Understanding Hat Sizes
It’s important to select a hat design that meets your needs, but it’s equally necessary to order your chosen hat in the correct size. A hat that’s too small will feel constricting and can cause headaches, while a hat that’s too large will constantly shift on your head and might fall off or blow away.
Unfortunately, manufacturers use several different forms of measurement: inches, centimeters, letter size (e.g. S/M/L/XL), and U.S. hat size (a fractional number between 6½ and 8). Adding to the confusion, some manufacturers don’t transition between sizes at the same points — a 23½-inch head may be considered large by some manufacturers, but an X-large by others.
For the purposes of this article, we have converted all hat sizes to inches. To determine your size, simply wrap a tape measure or string around your head at the level where you’d normally wear a hat, keeping it snug (but not excessively tight). The resulting measurement can be converted to any other hat size using the size charts available on each manufacturer’s website. If you’re on the fence between sizes, we’d recommend going with the larger of the two — you can often add padding inside the sweatband or cinch it down to fit more securely.