Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (2023)

No matter what type of hat you have, you need the right fit. If you've ever attempted to wear a hat that's too big or too small, you know what a hassle it is. A hat size chart can help you choose the right size hat the first time.

Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (1)

You may not have given a lot of thought to hat size. You could go your entire life, assuming you have an average size head circumference, and never purchase a fitted hat.

This is particularly true for women’s hats. Nearly all of them are one size fits all. However, I’m here to tell you a secret.

There is nothing like a fitted hat that fits your head properly, regardless of gender. Sure you lose the ponytail loop, but a good hat fits like your favorite pair of jeans. Comfortable yet flattering.

If you’ve never owned a fitted hat or never bothered to learn your hat size, it’s time to upgrade. This is your guide to hat sizing. Stop settling for one size fits all hats, and feel the difference a proper fit makes.

Table of Contents

How to Measure Hat Size

To determine your hat size, you’ll need to measure your head circumference. To do this, you’ll need a tape measure. You’ll need the type of tape measure used in sewing, which is flexible.

Wrap the measuring tape around your head, bringing the ends together right above your eyebrows. This is your head circumference.

(Video) LIDS How To Size a Hat

If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can use a piece of string or yarn. Wrap the string around your head, marking or holding the string where it meets. Then take a standard measuring tape or ruler and measure the string.

Hat Sizes Chart

Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (2)

The hat sizing chart generally applies to men’s hats. However, you’ll find one for women as well.

To find your hat size, look for your head circumference measurement. You’ll see the hat size as well as the alpha size, ranging from small (s) to extra large (xl).

While this is a universal hat size chart, measurements can vary based on the hat manufacturer. Once you have your head circumference, you can confirm the right size with the hat size chart on the manufacturer’s website, if ordering online.

Men’s Hat Size Chart

Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (3)


  • 21 1/8 – 6 3/4
  • 21 1/2 – 6 7/8

Medium (M)

  • 21 7/8 – 7
  • 22 1/4 – 7 1/8

Large (L)

  • 22 5/8 – 7 1/4
  • 23 – 7 3/8

Extra Large (XL)

  • 23 1/2 – 7 1/2
  • 23 7/8 – 7 5/8

Extra Extra Large (XXL)

  • 24 1/4 – 7 3/4
  • 24 5/8 – 7 7/8

Women’s Hat Size Chart

Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (4)

Small (S)

  • 21 1/8 – 6 3/4
  • 21 1/2 – 6 7/8

Medium (M)

  • 21 7/8 – 7
  • 22 1/4 – 7 1/8

Large (XL)

  • 22 5/8 – 7 1/4
  • 23 – 7 3/8

Extra Large (XL)

  • 23 1/2 – 7 1/2
  • 23 7/8 – 7 5/8

Extra Extra Large (XXL)

  • 24 1/4 – 7 3/4
  • 24 5/8 – 7 7/8

Actual Hat Size

After you have your measurements, buying a hat should be easy, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Some hat manufacturers use a different size scale.

This means that a 7 1/2 in one brand might be a 7 1/4 in another. To make matters more confusing, hats are not always manufactured true to the size they are supposed to be.

Getting the Right Fit

Hat Sizes Chart: How to Get the Right Fit (Women & Men) (5)

Maybe you just picked up a random hat because you liked the way it looked. Maybe you thought you had the right hat, only to find that it didn’t fit correctly.

(Video) How to achieve the proper fit of your cowboy hat!

Some hats only come in one size. Some don’t have half sizes. And of course, the actual hat size varies based on the manufacturer.

Are you stuck with an ill-fitting hat? Is your only option to return the hat for a different size? The good news is there are ways to make a hat smaller or larger, so it will fit your head.

When a Hat is Too Big

You have a hat you love. The only problem is, it’s too big for your head. It’s time to downsize. There are a few ways to accomplish this. You can use hat sizing tape or a piece of an elastic band.

Hat Sizing Tape

Double-sided tape can ruin the sweatband of your hat. Hat sizing tape is designed with adhesive on one side, and foam on the other. If you don’t have hat sizing tape, you should be able to find something similar at your local hardware store. Just be sure it has adhesive on one side and foam on the other.

It’s easiest to cut the hat sizing tape into four strips if it’s not pre-cut. These strips can go in the front, back, and sides of your hat. However, you may not need all four.

First, put the hat on your head. Where is it the biggest? This is where you should start. Apply the tape adhesive side down in this area, keeping the sweatband on the outside of the tape.

