Sizing Charts and Sizing information
By Joelle Kelly & Alexander Kabbaz
For Underwear, Socks, Hosiery, Gloves, Pajamas, Sweaters, Shirts, Blouses, Trousers, and Much More!
|Advice: Read the Introduction Even If You Just Need One of the Individual Sections!|
|Men's Underwear Tops||Women's Lingerie Tops||Underwear Bottoms||Lingerie Bottoms|
|Socks||Hosiery||Sock Styles Defined||Fullness|
| Men's and Women's Outerwear
|Jackets, Shirts & Blouses||Trousers/Skirts/Pajamas||Gloves||Tailored Jackets|
We all know the advantages of shopping online. Easy price comparison, front door delivery, a much wider variety of options than in stores, and no sales clerk following you around trying to get inside your wallet. In the arena of clothing, however, the greatest difficulty for a first-time online purchase is figuring out which size to order. On this page which, admittedly, is long, we shall remove the mystery surrounding clothing sizes.
Sizing is arbitrary. All makers have their own individual methods. Some use international body-size statistics known as "Standard Sizing". Others use what is known as "Vanity Sizing". Larger garments are labeled with one-size-smaller tags. Some use "Profit Sizing" where a smaller size is labeled larger or the cut of the garment is altered to use less fabric. We shall use inches and centimeters and tell you how to measure. This is not only accurate, but cannot be misconstrued either to offer "feel-good" self-deceit or for the purpose of using less fabric than necessary to create a properly sized garment.
Finally, we are always here to consult. It is certainly to our advantage that the size you order be correct. This saves us from the cost of making size exchanges. Call us any time. Our phone, +01-631-267-7909, is at the top of every page. Or use our "Contact Us" form. Rest assured that either Joelle or I receives every contact and we respond right away.
The first consideration regarding the sizing of underwear, intimates, lingerie, and even outerwear is your 'fullness' preference: Fitted, Normal Fit, or Loose. If Normal (not skin-tight but not baggy) is your choice, seek to center your measurements on the Size Chart. For a Close fit (body-hugging), tend towards the smaller size on the chart. If you prefer a Loose fit (extra fabric all around) then go towards the upper dimension of the chart or even increase the size by one. These Fullness Diagrams provide a visual indicator of the terms.
In terms of sizing when you fall in the middle between two sizes, the answer usually lies in personal preference as regards 'Close, 'Normal', or 'Loose'. Generally, most of what we offer is cut as close to "standard" American sizing as possible. Bresciani underwear runs a bit small - see the Bresciani chart below.
Another consideration in deciding your size preference is which fabric you are selecting. Just as in fullness preferences, the various weaves of fabric can make a large difference in size selection. Firstly, there are two main types: Woven Fabrics and Knitted fabrics. Knits are what t-shirts and socks are made from. Sweaters are knitted. Woven fabrics are used for dress shirts, among other things. In men's underwear, for example, there are knitted boxers and there are woven boxers. Woven fabrics do not stretch. Some knits stretch equally in both directions; others stretch more in either the circumference or the length. In general terms, the weaving method makes a difference in the feel of the garment. Here it is a bit difficult to generalize and we're happy to answer any questions.
Finally, shrinkage is an important consideration. Myth to the contrary, all cottons and woolens - even extrafine merino - shrink. The only questions are how much and in which direction do they shrink more. This tome is sufficiently long. You can figure an average of 2%-3%. Contact us for more detailed shrinkage information if it is a concern.
Before we present you with the "official" (but generally approximate) size chart, there is another consideration. How your fine garments are to be washed and dried is very important. Fine garments are better if laundered cold - machine is fine - and dried without heat (the 'no heat' or 'fluff' setting on the dryer). On the other hand, if this is a problem and they will be dried with heat, you should consider that the shrinkage will increase. Additionally, hotter washing and/or drying will significantly reduce the life of any garment, especially fine ones. The colder you wash and dry, the longer your luxury clothing collection will last.
Lastly, remember that what we offer will be the finest and softest you have ever worn. This may change your impression of fit and your desires as to how you would like them to fit.
