When buying new uniforms for officers in your police department, there are many aspects you must consider. The color of the material and features offered by each article of clothing are both fairly important factors to look at, but the sizes of the uniforms are by far the most crucial aspect. If your officers are wearing something that’s too big or small, it will affect them while on the job.
You’ll need to follow a specific set of rules that we’ll detail for you in this guide to police uniform sizing to ensure that everyone receives a uniform that fits them perfectly. If you follow these guidelines, you should never have an issue with something not fitting one of your officers properly.
Why You Need To Use Specific Measurements
For most articles of clothing, manufacturers label their sizes with small, medium, large, etc. Sometimes, pants will be a little more descriptive, but most of them only factor in a person’s waist size. While this system is effective for most people, it works only for casual clothes. When wearing a shirt around the house, it doesn’t matter if it’s a little baggy or a bit tight on you. As long as it’s comfortable, that’s all that matters.
However, this isn’t the case when it comes to the clothing an officer wears in the line of duty. If a cop’s uniform is too big, they could catch it on something during an on-foot pursuit, which will either trip the officer up or cause their clothes to rip. On top of that, loose clothing is easier to grab onto, which can cause trouble when handling the perp.
On the other side of things, clothing that’s too tight will make movement more difficult. An officer needs to remain nimble, and a snug uniform will make that more difficult. Plus, tight-fitting clothes can be uncomfortable and potentially rip if pulled too hard in a certain direction.
That’s why you need specific measurements for each of your officers before ordering them a uniform. Every person has a different body type, and something that fits one person well won’t work for another. Fortunately, most police uniform stores recognize this and offer multiple sizing options that will accommodate multiple sizes and body types.
What To Use for Measuring
Now that you understand the importance of these measurements, it’s time to go over what you need to take them. Since most of these measurements will be on rounded surfaces of your body, you will need to use either a cloth or plastic tape measure. Metal ones can work in a pinch, but since they don’t bend as well, your results might not be as accurate. If you don’t have any tape measures, you can use a long piece of string and then measure it using a ruler or yardstick.
The other thing you’ll need is a buddy. Measuring the length of various parts of your body will be difficult and, in some cases, nearly impossible to do on your own. Having another person with you to take these measurements will be essential during this process. Plus, if they’re getting a new uniform, too, you can help each other out.
How To Measure Each Body Part
Now that you have what you need, it’s time to measure each part of your body. This will ensure that every dimension of your new uniform fits perfectly. However, each body part has different requirements for measuring them, which we’ll cover for you here.
Let’s start at the top with your head. You’ll need to wrap the tape measure around the top of your head, about an inch above your eyebrows. The tape measure should be parallel to the floor. Depending on the type of hat you’re taking measurements for, you might need to change how you find these results, but for most police-issue service caps, this is the process you’ll need to follow.
Next is the neckline. This measurement will help ensure that your shirt’s collar doesn’t end up choking you. For this one, all you need to do is lightly wrap the tape measure around your neck, following the same path a standard collar would. If you’re having trouble doing this, you can also measure the collar of a comfortable shirt you normally wear.
Following the neck, you’ll want to measure your chest for men’s clothing or your bust for women’s. You’ll want to keep your tape measure parallel to the ground. For this measurement, keep it at the largest section of your chest or bust. Also, be sure to run the tape measure underneath your arms.
Measuring your waist will be similar to your chest. The only difference is that you will want to wrap the tape measure around the smallest part of your waist. This measurement is unique in the sense that you’ll use it when ordering shirts and pants. However, if you’re measuring your waist or chest for a jacket, be sure to add three or four inches to each amount. If you need to know your waist length for a belt, add about two inches.
Another pants-related measurement you’ll need is your hips. When taking this measurement, stand with your heels together and relax. Then, measure the fullest part of your bottom. Typically, men don’t need to know their hip size when ordering pants, but it never hurts to know it.
Let’s move back up a bit to the arms for the sleeve measurement. This one is a bit difficult to measure properly. Start at the center of the back of your neck, where your collar would normally lay. Pull the tape measure all the way to the corner of your shoulder. Then, from that point, you’ll want to measure all the way down to your wrist. Add these numbers together, and you’ll have your sleeve length.
Another measurement you’ll need for your pants is the inseam. This will determine how long your pants will need to be for your legs. Start at the groin and extend the tape measure all the way down to your ankle. This is another measurement that’s easier to do on a well-fitted article of clothing you’re not currently wearing.
If your uniform requires gloves, you’ll need to know your hand size. For this measurement, you’ll need to determine the length of the fullest part of your palm, not including your thumb. Be sure to use your dominant hand for this since it might be slightly larger than your non-dominant one.
Your foot size is one measurement you likely already know, but it never hurts to make sure. Put the heel of your foot flat against a wall. Then, lay the tape measure out next to your foot. Take the measurement at the point of your foot that stretches out the furthest from the wall.
Consider the Brand of Each Clothing Article
One final note we wanted to make in this guide to determining the right size for your police uniform is that not all brands are equal. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal law that companies need to follow when creating their measurements on clothing.
That’s why we’d ask that you refer to Blauer and Keystone’s sizing guides for more information to make sure you get the right size apparel from us. Knowing all of this previous information will still help you make the right decision but checking their official sizing charts will ensure accuracy.