Closet Queries: How Do I Measure Myself?
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How to measure yourself

Closet Queries: How Do I Measure Myself?

Words— Frank And Oak staff

We’re here to help you answer your style questions, solve your sartorial insecurities, take the next step into finding your style. We’re not here to tell you what to do, no, with this column we’re here to give you a nudge in the right direction. Send your questions to and we’ll do our best to provide you answers to even the most basic of clothing conundrums.


“Love ordering from your website, but sometimes getting the size right is tricky. What’s the best way to take measurements of myself to get the right size?” -- Aaron, Vancouver


Although ordering clothes online isn’t exactly new, it can still be a a sartorial hazard. We do our best to make sure the sizing information is as accurate as possible, as most e-retailers do, but sometimes it’s still going to come down to how you like your clothing to fit. So first we’re going to give you some guidance on how certain items should fit and then help you take your own measurements to make sure everything ends up perfect.



How to ensure a fire fit





We’ll preface this by saying, in-style fit trends come and go. Only a few years ago the trend with everything from t-shirts to trousers was extra slim. In 2018 things are starting to loosen up. But it’s all subjective. If you like your hoodie a little tighter than the next guy, that’s totally fine. Do your thing. After all, how can you break the rules if you never knew the rules to begin with?


When it comes to shirts, blazers, and outerwear the key to getting the right fit is in the shoulders. If it’s slipping off, it’s too big; if you can’t move your arms, it’s too tight. A perfect fit usually means you can lift your arms above your head comfortably.


When it comes to pants, it’s a little more subjective. Different people like different kinds of pants. Some like a wide leg, some like to keep things slim, but the key is the waist.


Also look for fabric bunching in certain places, like around the armpit or around buttons. If it’s bunching, it’s too tight. But don’t forget, even if you buy the right sized piece off the rack, you might still need to take it to your tailor, especially with things like blazers. Get yourself a soft measuring tape and get-a-measuring.



How to measure your chest




Most blazers and suit jackets are not sized with letters but with numbers: 38, 40, 42, and so on. These numbers refer to your chest size. If you know your chest size, you’ll usually be able to figure out what size is best for you in everything from suits to t-shirts. 


Take your soft measuring tape and wrap it around the fullest part of your chest, under your armpits. The measuring tape should be snug. Don’t pull it too tight and don’t let it get so loose that it slides off of you. A snug fit is best. And for god’s sake stand normally here. You’re not trying to impress anyone. Don’t puff out your chest. You’re trying to get an accurate measurement.


Often you’ll find that off-the-rack jackets and blazers include letters next to the number. These stand for Regular (R) or Long (L). If you are between 5’7” and 6 foot, you are usually a Regular. If you’re 6’1” to 6’4”, you’re a long.



How to measure your neck




You may find that some fine dress shirts don’t go by chest size or by a letter size but by neck size. Few things look worse than a too-big collar and few things are more uncomfortable than one that’s too tight. Knowing your neck size is key.


Simply wrap the measuring tape around the neck at about the height where your shirt collar would rest (generally below your Adam’s apple). Don’t flex your extend your neck. The soft measuring tape should rest lightly on your skin. Now take one finger and slide it under the tape to ensure you have a little extra room (nothing worse than a too-tight collar).



How to measure your waist





It’s likely that when you think of your waist, what you’re actually thinking about is your hips as generally that’s where men have been wearing their jeans and khakis. But don’t worry about that–just measure around where you usually wear your pants. If you’re looking for suit trousers, you’ll likely want to wrap the tape measure around navel level. For jeans and khakis, measure a bit lower down on your hips. Put a finger between your waist and the tape measure for the ideal level of comfort.



How to measure your inseam





So you’re eyeing a pair of pants. “32x32” they say. That second number is the length of the inseam (the seam from the crotch to the button of the leg). You might need help with this one but to get an accurate inseam measurement you’ll want to measure your inner leg from the crotch to your foot. You can also measure a pair of pants you already own and like the length of to find the right size for you.



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