A Final Thought ...
Most importantly, if you are unsure of your size requirements, talk to us either by using the contact form above or by calling us in the U.S. at 631-267-7909. Internationally, dial +01-631-267-7909. After some 60+ years of advising our clients we are pretty good at helping figure out the right way to go. We may be able to figure it out right away ... or we may advise you to order one each of two different sizes so you can pick the more suitable. You can then return the other and place your order for more of the desired size.
A word of caution...
... regarding briefs, panties, pajamas, or boxers: It is against the law to return items containing a crotch which have been tried on or worn. If you decide to try two different sizes, be sure to request a disposable cotton try-on panty with your order. Wearing this while trying on will keep them from touching your skin and thereby comply with the law. When you order, simply use our Contact Form to tell us you need the disposable - or just telephone. Returned bottoms are given a chemical bio-test. If they do not pass we cannot accept them back and no exchange credit will be issued.
Bresciani Men's Underwear Size Chart
|Shirts and Tops||Small||Medium||Large||X-Large||XX-Large||3X-Large||4X-Large|
|Men-Chest Size in Inches||31"-35"||35"-39"||39"-42"||42"-46"||46"-50"||50"-54"||54"-58"|
|Men-Chest Size in Centimeters||79-89cm||89-99cm||99-107cm||107-117cm||117-127cm||127-137cm||137-148cm|
|U.S.Dress Shirt Size||14-14.5||15-15.5||15.5-16||16-16.5||16.5-17.5||17.5-18.5||18.5-21|
|Men-U.S.Size in Inches||25"-29"||29"-33"||33"-36"||36"-40"||40"-44"||44"-50"||50"-54"|
Men's & Women's Size Chart for Kabbaz-Kelly, Paciotti, & Zimmerli
|Shirts and Tops||Small||Medium||Large||X-Large||XX-Large||3X-Large||4X-Large|
|Men-Chest Size in Inches||32"-36"||36"-40"||40"-44"||44"-48"||48"-52"||52"-56"||56"-60"|
|Men-Chest Size in Centimeters||81-91cm||91-101cm||101-111cm||111-121cm||121-132cm||132-143cm||143-153cm|
|U.S.Dress Shirt Size||14-14.5||15-15.5||16-16.5||17||17.5-18||18.5-19.5||20-22|
|Blouses and Tops||X-Small||Small||Medium||Large||X-Large||XX-Large|
|Women-Bust Size Inch/Cm.||30"-32"/76cm||32"-34"/83cm||35"-37"/91cm||38"-40"/99cm||41"-43"/106cm||44"-47"/115cm|
|Men-U.S.Size in Inches||26"-30"||30"-34"||34"-38"||38"-42"||42"-46"||46"-52"||52"-56"|
|Men-New Euro Size||4||5||6||7||8||9||10|
|Women-Hip Size in Inch/Cm||28"-31"||32"-35"/86cm||36"-38"/94cm||39"-41"/101cm||42"-44"/110cm||48"-54"/120cm
Why Stretch? Why Sized? What's the Difference Between "Men's" and "Women's" Sizing?
Socks stretch. So why is sizing an issue? Let's begin with the two basic type of socks: Sized and Stretch.
Stretch Socks: You'll hear many names for these such as "One Size", "One Size Fits All" (never true!), "One Size Fits Most". All mean the same thing. When stretch socks are knitted they are made to fit a minimum size of foot and given expansion properties which will permit them to stretch, comfortably, up to a certain dimension. The degree of stretch is limited to a certain extent. With the caveat that this extent depends upon the yarn type, the comfortable "stretch ability" of a stretch sock is usually about seven shoe sizes. In giving a sock the ability to stretch, a certain percentage of nylon is often used as nylon yarn offers more "give" than natural fibers.
Sized Socks: These, on the other hand, are mainly knitted from 100% natural fiber - cotton lisle, Sea Island cotton, extrafine merino, cashmere, or silk are the most common. Most makers use a slight bit of nylon in the top, heel, and toe. The sized socks "stretch ability" is much less than the normal stretch sock and is in the range of 3 shoe sizes.
