to incorrect sizing. 

A good rule of thumb is to pull the string as tight as you'd want the hat to feel resting around your head. Remember that some hats should fit more loosely than others, so factor that into how tight you pull the string, too.


4. Expect Differences Between Manufacturers

Each hat is as unique as the manufacturer that creates it. Unfortunately, while there is an industry standard for hat sizing, manufacturing inconsistencies and supplier variations occur. This is why it's always important to measure and consult the retailer's sizing chart before you purchase a hat. 

Relying on the sizing chart for the company that made the hat is the best way to ensure a good fit every time. If you fall in between sizes, or you aren't sure how to read the retailer's chart, contact them for help. Hats Unlimited will also gladly double-check the size of a particular style for you. For help, simply reach out to us through email at or by phone at 888-997-4287.

5. Sizing Depends on the Style You Choose

Certain styles of hats are meant to be worn differently. Some hats should fit snugly against your head, while others should be a bit loose. Consider the fit and feel of the hat when you're looking at what size to order. In some cases, this could mean going with a size that's a little bit different than the measurements you took. If you aren't sure, it's a good idea to consult the retailer for advice on sizing.

Common Questions About Hat Sizes

We've been in the hat business for a long time, so we're familiar with common questions people have when they're trying to size themselves for a hat. Consider some of the following:

1. What Does "One Size Fits Most" Mean?

Women's hats are often sized as a one size fits most hat. This means that there aren't individual sizes, such as S-XL or a numerical equivalent. Instead, these hats are designed to adapt to a range of head circumferences. Some designs may also come with features such as an adjustable band. 

To ensure a one size fits most hat will fit you, measure the circumference of your head, then compare it with the measurements of the hat you're considering. If the measurements aren't listed with the product information, you can ask us to measure the hat for you.

In some cases, men's hats may also be sized as a one size fits most. Similar to women's hats, this simply means the hat is designed to fit a range of head sizes and may come with features, such as an elasticized sweatband, to make it more flexible for a wider range of sizes.

2. What's the Average Hat Size for Men and Women?

The average head circumference for adults falls between 53 centimeters and 58 centimeters. On average, a man's hat size will be approximately 59 centimeters, while a woman's average hat size will be 57 centimeters. While it's helpful to know the average hat size, be wary of using this size to determine your own measurements.


Remember that an average is a number that is derived from small, medium and large measurements. It does not reflect the size of the entire population, nor does it account for the variations in fit and feel among different hats. 

The only way to ensure an accurate fit when you purchase a hat is to measure your head's circumference and compare it to the available sizes.

3. Can I Guess My Size if I Don't Have a Measuring Tape Handy? 

If you've purchased a hat from the same company before, you might be able to take a guess or rely on past measurements to determine what size to buy. However, if you're buying a hat from a different retailer or a different type of hat than what you've purchased previously, beware of making a sizing guess.

Hats are like clothing in that every brand has a slight variation in sizing, and a small miscalculation can make the difference between a perfect fit and a poor one. Even if you don't have access to a measuring tape, most people can find some string and a ruler lying around the house. 

Gather these items and use them to take accurate measurements prior to making a purchase. Or, if you're debating a purchase in the store, ask a member of the sales staff for help in sizing. 

Find the Right Hat For Your Face Shape

It's important to find the right fit, but don't stop there. You can also find the right hat for your face shape. The perfect hat for you depends on whether you're rocking a round face, heart-shaped face or a long face. Have a diamond or square-shaped face? We've got hats for that too. 

Ultimately, the key to finding and rocking the perfect hat is confidence. There's no greater feeling than wearing a beautiful hat that feels like it was made for you. That's exactly what you can achieve when you pick the right hat and fit.

Shop Hats Unlimited for the Styles You Love

With more than 1,000 styles to choose from, shopping for the perfect hat from Hats Unlimited is fun. Our stores are always stocked with the latest and greatest in hats for men, women, children and babies. 

We also carry a variety of styles, including baseball capsfedoras and cowboy hats. We're always adding new, on-trend styles to our inventory to keep you styling no matter what look you're going for.

Whether you're shopping online or at one of our Southern California-based retail locations, our experienced sales staff are committed to helping you find the right look and size. Our sales staff is available to help you navigate our extensive collection and order the right hat at the right price. Don't see what you're looking for? We can help with that too!

Browse our inventory today and find the right hat for you.