The Ultimate Size Guide for Men When Shopping Online

Men’s jeans, shoes, watch, shirt, and jacket laid out

Shopping online can be intimidating and overwhelming when sizes range differently depending on the brand. Sure, the outfits look great on the chiseled website models, but will that shirt be too tight around your love handles? Will the pants drag on the floor when you wear them to the office? 


While returning a package of clothes that don't fit isn’t the world’s biggest problem, it’s irritating enough that it can make you question whether you want to avoid shopping online altogether. Avoid feelings of buyer’s remorse and unnecessary trips to USPS with Stately’s Ultimate Size Guide for men shopping online. 


Measuring tape and thread laid out on black fabric


Get Prepared 

Before we get started, here’s what you’ll need to prepare to get a good fit. 

  • Soft fabric measuring tape (If you don’t have a measuring tape and you need your measurements immediately, you can substitute this with some sort of string, a ruler, and a marker). 

  • A partner or friend to assist 

  • A blank piece of paper 

  • A pen


Know Your Measurements


Although sizes change across different shops online, there’s one thing you can rely on to stay the same: your true size! While not every outfit will be perfectly tailored to your unique body, knowing your measurements ensures that what you’re buying comes close to your right fit. Review any size guides that the brand you’re shopping at adds to their website and compare them with the measurements you take at home. 

Let’s get started, men. Grab a soft fabric measuring tape and review the following. 

  1. Chest: Keep your arms to your side, and wrap the tape under your armpits and around the chest, in line with your nipples at the fullest part of your chest. 

  2. Shoulder Width: With the tape perfectly straight, follow the natural curve of your back and measure from the outside edge of one shoulder to the other.

  3. Waist: Place the tape four fingers above your navel, below your ribcage, and then wrap the tape around your stomach in line with the belly button.

  4. Inseam: The inseam is the distance from the uppermost part of your thigh to your ankle. Wear your favorite pair of pants that fit best to measure the length from your crotch to the bottom of your ankle. The combination of the waist measurement and inseam measurement typically translates to your pant size. For example, if a pair of jeans is listed as a 34 x 36 then you measured a 34-inch waist and 36-inch inseam. 

  5. Sleeve: Measure from the center back of your neck (at your spine) to the end of your shoulder at the top of your arm. Take this measurement and add it to the measurement from your shoulder to the point where you like your shirt cuff to be. When taking this measurement, bend your elbow slightly to ensure breathing room for your arms. 

  6. Collar: Measure around the base of the neck. 

  7. Height: Stand upright with your head and heels against a wall, then have your person measure the distance from the mark on the wall to the floor.

  8. Hips: Wrap the tape around the widest point of your bottom, which is slightly above the crotch line.

  9. Thighs: Wrap the tape measure slightly below your crotch and around your thigh.

  10. Feet: Tape a piece of paper down to a flat and smooth surface. Use a pen to trace your bare foot or your foot wearing a sock. Use the measuring tape to measure the farthest edge of your heel to the longest point of your toes. Pro tip: feet tend to get a bit swollen throughout the day, so try doing this measurement at the very end of the day. 

Choosing Your Fabrics

Some fabrics are stretchier, softer, naturally a tighter fit, or even more prone to shrink than others. That’s why it’s important to consider the type of fabric when buying clothes online.



Cotton fabrics typically have a relaxed and comfortable fit. They are breathable, soft, and lightweight, which makes them a popular choice for everyday wear. Cotton dries quickly and is easy to care for. When shopping online, keep in mind that some cotton fabrics are pre-shrunk, which means they have been treated to prevent shrinking after washing.



While some wool fabrics are stretchy and others are quite stiff, wool fabrics generally have a tendency to fit more snugly than fabrics like cotton. Wool fibers have a natural elasticity that allows them to mold to the shape of the body. Additionally, wool fabrics usually retain their shape over time, which can also contribute to a more fitted look. 



Polyester tends to be less breathable than natural fibers like cotton and wool, which can make them feel more restrictive and less comfortable in hot weather. However, polyester fabrics tend to be more wrinkle-resistant and less prone to shrinking than natural fibers, which can make them a good choice for people who want a low-maintenance wardrobe. Try a cotton-poly blend for shirts that are both soft and durable. 



Nylon fabrics fit in a similar way to polyester fabrics. They are known for being lightweight, strong, and durable, which can make them a good choice for activewear and outdoor clothing. However, because nylon fabrics can be less stretchy than other fabrics, they oftentimes fit tighter than other clothing of the same size. 


Things You Need to Know When Shopping Online 

Man posing in a scarf, jacket, and pants against a solid green background


Reviews are the most helpful. In this modern world, you don’t have to rely on the sales copy of a company’s marketing team to convince you that the clothes are a good fit. Check the reviews! Often you’ll notice ratings from happy or not-so-happy customers because the size of a product fits true to size, runs too large, or runs too small. Look for great value, high-quality items with solid reviews. 


Do not confuse unit measurements. Pay attention to what units the size guide you’re comparing to is using. Some countries use inches and others use centimeters. Use a converter if you need help!



When in doubt, size up. If after you take all of the measurements, crunch and compare the numbers, and you still feel weary of what size to go with, a general rule of thumb is to size up. Finding a tailor to make alterations to clothes that are too big and baggy is much easier than tailoring something that’s too small. 


Don’t forget accessories. A pocket square, belt, pair of sunglasses, watch, or the right tie can take a look to the next level. The difference between a basic fit and a fashion fit is the little details. For the best fit of a belt, opt for a belt that is about two inches larger than your pants size. Whether you choose a standard tie or a skinny tie, choose a color and pattern that fits the occasion. If you have a wider frame, a skinny tie may make you look bulkier. As for watches, if you have a slim wrist, refrain from wearing too thick a band and vice versa. 

Purchasing a Stately Men’s Clothing Subscription Box

Stately men’s clothing subscription box clothing with shoes, socks, watch, jeans, belt, jacket, and shirt


Ideally, you would have someone who could assist you with all of the measuring and styling and ensure a professional fit when you find clothes you love online every single time. Worse comes to worse, you can always go to your local suit store and they will measure you for free. 


Stately is out here making dreams a reality when you sign up for a clothing subscription box. Stately partners with a variety of leading menswear brands and offers high-quality clothes for affordable prices. 


Take all the guesswork out of shopping for men’s clothes online with Stately. Click through a quick style quiz to review your preferences and work directly with a stylist without any styling fees. Choose a plan and frequency that best suit your needs and budget, get it delivered straight to your doorstep, and never worry about fits again.