"Men's" vs. "Women's" - What's The Difference? The primary difference between men's and women's socks is that which is termed "Regular" size. This is the average dimension of the length of the foot. Women's "Regular" stretch socks are the same size as a Man's "Small". In real terms, this means that a woman's "Regular" stretch sock, which will fit women's U.S. shoe sizes 6.5 to 9, also properly fits a man's U.S. shoe sizes 7.5 to 9. Likewise, a man's "Regular" stretch sock, which will fit men's U.S. shoe sizes 8.5 to 11, also properly fits a woman's U.S. shoe size 9.5 to 12.
The only other difference - and it is not always so - is that the shank on a man's sock is sometimes an inch or so longer than on a comparable woman's sock. The shank is the vertical part of the length from the heel to the mid-calf or to the knee. There is no difference in the diameter of the sock. Let me repeat that: Except for the length of the foot as explained, men's and women's socks are the same. There is no difference in the diameter or construction of the foot.
What Are The Implications? That's simple. We carry what are nominally referred to as men's and women's stretch socks. For those women who wear from a size 9 shoe or greater, ordering men's stretch socks is fine. Likewise, men whose shoe size is 9 or smaller can comfortably order any of our women's socks.
And in the arena of sized socks, the guidelines on the sock sizing chart show exactly what I have been discussing. Size Small - also referred to as Size 10 - will comfortably fit any woman who wears shoe size 6.5-9 or man who wears shoe size 7.5-10.
How to handle the inevitable Oops!
What if my socks are the wrong size? From discomfort to premature disintegration, the problems of mal-sized socks are covered in the following section.
Socks are Too Big:
The problem with socks being too large is simple. There will be too much fabric. The extra fabric will bunch up into folds and lumps causing from some discomfort to significant pain as the day wears on. Shoes may also feel too tight due to the bunching of the extra fabric.
Check as follows: Place the foot section of the sock against the sole of your foot. The unstretched foot section of the sock should not exceed more than about ¾" longer than the distance from the back of your heel to the tip of your longest toe. If it does, the sock might be too large. I say "might be" because wide feet (D, E, or greater) will pull some of the sock's length into creating additional diameter.
Socks are Too Small:
The problems with socks being too small are more complex.
There is the primary problem of discomfort. A sock stretched past its limit it can put pressure on the toes. This is similar to wearing shoes which are too small and can cause pain. The socks will also tend to lower somewhat as the foot section tries to pull more of the shank down around the heel.
Additionally, stretching a sock beyond its intended length puts great strain on the yarns. Coupled with the cutting action of even well-manicured nails and the stress on the heel, the socks will begin to develop holes and wear spots quickly. Those whose shoe size is larger than U.S. Men's 12 should wear Size Large stretch socks or Sized Socks of Size 12 or larger.
A Note About The Bullet Points On Our Socks Pages:
We test-wear every style of sock we offer. Aside from providing Joelle and me with possibly the world's largest personal sock collections, this give us the ability to be more accurate in our sock descriptions. As you learned in the preceding paragraph, figuring out the smallest foot a sock will properly fit is not very difficult. The other end of the spectrum - a sock's largest capacity - is more difficult. As the proud owner of Size 11¾ EEE feet, I have the ability to perform this test accurately. Note that our bullet points with each style of stretch sock advises on the sock's size range ... and that these are sometimes different with what are seemingly similar socks. Rather than merely accepting the maker's description of size range as do most shops, we use our personal tests as the final arbiter. The quality and composition of fibers, the style of weaving, and even the design pattern can make a difference in the maximum comfortable size of a particular sock.
How To Measure:
Women's Hosiery is created with stretch in all directions. It is sized based on Height and Weight. Find your measurements in the top and right or bottom and left. The intersection of where they meet is your correct size. Note that Sizes 0, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are only available in certain styles and even then only by special order.
