Ordering online saves time, money and allows you to update your wardrobe from the comfort of your sofa. But how do you make sure you get a good fit when you can’t try before you order?
To help you get the right fit when ordering clothes online, we’ve compiled a quick and easy guide to taking your measurements correctly. Once you’ve recorded your measurements, save the results in your phone and enjoy successful online shopping now and in the future.
How to work out your jacket size
Your suit jacket or blazer should lie flat across the top of your back and the seams should reach to the tip of your shoulders right at the top of your arm. The cuffs of each arm should reach to the large bone of your wrist, and with your arms hanging by your sides, the bottom hem of the jacket should reach to the point where your fingers meet your palms.
When you do up the top button, a well-fitted jacket never puckers across the front, nor does it hang loose – it fits you like a glove. If you want to look like a dapper dresser rather than a sack of spuds, you’d better get your measurements right. Luckily, sizing yourself up for ordering online is a simple task.
- Your sleeve length is the distance from the point of your shoulder to the crook of your wrist
- The jacket length is taken from the back – from the base of your neck down to your preferred hem length
- Your chest measurement is taken around the widest point – normally through your nipples
- For very fitted jackets, you may also require a waist measurement taken from your ‘natural waist’ – the narrowest point – just above your pelvis
How to get the right size shirt
When you’re buying a shirt online, take a few moments to check your dimensions against those of the shirt you’re thinking of buying – you can always check our sizes using our handy size guide which shows you how all our clothes measure up.
Measure the circumference of your neck where a shirt collar would rest, then move down to your sleeves. This measurement is different from the one you took for your jacket – this time you need to take the tape from the mid point at the base of your neck, over the top of your shoulder and down your arm to your wrist.
The shirt length is taken from the bottom of the collar straight down the middle of your back. You need enough cloth there so that the shirt won’t come untucked when you sit down, but not so much it looks like a night shirt. A smart dress shirt is designed to be worn tucked in, and the tail should reach about half way down your backside; a casual shirt is a little shorter.
Now measure your chest and waist – both are very useful measurements, especially if you tend to fall between sizes, or happen to be faced with the choice of classic, slim, or super slim/skinny fit. The ideal fit for a shirt leaves enough fabric for you to pinch a couple of inches of cloth all round, and leaves enough room at the neck for you to get two fingers between the collar and your skin.
How to measure your trouser size
A lot of men don’t wear the correct waist size. To measure yourself for trousers, take an honest measurement around the point at which you wish your trousers to sit. If you like to wear your jeans on your hips, measure from there, or measure around your natural waist if that’s where you like to wear your trousers.
It’s very simple – with just one caveat: you need to select the right “rise” to match. “Rise” refers to the measurement from the middle of the crotch seam to top of the waistband. It’s important because, say you like to wear your jeans above your hips, and you go for a low rise cut, you’ll not be sitting comfortably! Samuel Windsor jeans and trousers are mid-rise, a happy medium that suits most builds.
Your inside leg is the distance from the lowest part of your crotch to the bottom of your hem. In terms of how long you like your trouser legs. No-break sees your trouser hem sit above your shoe, a half-break means the hem touches the top of your shoe, creating a single kink in the fabric at the front. A full-break sees the sitting more heavily on the front of your shoe, creating a fabric fold that runs right around your trouser hem. Not sure which one to go for? We recommend a half-break – it’s a clean, classic look suitable for any occasion.
How to buy a hat online
You’d think measuring around your head would be an easy job, but you’d be surprised how many guys get it wrong. Take an accurate measurement for a hat by positioning the tape measure in the centre of your forehead and taking the tape around the circumference of your skull. If you’ve got it right, the tape should pass a fraction above your ears.
Take care not to hold the tape too tight – you’re looking for a comfortable fit, not a headache. If you find your head measurement falls between sizes, it’s always best to go for the size up, rather than buy a smaller hat. You can buy special self-adhesive hat tape to apply to the inside band if you want your hat to fit a little more snugly.
Tips for different body shapes
Ordering the right size is one thing, but dressing with finesse takes something a little bit extra – an appreciation of your unique body shape and a knowledge of what shows it off to best advantage. Dressing well encompasses everything from fit, colour, fabric choice and style.
Roughly speaking, you should choose clothes that emphasise your attractive characteristics, and minimise those you consider detract from your overall appearance. Say, for example, you’re very tall – going for tailored separates over a suit can make you more approachable because it breaks you up a bit. Shorter men look better in single colours because this accentuates what height you have. A muscular build favours a nipped in waist, while a big guy will look better in a jacket with a looser cut.
For more information on measuring up for all your online clothing purchases, do take a look at our full infographic guide below: How to Get a Good Fit Online.
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