How to Measure Hoodie Size Before Ordering for Distribution

When ordering hoodies and other garments for distribution, it is crucial to understand how sizing works. Once you have this figured out, it makes it much easier to determine what sizes the recipients will ultimately need.

It is also important to familiarize yourself with which sizes are most common. Whether you are planning on selling the shirts or handing them out to members of your staff, organization, etc., being familiar with the most common sizes and size distribution will enable you to make smart purchasing decisions.

Once You Know the Sizes, Order Up on Plain Hoodies!

To learn how to measure hoodie sizes before ordering for distribution, keep reading! Need to know what sizes to order for t-shirts, too? Find out in our guide!

front and back black hoodie

Source: Red Moccasin/

Measuring a Sweatshirt

One of the best ways to ensure you order the right size hoodie for someone is to measure one they already own and love. Since sizing can vary between brands and styles, this method is the best way to guarantee a perfect fit.

The process for measuring a sweatshirt remains fairly similar across multiple styles. Whether you’re shopping for a pullover or zip-up hoodie or a crewneck sweatshirt, the overall process remains the same.

First, smooth out the garment on a hard, flat surface. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles to ensure accurate measurements.

Using a fabric tape measure, measure the distance from the center of the neck to the end of the shoulder where the sleeve begins. This is the neck-to-shoulder measurement. Then, measure from the shoulder to the wrist to determine the sleeve length. Measure from shoulder to shoulder, too.

Need to Know What Sizes to Order for T-Shirts, too? Find Out in Our Guide

Determine the chest measurement by measuring around the fullest part of the sweater’s chest area under the arms. Make sure the measuring tape is flat around the back of the shirt and there are no wrinkles.

Measuring Tape

Source: Amore/

The front length is determined by measuring from the highest point on the shoulder to the bottom of the sweatshirt. Measure the hem by measuring the bottom of the shirt from one side to the other. If there is elastic, place the measuring tape above the elastic.

Last, measure around the wrist to determine the size of the sleeve cuff. Again, if there is elastic, measure above the elastic.

Compare these measurements to the measurements of the garments you are looking to purchase, and you should have no problem finding the perfect size.

Most Common Sizes 

Measuring someone’s current hoodie or crewneck sweatshirt works well when you are ordering for just one person. But what happens when you need to place a bulk order of garments to sell, outfit your staff or even give to the attendees of a family reunion?

This is when being familiar with the most common sizes comes in handy.

In the United States, the most common size for tops is large, followed closely by medium. Extra-large is pretty popular, too, and there are plenty of people who need sizes XS, S, XXL and XXXL. The total breakdown looks something like this:

  • XS: 1 percent
  • S: 7 percent
  • M: 28 percent
  • L: 30 percent
  • XL: 20 percent
  • XXL: 12 percent
  • XXXL: 2 percent

Looking at these numbers, you may be tempted to order medium, large and extra-large and forget about the other sizes. In doing so, though, you would be excluding almost a quarter of the people to whom you’ll be distributing the shirts.

With hoodies and sweatshirts, you have a bit of wiggle room in terms of sizing since people tend to wear them a bit on the large side. It’s still important to order a selection of shirts representative of the average population, though.

At The Adair Group, we generally recommend following a 1-2-3-3-1 ratio when ordering shirts for groups. This includes:

  • 1 S
  • 2 M
  • 3 L
  • 3 XL
  • 1 XXL

These numbers can, of course, be multiplied to meet your quantity needs. And if you know you have especially large or small people in your group, it’s smart to go ahead and order an XS and/or XXXL, too.

The Bottom Line

woman pulling down yellow hoodie

Source: Roman Samborskyi/

Ordering hoodies and sweatshirts for distribution can be tricky. Ideally, it’s best to determine what sizes to order for your recipients based on the measurements of a hoodie they already wear and love. When that isn’t a possibility, though, using the ratio outlined above is your best bet. Once you know the sizes you need, order up on plain hoodies from The Adair Group!

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