Body Measurements and Their Relation to Sizing:
In the sections below we shall teach you how to take proper body measurements for all parts of the body (except measurements for shoes). The secret to purchasing properly sized outerwear is to know your measurements and then to use the maker's charts. Believe me, good makers know the dimensions their patterns are designed to fit. Simply follow the Rules (Size Charts), be cognizant of the General Exceptions and Maker's Exceptions, and know your Personal Fullness Preferences as taught above.
Here are a few General Exceptions which universally apply:
Height: The average height most makers have used since 2001 has been 5'9" for men and 5'6" for women. If you are within 3"-4" either side of those dimensions you should be fine. If you are taller, you may need to go up a size for extra length or shop for Big & Tall garments which are specially made longer. If you are shorter, you may need the ongoing services of an alterations tailor.
Girth-Shirts & Blouses: There is greater disparity in this area. Men's shirts are sized by neck dimension, a critical measurement when buttoning the collar. Each neck size is made in a range of sleeve sizes. No accounting is made for the size of the chest except for the standard ones you will see in the chart below. For relatively thin and relatively husky body types, this can cause difficulties which may be addressed only by an alterations tailor.
Women's shirts and blouses are sized by bust measurement, a not-so-critical measurement unless the garment is too small. However, no accounting is made for neck size which can pose difficulty if the wearer wishes to button the top. In practice, most women wear their collars at least 1" larger than standard menswear. Thus, collar dimension may not be a problem.
Girth-Jackets and Coats: These are universally sized by chest measurement although not always written as such. Men's coats are number-sized according to the inch size of the chest they are designed to fit. Women's coats can be sized in this manner but are more often sized by any one of the multitude (petite, women's, girls, etc.) of size scales ordained for women. A degree of shortening is easily accomplished if necessary. Better coats will be made with additional fabric in the hem and sleeves to allow for a certain amount of lengthening.
Corpulence in all fitting areas: If one's girth is larger than standards permit, one need be aware of the fullness allowances shown in the measurement size chart below. If there will be insufficient fullness, you will need to increase the size and use the services of an alterations tailor to properly shape the remainder of the garment.
Measurements are normally used by bespoke clothiers like us to draught bespoke jacket, shirt, or blouse patterns. However, in order to be able to select clothing which is appropriately sized for you, a complete set of measurements is always handy. Even when ordering undershirts, clients hear this as my first question when they call, "Can you tell me your chest (or jacket) size?". And then, for those to whom overall appearance is a concern, my second inquiry will be to ascertain their waist size. Purchasing trousers or skirts, jackets or coats is always easier when you have a complete set of measurements. In this and the next section, you will learn how to take these measurements with the aid of an assistant. You can download our measurement form here on which to record your dimensions.
Chest: Measure just under the arms. Make certain that the tape is parallel to the ground. It should cross over the shoulder blades in the rear and the vertical center of the pectoral muscles in front. Often it is easier to take this measurement from the back. On a woman, this measurement is taken just above the breasts.
Bust (women only): Measure around the fullest part of the breasts. Make sure the tape measure is parallel to the floor. When the tape is parallel to the floor, this measure is often below the shoulder blades in the rear. That is fine.
Waist (men): Men's shirt waist measurements are different from trouser measurements in that they should be taken at the fullest part of the waist. This is usually at or just above the navel whereas trouser measures are taken lower down where the trouser waistband sits at the top of the hips.
Waist (women): Women's shirt waist measurements are different from men's in that they should be taken at the smallest part of the waist.
Seat (men): Measure the seat, again parallel to the ground, at the fullest part of the buttocks. Be certain to remove wallet, etc. from your trouser pockets.
Hips (women): Measuring women's hips requires more measurements due to the dimensional variances. As before parallel to the ground, measure the "high" hip 3" below the waist. Then measure again 7" down and 9" down from the waist. These measurements are essential to create a correctly fitting shirt or pants.
