tape measure

How to Figure Sizes for Hats, Gloves and Socks

Knowing how to figure sizes for hats, gloves and socks can be a real mystery when you are shopping for yourself or for a gift.

  • Who would wear a size 7 1/2 hat? Is a 7 1/2 hat the same size on the woman’s hat as a size 7 1/2 men’s hat?
  • Who would wear a size medium men’s glove and why is it bigger than a medium women’s glove?
  • What is a size 9-11 sock? Does that relate to shoe size? If so, what size sock should a woman wear if she wears a size 7 1/2 shoe?

What exactly do these size numbers mean?

How to Guide: Sizes for Hats, Gloves and Socks

The key to successfully measuring for hats, gloves and socks is the cloth tape measure. If you don’t have a cloth tape measure, just take the head, hand or foot measurement using a non-stretchy tape or string, and then measure the tape or string against a yardstick or metal tape.

How to Measure for Hat Size

Hat sizes are based on the measurement of the head above the ears and eyebrows. Most hats offered for sale either specify “One Size Fits Most” or, if sized, are usually size 7 3/8 for men and size 7 1/4 for women.

Not all hat manufacturers use the same sizing chart; so, to get a perfect fit, be sure to check the sizing charts provided by the hat manufacturer. For example:

  • XS – Size 6 5/8, 20 3/4 inches
  • S – Size 6 3/4 or 6 7/8, 21-21 1/2 inches
  • M – Size 7 or 7 1/8, 22-22 1/2 inches
  • L – Size 7 1/4 or 7 3/8, 22 3/4-23 inches
  • XL – Size 7 1/2 or 7 5/8, 23 1/2-24 inches
  • XXL – Size 7 3/4 or 7 7/8, 24 3/8-24 7/8 inches
  • XXXL – Size 8 or 8 1/8, 25 1/8-26 1/2 inches

Don’t try to squeeze into a hat that is too small. The hat will just be very uncomfortable, and it will look very odd as it sits on the top of your head. There are many fun, stylish hat styles available for men and women in larger sizes at Big Head Caps, hats.com and e4Hats.com.

How to Measure for Glove Size

Some gloves are sold in small, medium or large sizes so it is relatively easy to figure out what size to buy. However, more tailored gloves, such as fine leather gloves, are sold in specific sizes such as size 7 for women and size 10 for men.

To measure your size, just draw a cloth tape measure around the palm of your hand. The measurement is your size. For example, if you measure 8 inches, you wear a size 8 glove, or a small men’s glove or a large women’s glove.

Other gloves are available in non-numerical sizes such as M (for medium) or XXL (for extra, extra large). Here’s how the measurement conversions work for these non-numerical sizes:

Men’s Sizes

  • XS – 7 inches
  • S – 7 1/2-8 inches
  • M – 8 1/2-9 inches
  • L – 9 1/2-10 inches
  • XL – 10 1/2-11 inches
  • XXL – 11 1/2-12 inches

Women’s Sizes

  • XS – 6 inches
  • S – 6 1/2 inches
  • M – 7 inches
  • M/L – 7 1/2 inches
  • L – 8 inches
  • XL – 8 1/2 inches

Great sources for larger gloves include: Lane Bryant, Casual Male XL and DestinationXL.

How to Measure for Sock Size

Usually, women’s socks are labeled that they fit 9-11 while men’s socks are labeled that they fit 10-13. These numbers are not your shoe size…they are the measurement of the length of your foot.

Like hats, not all sock manufactures follow the same pattern; so, one brand may have a little more room in the toe than another or it may have more stretch in the ankle.

Women’s Sock Sizes

A women’s sock size of 9-11 usually fits a narrow or medium width foot that wears a woman’s U.S. size shoe of 5-10. Wider feet or larger shoe sizes should look for sock sizes of 10-12 or 10-13.

Men’s Sock Sizes

A man’s sock size of 10-13 usually fits a foot that wears a man’s U.S. size shoe of 8-12.

Great sources for larger socks include: JMS.com, Casual Male XL and DestinationXL.