How can I determine my coat size?

Written by laura leiva
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How can I determine my coat size?
Measurements help determine coat size. (Winter female coat image by terex from

No matter what time of the season it is, there are a variety of coats to wear. Coats are used mostly during the winter months in the cold, rain and snow but you may also choose to wear lightweight coats during the spring months. Buying a properly fitted coat is essential to looking your best. Coat measurements are easy to take and will ensure that the fit is comfortable around the shoulder and waist areas.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Partner

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  1. 1

    Place the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust. Make sure the measuring tape is taut but do not pull it tightly together since that will result in you choosing a smaller size coat that may not fit properly. The chest size is important for determining coat size. A bust size from 75 to 77.5 cm (30 to 31 inches) is an XS, 80 to 82.5 cm (32 to 33 inches) is an S, 85 to 87.5 cm (34 to 35 inches) is an M, 92.5 to 97.5 cm (37 to 39 inches) is an L, 102.5 to 107.5 cm (41 to 43 inches) is an XL, 112.5 to 120 cm (45 to 48 inches) is a 2XL, 122.5 cm (49 inches) is a 3XL and 125 cm (50 inch) bust is a 4XL.

  2. 2

    Determine the arm length. To get an accurate measurement, bend the elbow and place the hand on your hip bone. Place the measuring tape at the base of the neck, and extend it out toward the elbow and write down the measurements. Then, measure from the elbow to the wrist and total the inches. Measuring the arm this way will allow for movement and flexibility in the coat without worrying about the cuffs rising or becoming unflattering.

  3. 3

    Measure the hip circumference. This will help you determine the size coat you need for styles that fall at the hips or slightly below. When measuring the hips, keep the feet together and place the measuring tape around the widest portion, usually at the hipbone.

  4. 4

    Use your body shape to determine what coat size you are -- regular, petite, tall or full-figured. A regular coat fits women from 1.6 m (5 foot 4 inches) to 1.687 m (5 foot 7 1/2 inches) whose hips are only slightly bigger than the bust measurement. Petite is designed for women 1.475 m (4 foot 11 inches) to 1.587 m (5 foot 3 1/2 inches) with a shorter body, with sleeves and shoulder width depending on bust size. Tall coat sizes are designed for women 1.7 m to 1.812 m (5 foot 8 to 6 foot 1/2 inch) and the coat body and sleeves are extended 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) from the regular measurements to accommodate arm and torso length. For full-figured women 1.6 to 1.687 (5 foot 4 inches to 5 foot 7 1/2 inches), coat sizes are 5 cm (2 inches) larger in the hip, bust and waist area compared to the regular coat. For example, an 18W features 5 cm (2 inches) extra in specific areas as compared to the regular size 18.


  1. 1

    Place the measuring tape around the chest. You may need a partner to help you with this measurement. The measuring tape should go around the chest, at the armpits. The tape should also be slightly above the shoulder blades for an accurate measurement.

  2. 2

    Measure the arm length by placing one hand on the hips and bending the elbow, and then place the measuring tape at the centre base of the neck. Measure out from the neck to the elbow, and then from the elbow to the wrist. Combine the two measurements for the total arm length.

  3. 3

    Ask a partner to take a measurement of your chest, with the arms included. To do this, place your arms down at your sides and have your partner place the measuring tape around the chest and arms at armpit level. If your total measurement is more than 17.5 cm (7 inches) higher than the measurement you took of the chest, choose a coat one size larger to avoid any tightness in the arm and shoulder area.

  4. 4

    Measure the hips for coats that will extend down, such as a trench or pea coat. Place the measuring tape around the widest portion of the hips, and write down the measurement.

  5. 5

    Determine the coat size for your body by looking at the chest measurements, because coat sizes are equal to your chest size in inches. For example, if your chest is 1 m (40 inches), your coat will be a size 40.

  6. 6

    Use your body shape to determine if your coat should be a regular, tall, short or plus size. Regular coats are designed for men 1.7 to 1.812 m (5 foot 8' inches to 6 foot 1/2 inch) who have equal measurements between the chest and hips. Tall coats are designed for men 1.825 to 1.875 m (6 foot 1 inch to 6 foot 3 inch) who have long arms and torsos. Sleeves on tall coats are extended 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) longer than regular arm sleeves to accommodate arm length. Short coat sizes are best for men between 1.575 and 1.687 m (5 foot 3 inch and 5 foot 7 1/2 inch), and the coat size is 5 cm (2 inches)shorter to accommodate shorter torsos. The sleeve lengths are 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) shorter than regular coats to accommodate a shorter arm length. Big size jackets are for men between 1.7 and 1.812 m (5 foot 8' inches and 6 foot 1/2 inch),with a stockier build. Pockets are made larger to create a more equal proportion to the coat size.

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