Neck: Around-the-neck is measured at the point where a comfortable shirt collar normally rests. Do not tilt your head up or down as this can radically alter the dimensions. The measurement should be taken snugly. Most men prefer an additional ¼" to ½" of fullness added to the skin measure. Women generally prefer an extra ¾" to 1". Additionally, allowance must be made for shrinkage in this critical area. A 1990's study by Forbes magazine found that 70% of American men wore collars which were too tight, thus restricting the flow of blood through the mildly important carotid artery.
Yoke: The yoke is the piece which sits upon the shoulders. Measuring involves judgement. At a certain point, even in the case of those with round-shoulders, the horizontal shoulder changes to the vertical arm. This is usually just before the halfway-point in the curve. Measure from this point on the left to this point on the right.
Sleeve length: Where the cuffs sit on the hand as well as how much cuff protrudes from the jacket sleeves is a matter of personal preference and the subject of a plethora of debates. The generally accepted parameter is that ½" of shirt sleeve should show. This can be simply achieved by coordination of your bespoke or alterations tailor and shirt maker. Measure from the center of the shoulder behind the neck to the edge of the shoulder as done in the yoke measurement process. Proceed downward along the straight arm to the tip of the thumb. From this measurement, the shirt maker should subtract approximately 4¼" and the tailor 4¾". It is important that both sleeves be measured individually as 85% of people have different left and right sleeve lengths.
Cuff diameter: Here again, personal preference is the arbiter. Measure the wrist at the wrist bone. If a watch is worn, left and right cuffs need be different. A tight cuff will measure 3/4"-1" greater than wrist measure. A loose cuff will be at 1 1/2" or slightly more. Bear in mind that a too-small cuff will not be able to slide down the hand far enough to show below the jacket sleeve.
Fullness: In order for a shirt to fit properly, a degree of "fullness" must be added to the Chest, Waist, and Seat measurements. The following fullness parameters apply:
Very Snug shirt: Chest +4", Waist +3", Seat +3"
Normal shirt: +6", +5", +6"
Full shirt: +8", +7", +8".
These specifications are for a person of 6' height and 170 lbs. They should be proportionately altered for those of differing height and weight.
More: Many other measures, too lengthy to discuss here, are incorporated into the creation of a bespoke shirt pattern. Collar Back Height, Collar Front Height, Collar Point Length, Collar Spread, Cuff Length, Elbow Room, Half-Chest, Half-Waist, Over-the-Arm and more are measurements used by better shirt makers. The measurements presented here, however, are more than sufficient for most purposes.
A whole host of other measurements can facilitate your size selection process and benefit your interactions with tailors and alterationists. We've provided mainly self-explanatory diagrams. Keep your tape measure snug but not tight and, when recording dimensions, round up to the nearest ¼". Again, you can conveniently record your measurements on our printable measurement form.
Trousers and Pants: Right-hand Diagram: All of the measurements shown in the far right hand diagram are necessary for women.
For men, the only girth measurements labeled "Pants Waist" and "Seat" are unnecessary.
Inseam and Outseam: Inseam and Outseam measurements shown in the above left-side diagram are necessary for all. In addition, subtraction of the Inseam from the Outseam yields the "Rise". Rise is a critical dimension for all as it determines where on one's hips the waistband will sit. The rise of low-waisted pants is much shorter than that of pants which sit on the waist.
Skirts: Waist, Mid-Hip, and Seat measurements are often sufficient for a simple skirt. For more complex or detailed work, the full set of hip and waist measurements should be used. Seat is regarded as the point-of-greatest-girth.
Pajamas: Pajamas are sized in ready-to-wear sizes by chest size in inches as follows: X-Small 30"-34", Small 34"-37", Medium 37"-40", Large 40"-43", X-Large 43"-46", 2X-Large 43"-47", 3X-Large 47"-52", 4X-Large 52"-58"
Gloves: Gloves are simply measured. Following the diagram to the right, measure around the knuckles where the fingers join the hand. Use your dominant hand as, with greater use, it usually develops slightly larger in circumference. Then find your size on the Chart. For example, the man's hand in the photo measures 9" which is a Men's Large. Those at lower end of a size who want a closer fit, order one size smaller. Those at the upper end of a size who want a looser fit, order one size larger.