Uniform Sizing and Fitting Guide: How to Do it Right

A professional-looking uniform starts with a proper fit. A proper fit starts with accurate measurements. Professionally dressed employees represent your brand and company. Starting with a correct uniform size is essential to creating a positive first impression with customers.

The uniform sizing and fitting guide below provides a simple outline of how to take accurate uniform measurements. Following the guidelines will ensure a personalized fit and a clean and professional look.


A crisp, clean look will not be achieved if a shirt hangs at the neck or is fastened too tightly.

To measure the neck, the tape needs to be placed at the base of the neck and must remain level. Leave room for a finger between the neck and the tape.

Another way to properly measure the neck is to take the measurements of a shirt that fits well. Lay the collar of the shirt flat and run the tape from the top button, around the back of the collar and to the buttonhole. This measurement in inches corresponds to the numeric neck size.

Sleeve Length

An ill-fitted shirt with sleeves that are too short or too long will not achieve the company image that uniforms are meant to promote.

To take an accurate sleeve length measurement, relax the arms and let them hang alongside the body. The measuring tape will start at the shoulder seam and end at the wrist.

As with the neck measurement, another way to gauge sleeve length is to take a properly fitted shirt and run the tape from the shoulder seam down to the end of the sleeve. This will provide an accurate sleeve length.

Chest or Bust

If a shirt is too tight, it will gape at the chest. A shirt that is too loose will balloon out.

Take the chest or bust measurement by relaxing the chest and running the tape just below the arms. Pull the tape around the shoulder blades and across the broadest part of the chest or fullest part of the bust. Ensure that the tape remains level and is not pulled too tight.


Properly fitting pants shouldn’t fit too loosely or too tightly around the waist. The fit needs to allow for comfortable movements.

Measure the waist right above the hip bones at the natural waistline. The tape will need to remain level, with a finger space or two between the tape and the skin. Leaving the finger spacing between the waist and the waistband ensures the pants stay in place without a belt and are comfortable for daily wear.


The inseam on pants is the length of the inside of the leg. A uniform pant leg that isn’t the right length can look sloppy.

The visual goal is to achieve a clean line from waist to shoe, where a natural fold in the pants breaks the line. This “pant break” is the fold in the fabric that occurs at the bottom of the pant leg as it rests on the shoe. A general rule for inseam length is that the hem should slightly touch or overlap the shoe, with a pant break that is visually appealing.

The correct way to measure the inseam is by running the tape down the inside of the leg to the desired length. Make sure the legs are relaxed and the feet are slightly apart to get a natural fit.

The inseam can also be determined by taking the measurement of a pair of pants that fit well. Take the pants and measure down the inside of the leg from the crotch seam to the hem.


If a hip measurement is needed for a uniform, it is best to stand with the feet close together, keeping the legs relaxed. Pull the tape around the fullest part of the hips while keeping it level.

An allowance of a few inches at the hips may be necessary to help with comfortable movement.

The Right Fit

A customer’s first impression of a business is based on professionally dressed employees and uniforms that fit right. That first impression has a significant impact on overall experience. Following the measurement guidelines above will ensure that each piece of the uniform is properly fitted and will help make that positive first impression.  If you are looking for a uniform company that can assist with measurements and keep employees looking their best, Alsco uniform services is the right fit.


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https://www.healthline.com/health/waistline#overview. Healthline.

https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C227/welcome.html. New Mexico State University: College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. (April 2015).

https://afrotc.nd.edu/assets/278499/. United States Airforce ROTC. (June 2018).

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/guide-to-suit-pant-lengths. Masterclass. (November 2020).

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/uniform-influence-performance-workers-36356.html. Small Business: Chron.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jasp.12660. Journal of Applied Psychology. (March 2020).

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