Category Archives: Finding Your Size

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. Be sure to check international size charts if you are shopping outside the U.S.

Great sources for larger socks include: Just My Size and DestinationXL.

Extended Wide Calf Boots

Where to Buy Extended Wide Calf Boots

Looking for extended wide calf boots? Most wide calf boots are only about an inch larger than other boots, fitting calf widths of 16″ for a size 6M boot. Widths on larger-sized boots (such as a 12W) may be up to 18″ wide. But, if your calf measures over 17″ you need extended wide calf boots.

Extended wide calf boots come in calf widths from:

  • a 17″ calf on a size 6M boot to a 20″ calf for a size 13WW
  • a 18″ calf on a size 6M boot to a 24″ calf for a size 13WW

Need some measurement help? WideWidths.com provides an easy to use measuring tool to help you figure out what calf width boot you should be wearing.

Retailers for Extended Wide Calf Boots

Not all retailers that sell wide width boots sell wide calf boots. They may offer a size 8C boot; but, unless it is sold as a “wide calf” boot, the boot’s shaft is typically only about 15″ wide.

WideWidths.com

WideWidths.com has the largest selection of women’s wide calf, extra wide calf, super wide calf and super plus wide calf boots. They offer sizes 5M through 13WW. Their selection includes leather boots in prices from $200 to $300. Watch for their sales prices and their occasional site-wide discounts of up to 25%. They also have a fun selection of rain boots. They provide $15.95 flat rate UPS ground shipping for the first pair and $8 for each additional pair.

WideWidths.com offers several top sellers including the Sydney Super Plus Wide Calf Ladies Boot Black Goat Suede/Patent and the Brora Super Wide Calf Ladies Boot Black Nappa/Suede, each about $300.

Shoes.com

Shoes.com (formerly ShoeBuy.com) carries many brand-name leather boots in extended widths. Prices range from $180 to $200. They provide free shipping on all orders.

Shoebuy offers many styles including the David Tate Best-20 for about $200. It has a 20.5″ shaft circumference in size 6 and expands 3/8″ with each size increase.

Amazon.com

Looking for more sources for stylish, comfortable boots in extra wide widths? Measure your calf and shop the various styles, fabrications and colors offered through Amazon. For a stylish boot at a low price check out the Journee Collection Womens Regular Sized, Wide-Calf and Extra Wide-Calf Studded Knee-High Riding Boot for under $50. For an extra toasty cold weather boot check out DREAM PAIRS Women’s Winter Fully Fur Lined Zipper Closure Snow Knee High Boots (Wide-Calf) also for under $50.

Can’t Find Extended Wide Calf Boots You Like?

You can buy a smaller calf boot and have the too-tight shaft enlarged. Have a shoemaker add a piece of elastic next to the zipper on the inner calf. This is a good option if you find a great pair of boots for a great price but they are just a little too snug in the calf.

tape measure

Quick & Easy Bra Calculator for Sizing

Are you wearing the wrong size bra? Use a bra calculator for sizing info to find out your correct bra size. Most women have worn the wrong size bra for so long, they have forgotten that bras can be comfortable! Life’s tough enough without your bra giving you a bad time!

Weight changes or the washing machine can play havoc on how your bra fits:

  • As you gain weight, lose weight or just get older, your bra size changes.
  • Bras stretch out and lose their support after repeated washings.

Do yourself, and your appearance, a favor. Don’t wear old, misfitting bras. Buy new bras every year. There is nothing like good fitting lingerie to give a woman “grand style.”

Using a Bra Calculator for Sizing

Bra calculators are easy to use. You just need to make two measurements and then add the measurements into the calculator. The calculator “does the math” and tells you the best bra size for you.

One of our favorite bra calculators is the one provided by Big Girls Bras. It is very easy to use. Just scroll down the screen on Big Girls Bras and look for the “Bra Size Calculator” section towards the bottom of the screen. All you need to do is enter two numbers – band measurement and bust measurement.

Here’s how to calculate your band and bust measurements:

  • Band measurement – While you are wearing a bra, measure across your chest and under your arm. This measurement will help the bra size calculator determine your band size. Special note: Use a cloth tape measure that will not stretch. Or, you can measure with a piece of non-stretch string, tape or seam binding which you can then measure using a yardstick, ruler or metal measuring tape.
  • Bust measurement – Measure around the fullest area of the bust to determine your cup size.

Just enter the band and bust measurements into the bra size calculator and you will see the recommended sizes for many American brands.

Get a Professional Fitting

If you are having trouble measuring, don’t hesitate to consult a professional bra fitter at a department store or a lingerie specialty store to make sure you are wearing the right size and the right style. The fitter can suggest special fabrics and styles to meet your particular needs.

For example, some women have particularly full or heavy breasts, but not necessarily bigger breasts. So, they may not need a bigger cup size. Instead, they should look for bras with special construction, fabrics and straps made especially for the “fuller” breast.

Need more help? Check out the video in this article to watch a Lane Bryant bra fitter demonstrating correct bra fitting techniques. Once you are ready to purchase a new bra, check out How to Select the Right Bra Type and How to Select a Plus Size Sports Bra.

Have bra that does not seem to fit correctly? Check out these solutions for the most common bra fitting problems.