How to Measure Your Head for a Hat

Follow this easy method to get a perfect fit every time.

How to Measure Head for hat, woman wearing hat and smiling

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Whether you prefer a fedora, a beret, or just something with a wide brim to protect your face from the sun, a hat can be a fun accessory as well as a great way to disguise a bad hair day. But buying a hat that’s the proper size for your head can be just a little bit challenging. After all, you want to go with a hat that will fit your head, but that won’t be too tight or uncomfortable. On the other hand, choosing one that’s too big can have consequences. It might fall off—or worse, you could end up losing it on a windy day. 

While back in the old days women would have their hats measured professionally at a haberdashery or millinery, today the convenience of online shopping has made these stores far less common. This means you need to figure out how to measure your head for a hat on your own at home. Don't worry, we'll walk you through the steps. Here's how to find the right hat size.

How Hats Are Measured

According to Gigi Pip, hats are measured by the inner circumference of the hat’s band, also known as the crown of the hat. Most of the time, this is in centimeters, but depending on where you shop, it could be inches. While hats can be sized by the specific measurement of your head, the average head circumference for women (55 cm) and for men (57 cm) can be a good general guide for most, especially if you're purchasing an adjustable hat.

Most Gigi Pip hats feature an adjustable inner band for a customized fit, which can be very helpful for anyone who hasn’t measured their head for a hat before or anyone who isn’t quite sure what their ideal fit preferences are. 

How to Measure Your Head for a Traditional-Style Hat

This is the method for wearing a hat that sits low on the forehead, right above your brow line.

  1. Using a tape measure, which is also called a textile measuring tape (not the metal one you use to measure furniture or room dimensions), measure the distance around your head. Begin from the center back of the head and move towards the forehead with the tape—just above your eyebrows. 
  2. Check the measurement of the tape on the centimeter side.
  3. If you don’t have a measuring tape, a piece of string, knitting yarn, or even dental floss can work in a pinch. First, wrap the string around your head, starting and ending at one point. Then measure the length of string using a tape measure or ruler.

If you are in between sizes, choose a size up.

How to Measure Your Head for a Halo-Style Hat

Halo-style hats are raised up and sit on the back of the head. This shows more of the underside of the brim, as if it is a tilted halo. 

  1. Use a textile measuring tape to measure your head, starting in the back just above your neck, then forward and up over your eyebrows. 
  2. Be sure to double-check your measurement because halo-style sizes are generally smaller than traditional hat sizes. If you are between sizes, it’s best to choose the larger one. 

Keep in mind that measuring your own head can be a little bit tricky, so if you have a friend around, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Alternatively, you can also ask the tailor for help the next time you drop off your dry cleaning. 

Hat Size Chart

It's a good idea to check the hat size chart provided by whatever company you're ordering from, but if a chart isn't provided, this general size chart can help.

 Hat Size (US) Inches  Centimeters  
6 5/8 20 7/8 53 Extra Small
6 3/4 21 1/4 54 Small
6 7/8 21 5/8 55 Small
7 22 55.9 Small
7 1/8 22 3/8 56.8 Medium
7 1/4 22 3/4 57.8 Medium
7 3/8 23 1/8 58.7 Large
7 1/2 23 1/2 59.7 Large
7 5/8 23 7/8 60.6 X Large
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