Once it’s applied, put the hat back on. Are there areas that are still too big? Apply the tape to this area. Follow these steps until you get the correct fit.

Elastic Band

You can also use an elastic band to tighten your hat. You’ll need a needle, thread, and elastic band. You can pick up a new one, or find one in an old piece of clothing and remove it.

Put the hat on, and pull it tight in the back. This gives you an idea of how much elastic you need.

If you want to ensure you have it right, pin the elastic into the hat and then try it on. Adjust as needed until it provides the right fit. Then, take the piece of elastic and sew it into the back of the hat on one side, then the other. Be sure that your stitches are knotted so they will hold under pressure.

If your hat is still too big, you can fold the elastic over and sew it. This tightens the elastic, which also tightens the hat.

(Video) Hat Sizing - How do I measure my hat size? | Hatshopping.com

Enlarging a Hat

Is that perfect hat a bit too small? Are you tired of waiting for it to “stretch” or “break in”?

There are two simple ways to stretch a hat and make it larger. You can mist or steam it, or use a hat stretcher.

Misting or Steaming

The basic premise of this method is to get the hat moist and then let it dry at the size you want it to be, which can be accomplished by wearing it while it’s damp.

You can mist it with a spray bottle until it’s damp, but not soaking wet. You can also boil a pot of water, and hold the hat in the steam for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn your hand using this method. It’s best to do this 2-4 times.

Try to avoid the brim of the hat, because you want it to hold its shape.

If it’s too wet, you can use a hairdryer on a high setting to dry the hat until it’s slightly damp. Then, put it on your head and wear it until it’s completely dry.

Hat Stretcher

You can purchase a hat stretcher as well. These help your hat maintain shape when you aren’t wearing it. They can also stretch your hat. You can use a hat stretcher alone, or use the misting or steaming method, and place it on the stretcher instead of your head.

Hat Size Chart FAQs

What size hat is one size fits most?

Men’s one size fits mosthats are usually 21 1/2-23 inches, or medium and large. Women’s are usually 21 1/2-22 1/2.

Do fitted hats stretch out?

Yes. A fitted hat will stretch over time. Wool and cotton can shrink with heat and moisture, but modern hats are designed to prevent this. If your hat is too tight, try the above tips to stretch it. Otherwise, just wearing it will break it in and give you the right fit, if you have the right hat.

What is the average hat size for men?

The average hat size for men is 23 1/4, or 7 1/4. In alpha sizing, it’s large.

What is the average hat size for women?

The average hat size for women is 22 1/2, or 7 1/8. This is medium on a women’s size chart.

(Video) How To Knit A Hat: Calculate Hat Size | Knitting and Crochet Hat Measuring

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Are hat sizes different for men and women? ›

Hat Sizing

Because of this, women's hats are generally smaller than men's hats. Women's head typically sizes range from 21.5 to 22.5 inches in circumference. Meanwhile, men's heads range from 21.5 to 23 inches, which means they can range from small to large sizes.

What is a normal hat size for a woman? ›

The average head size for women is 7 14 (U.S. sizing). Of course, head sizes and shapes can also differ from country to country.

How do I know what size hat fits me? ›

Hat size is based on the circumference of the head. In order to determine your proper hat size, you must take a measurement of your head. Using a tape measure, measure your head about one-half inch above your eyebrows where your hat will rest. Be certain that the tape measure is straight, not twisted.

What size fitted hat do I wear for women? ›

To find your perfect fit, take a measuring tape and measure around your head where the hat will sit, usually about a half-inch above your eyebrows and ears. Consult the table below to find the right Fitted Hat size depending on what style you choose. If you are between sizes, buy the larger size.

Will a womans hat fit a man? ›

Can Men Wear a Women's Hat? Since women can wear men's hats, a common question keeps going around for years: Can men wear a women's hat? The answer is yes. A man can wear a women's hat, depending on his preference, style, and occasion.

Should I buy a hat that is bigger or smaller? ›

Surprisingly, we've found that sometimes hats vary in size quite a bit depending on styles and brands, so we think it is best to have you come in and not just be measured, but actually try on hats to find your perfect fit. If you are not certain about size, or are between sizes, we suggest you buy the larger size.

Does hair matter in hat size? ›

Even though the hat sizes provided are standard across the USA, there are various factors that can affect the fit such as the hat maker, the material of the hat, and even how much hair you have.

