How to Measure Uniforms for Fit

Use the chart and descriptions below to learn how to measure uniforms for fit. Don’t like measuring? Click here to learn about how fit sets can get your agency better fitting uniforms AND save time and money.

Diagram: How to Measure Uniforms

1. Height
Stand straight against a wall without your shoes. Make a mark level with the top of your head. Measure from this point down to the floor.

2. Neck
Measure around the base of the neck where a collared shirt would fit, or measure a collar band on a shirt that fits you well.

3. Chest/Bust
Measure the fullest part of your chest/bust. Hold the tape firmly, but not tightly. Be sure the tape is level and straight across your back. Stand naturally.

4. Waist / Mid-Section
First, remove your belt. Then, measure over shirt (not over pants) at the position you normally wear your pants. Hold the tape firmly but not tightly. For shirts and covering garments such as coveralls – measure midsection over clothing around the fullest part of the abdomen. Note: Include both “A” and “B” measurements if ordering multiple garments.

5. Hips
Stand with your heels together. Measure around the fullest part of the hips. Hold the tape measure straight and level.

6. Inseam
Standing straight, measure the distance from the crotch to just below the ankle bone. Or, using similar style pants that fit you well, lay garment flat with front and back creases and smooth. Measure along the inside seam of one leg from the bottom of the hem to the crotch.

7. Sleeve
Bend the elbow slightly. Start at the center back of the neck and measure across the shoulder to the elbow and down to the wrist bone.

8. Trunk
Measure from base of neck (front) down around crotch and back up to the bottom of the collar. (For coveralls only.)

9. Cap / Hat Size
Measure the circumference of the head at its widest diameter, approximately 1/8″ above the ears.

10. Front & Back Rises
Front: This is the distance from the center front at the top of the waistband to the intersection of the crotch seams.
Back: This is the distance from the center back at the top of the waistband to the intersection of the crotch seams.

11. Across Shoulders
While standing with arms down, measure across the back from one shoulder joint to the other.

12. Upper Arm/Bicep
Measure the maximum circumference of the upper arm just below the under arm.

13. Forearm
Measure the maximum circumference of the forearm at approximately 6″ above the wrist.

14. Wrist
Measure the wrist circumference over the wrist bone.

15. Thigh
Measure around thigh (parallel to floor), below crotch.

16. Knee
With the leg straight, measure the knee circumference over the knee cap and parallel to the floor.

17. Calf
Measure the circumference of the largest part of the lower leg approximately half way between the knee and ankle and parallel to the floor.

18. Outseam
Measure along the outside of the leg from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the hem of just below the ankle bone. Or, lay garment flat, measure along outseam from top of band to bottom of hem.

19. Over Arm
With arms at the sides, measure around the broadest part of the shoulders and upper arms, keeping the tape level at all times. If over-arm measurement is 7″ larger than chest measurement, go up one size.

Guarantee a Comfortable Fit

Using body measurements doesn’t guarantee a comfortable fit. Only trying on the actual uniform garment ensures it will fit properly and comfortably. See how fit sets can get your agency better fitting uniforms AND save time and money.

What is Vanity Sizing?

What is Vanity Sizing?Ever wonder why you may wear a size small with one clothing manufacturer and a size medium in another? Recent history gives us some insight into this conundrum.

Believe it or not, until about 100 years ago, everyone either made their own clothes or employed a tailor, and all fashions were custom designed.

The Home Economics division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture hoped to sell more ready-to-wear clothing by developing a reliable, industry-standard sizing system. The U.S.D.A. conducted a two-year study of women’s body measurements beginning in 1939. It was a tremendous undertaking that involved 15,000 American women and input from mathematicians and technicians taking 59 measurements of each participant.

From these results, a sizing system was created. However, as a result of various cultural pressures, North American clothing sizes have drifted substantially away from this standard over time, and now have very little connection to it.

The concept of “vanity sizing,” also known as size inflation, is used by the apparel industry to refer to the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming larger over time.

Vanity sizing tends to occur in places where clothing sizes are not standardized, such as the United States. Also, some people prefer a more relaxed fit for their apparel and some prefer a slimmer fit. Personal fit tastes are not gender specific and vary from one person to another.

Solving Sizing Issues in Government Uniforms

To address the issue of vanity sizing and inconsistent sizing between manufacturers, ServiceWear Apparel recommends government agencies use fit sets. Learn more about how fit sets can benefit your department, by downloading our free white paper, How to Get Better Fitting Uniforms that Save Time and Money.