How to Measure Your Head 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. The first step to finding the right fit for you is to measure your head accurately and consult the sizing chart above.
You'll want to first grab a measuring tape or a 25-inch string and ruler. Once you've gathered your supplies, follow these three quick and easy steps:
- Measure your head: Using your measuring tape or piece of string, evenly wrap it all the way around your head until it overlaps. Be sure to keep it about 1 inch above your ears for the most accurate measurement.
- Find your size: Once you've obtained your head circumference measurement, take your measuring tape or string and measure the length on your ruler.
- Use the hat size chart: To find your hat size, take your ruler measurement and find the corresponding size on the chart. Usually, these charts will list the measurements in centimeters and inches. The average adult hat size is between 53 and 58 centimeters.
- If your measurement falls between two different sizes, we recommend sizing up to the nearest 1/8-inch. You can then use the hat's sizing tape to size your hat down if necessary.
It is important to keep in mind that even though there is an industry standard, each hat manufacturer is different. There can be variations and inconsistencies in sizing depending on what company created the hat. That's why it's important to measure your head and look at the hat's specific sizing chart to ensure you find the perfect fit.
How to Measure Your Hat Size
To determine your correct size, you first need to understand that hats come in three general sizes:
- The most commonly used sizing you will see here are SM, MD, LG, XL and occasionally 2 & 3X sizes.
- The second most common sizing that we have on our site is that of half-sizes. Meaning there are usually only two sizes: SM/MD, and LG/XL. Occasionally there are 2X sizes as well.
- The more traditional sizing is that of the exact size in inches and/or in centimeters. You will commonly see these sizes on more expensive hat
Measuring your head and using the hat sizing chart above will give you a general idea of what size hat you should wear. However, it is important to note that these size correspondents are not always exactly matching between brands and styles and every hat is a little bit different. We are always happy to measure the inside of a hat you see on our site to your head size to ensure a good fit before shipping your order.
At Hats Unlimited, we also have a comprehensive return policy. If you don't get the size quite right or don't like the fit, it's easy to return your hat for a refund or exchange. Our goal is to get you in the right hat for you.
When you're choosing a size, you'll also want to consider the differences between a men's hat and a woman's hat. 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. Since men's hats come in specific sizes, women can measure their heads and use the sizing chart to find a more precise fit.
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 website. It'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 email@example.com 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
As you measure your head, it's normal to have questions. 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.
4. What if I Can't Find My Hat Size?
Most men and women fall somewhere on the hat sizing chart. If you're getting a number that seems off, first make sure your tape measure is correct and isn't twisted. Try measuring again.
If your head is indeed significantly larger or smaller, you may wish to find a hat in the closest size and with an adjustable band or drawstring so you can make the hat fit better. You may also try different manufacturers and styles of hats. Some may fit better, even if you're an atypical size.
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.
In general, you will want to use these tips to get the right fit for your face shape:
- If your face is long, look for wide brims and brims that cut across the forehead.
- If your face is round, look for angled elements in your hats and hats that reveal more of your face.
- If you have a square-shaped face, floppy hats and wide, straight brims can look very flattering.
- If you have a heart-shaped face, look for hats that aren't too narrow at the crown.
- If you have a diamond face, look for hats that can sit at the back of the head.
While these are good guidelines, don't get too caught up in rules. 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 caps, fedoras 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!
If you're shopping online, you can order with confidence. We include manufacturer sizing and other key information on our site. You can measure yourself for your hat from the comfort of your home and know that what you get will be the right size.
Many of our hats have adjustable bands or other features. Those details are listed on our site, too, as are your choices of colors. You can even zoom in on fabric texture and other features, giving you everything you need to know before you place your order.
Our stores have more than 10,000 hats in stock, so we're sure to have a style and size for you. We know how to fit your hat correctly and how to help you find a style you'll love. If you've figured out how to measure your head size but have found out you have a less-common hat size, contact us. We can often track down hard-to-find sizes and styles. If you can describe it to us, our team can usually find it.
Browse our inventory today and use this handy sizing page and chart to find the right hat for you.