How do I know if my hat fits right? ›

  1. Measure your head and consult our size chart.
  2. Your hat should sit above your eyebrows and not obstruct your sight.
  3. Allow about a finger of space between your hat and your head.
  4. Aim for a snug (not tight) fit.

How do I know if my fitted hat is too big? ›

The hat should sit comfortably mid-forehead above your eyebrows and not obstruct your view. The sweatband inside the hat should provide a snug fit, not a tight fit. If you feel any tension or end up with deep red marks on your forehead, pick a looser-fitting hat.

Should fitted hats be tight? ›

The cap must be deep enough in order for it to fit around the head. While it should not be too tight, the cap should be the mold of your head size, with a little room to spare to avoid uncomfortable tightness. I always avoid loose-fitting hats because they fall off easily.

How should a women wear a hat? ›

For women's hats, ornaments and pins should be worn on the right side of your hat. Decorations, accessories, and ornaments include bows, ribbons, flowers, feathers, pins, and such. This is different as opposed to men. For men, ornaments or decorations on their hat should be placed on the left side.

Can a woman with short hair wear a hat? ›

Every once in a while we hear women say that because they have short hair, they can't pull off hats. That's not true! In fact, short brim fedoras and cloche style hats look amazing with short hair, especially if you have bangs that you can pull out from underneath the hat.

Which way should a woman's hat tilt? ›

Tilted or straight? A hat that 'tilts', always tilts to the right. This stems from the days you would be escorted by a man on your left. A fascinator or small cocktail hat may also be worn tilting left.

What's the difference between men's and women's New Era hats? ›

According to New Era, the only difference is its smaller visor top, lower profile, and smaller branding for a touch of subtlety that perhaps work better with women.

What is the circumference of an average woman's head? ›

According to Wikipedia, one study in the United States shows, the average adult head circumference to be 55cm (21 3⁄4 ) in females and 57cm (22 1⁄2 in) in males.

What is 23 inches in hat size? ›

Hat Sizing Chart *
Head CircumferenceAdult Hat Size
22 3/457.87-1/4
23 1/858.77 3/8
23 1/259.77 1/2
9 more rows

What to do if a hat is too big? ›

Perhaps the easiest way to get your hat down to size is using hat tape, also called hat size reducer. Unlike double-sided tape, which could ruin the sweatband by tearing at the material, hat sizing tape only has adhesive on one side with a foam strip on the other.

What color hat is most flattering? ›

Because a hat is worn so closely to your face it is important that the colour of the hat flatters your skin tone. If you have pale skin, a warm colour such as pink or rust is a good choice. Darker skin is easier to choose for, although if it is very dark, black is best avoided.

How do you shape a hat yourself? ›

Most hats have a bendable outer band around the brim that makes shaping the brim relatively straightforward. You simply choose the brim style you desire, then use your hands to bend the front, back, and/or sides of the brim to that style by bending and holding in place for periods of time.

Is there an app for trying on hats? ›

Virtually try on fun and wild Hats using Hat Booth. Now you can add a King's Crown, Princess Tierra, Cowboy Hat, Top Hat and many many more hats to any photo! Add a fun hat to any picture. Try it on your pets, your family and your friends.

Should your hair show when wearing a hat? ›

There is no reason for men to hide all their hair underneath a hat or cap. On the contrary, some hair should be visible. It looks more appealing when some strands of hair above the forehead, in the neck or on the sides can be seen underneath the brim or cap.

Can wearing a hat too much cause hair thinning? ›

No, wearing a hat doesn't typically cause hair loss. In fact, there's no reputable scientific research that suggests that wearing a hat plays any role in hair loss.

How tight does a hat have to be to cause hair loss? ›

If your hat is tight enough, it can cut off air and blood flow to your hair follicles, but it would need to be abnormally tight to do so. Even still, this constriction is unlikely to cause baldness on its own; it would rather just worsen already occurring balding.

Should the crown of a hat touch your head? ›

High Heads: The top of the crown should not be so low that it touches the top of your head. This can prevent the hat from coming down far enough to seat properly. If this happens with a leather or cloth hat you may need a smaller size.

Will a fitted hat loosen up? ›

Wear it for several weeks before you make any adjustments. Wearing a hat will naturally stretch it out and you'll get comfortable with the fit. This will give you time to notice if it feels too tight, too loose or if there is no need to make adjustments at all.

