What is My Hat Size?

It is Holiday time and at this time more than any other time of year we have new and more hat buyers over the Internet. Customers are purchasing hats for themselves, but mostly they are buying hats as gifts. It is at this time of year we get more phone calls to help a customer determine the best size to purchase. We claim we are “Hat Experts,” and we do our very best to give the best advice we can over the telephone. There are so many variables that must be considered:

  1. We have to consider the specific Hat the client wants to purchase. Hat sizes just like shoe sizes are universal. It is important to know with hats there is no difference in scale between men’s and women’s hat sizes. A 7-1/8 is a medium for men as well as for women. The differences can be hat specific. Hat manufacturers have slight differences in their version of any given size. The same statement applies to other forms of apparel too. You may be able to wear a size 10 shoe in one brand of shoe, but another brand you will have to wear a 10-1/2. For this variation we address size discrepancies on each hat product page. We give detailed information if the hat runs large or small. If the product description does not indicate a size issue than you can figure that the particular hat you are viewing runs true to size.
  2. We have a Hat Sizing Conversion chart on our website, and a clever Video teaching how to measure your head. Most of my calls are customers talking about the measurement. The problem with the measuring method is that if you hold the tape or string in the wrong place, or if you hold the tape too tight or too loose you will not get a true measurement. Today I had a customer that went to a hat shop and had his head professionally measured. After talking to this customer for a few minutes we realized that the so called professional did not measure correctly.General Hat Sizing Chart
  3. What I tell customers on the telephone is to look inside a hat that fits them well. I get a variety of responses to the question: What size is that hat? The answers I get are; “the size tab fell out”, “I never owned a hat before,” “It’s a gift, what size hat does the average man wear?” “I only wear ball caps.”
  4. “I only wear ball caps!” That is an answer I can work with. Ball Caps fit in the standard hat size range. Some ball caps are fitted and there will be a size in the cap. Flex Fit Caps are usually size S/M or L/XL. If you wear a S/M your hat size will be between a 6-7/8 and a 7-1/8. If you wear a L/XL your hat will be between a 7-1/4 and a 7-5/8. Flex Fit caps have a stretchy head band that allows for a degree of stretching to fit. If you own a Flex fit cap and you say the size is a S/M, I will ask if you fill the hat out completely or is it loose on your head. A loose hat will indicate a smaller size, and filling out the hat will indicate that you are probably a size medium.
  5. “My ball caps are all adjustable with plastic tabs, or have a buckle strap, or a Velcro straps.” I can work with that answer too! A plastic tab ball cap will usually have 7 holes and 7 tabs. When you first obtain this ball cap you had to adjust the tabs so the ball cap would fit your head comfortably. A smaller head will have to place the plastic straps overlapping the cap fully, and sometimes if you have a very small head size, the strap will extend over to rest on the ball cap itself.A medium sized head will have the tabs clicked together in the middle. A large sized head may have a 4 tabs locked, while an X-large head may have only 2 tabs locked.


The knowledge of where the tabs are placed can reveal your hat size. This is not an exact science but can be an effective tool for helping to  determine your hat size.  Hat sizers and stretchers are a wonderful option when you are unsure about your hat size.  Please call us 1-888-847-4287 and be ready to answer some very specific questions. We want you to get the right sized hat the first time out!

About the author

Tina Belinsky I have been selling hats in our stores and online since 1980. There is never an end to learning about the history and creation of headwear. I never tire of working with my fellow employees and our valued customers.

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