Does wearing a fitted hat stretch it out? ›

Whether it's a brand-new baseball cap or an old cowboy hat, a simple way to stretch your hat into shape is to wear it, wear it, wear it. This will naturally loosen the material so that it better conforms to your head.

Where should a fitted hat sit on your head? ›

A well-fitting baseball cap should sit comfortably above your ears with the bill resting in the middle of your forehead.

Should women take their hat off at the table? ›

While some of these customs are now historical footnotes, even in today's casual culture, men and women still remove their hats as a sign of respect.

Why did women stop wearing hats? ›

As fashions of the mid 1960's were geared for youth, which wore hats sparingly, headwear became an accessory of the past. Even the Catholic Church dropped its dress code, abandoning required head coverings for women in 1967. With the exception of cold weather wear, the fashion hat all but disappeared in the 1970's.

What is a woman's hat called? ›

A fascinator is a formal headpiece, a style of millinery. Since the 1990s, the term has referred to a type of formal headwear worn as an alternative to the hat; it is usually a large decorative design attached to a band or clip.

How big is a size 7 mens hat? ›

Medium hats (listed as size 7 – 7 1/8) are for heads that measure 21 7/8″ – 22 1/4″ (56 – 57 cm). Large hats (listed as size 7 1/4 – 7 3/8) are for heads that measure 22 5/8″ – 23″ (58 – 59 cm).

Are all hat sizes the same? ›

The Perfect Fit

Much like other garments, hats can vary in size depending on the manufacturer.

How should a baseball hat fit a woman? ›

  1. Measure your head and consult our size chart.
  2. Your hat should sit above your eyebrows and not obstruct your sight.
  3. Allow about a finger of space between your hat and your head.
  4. Aim for a snug (not tight) fit.

What is a size 8 mens hat? ›

Hat Sizing Chart *
Head CircumferenceAdult Hat Size
24 1/461.67 3/4
24 5/862.57 7/8
9 more rows

Is 7 3 4 a big head? ›

These OSFM hats will generally fit heads with a circumference of 21.5 inches to 23 inches or a medium/large.
Determine Hat Size.
Measurement in InchesHat SizeEuropean Size
23 1/27 1/2 - XL60
23 7/87 5/8 - XL61
24 1/47 3/4 - XXL62
6 more rows

What is 7 7 8 hat size? ›

Adults hat size chart
Head circumferenceInternational sizeUS size
21.7 in/ 55 cmS6 7/8
22 in/ 56 cmM7
22.4 in/ 57 cmM7 1/8
22.8 in/ 58 cmL7 1/4
10 more rows
Jan 27, 2023

Is it better to size up or down in hats? ›

Size up, Not Down

If you measure your head and the measurement comes out in between numbers, it's a good idea to round up to the next 1/8 inch. It might not seem like a lot of variation, but every fraction of an inch can make a big difference when it comes to a comfortable hat.

Is it better to buy a hat too big or too small? ›

Once you measure your head with our convenient hat size chart, you might find that you are between sizes. If this is the case, it's better to choose the next larger size rather than one that is too small. The hat should sit comfortably mid-forehead above your eyebrows and not obstruct your view.

Is it better to buy a fitted hat too big or too small? ›

If you are between sizes, buy the larger size. Hats will often shrink, especially if they are made of wool so getting a hat that is just a little too tight will become increasingly uncomfortable over time. Size matters, but so does style when it comes to getting the perfect fit.

Which side should a lady wear a hat? ›

For men's hats, any ornaments or decoration are worn on the left side of the hat. The opposite is true of women's hats; hat pins and other ornaments should be placed on the right.

Why do ladies hats tilt to the right? ›

A hat that 'tilts', always tilts to the right. This stems from the days you would be escorted by a man on your left. A fascinator or small cocktail hat may also be worn tilting left. If your wear your hat straight, make sure your eyebrows remain visible.

What size is a 7 and 1/8 hat? ›

Following it down, you would find you are a size M (Medium), or a 7 1/8 hat size. Flexfit hats have a range of sizes, such as S/M (Small through Medium). So a S/M hat would fit heads with measurements of 21 inches to 22 1/2 inches, or hat sizes 6 3/4 to 7 1/8.

What is a size 9 hat? ›

Although there may be a world record somewhere out there, the biggest hat size sold on the internet fits up to size 9 1/4. This would translate into a size 4XL hat. On rare occasion, specialized milliners will hand make hats larger than this for individual customers.


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