Like snowflakes, kids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And to make finding the perfect size more challenging, a child’s age does not always correlate to their clothing size. It can be frustrating trying to figure out what size to buy when purchasing children’s snow suits. If all the makers of kid’s outerwear used the same measurements, life would be easy!
And if that is not hard enough to figure out, all kids are different as to how tight they want their outerwear to fit. Some kids like to have their jackets roomy and others like to have them snug to their bodies. My children have always preferred a roomy fit. Since they prefer roomy, I normally buy my kids winter coats a little large so that they can grow into them. That also has the added benefit of letting them get more life out of their outerwear. Since each brand has unique sizing, it is important to take all of your child’s key measurements prior to making a purchase.
The easiest way to measure your child is with a flexible measuring tape. There are two super-easy ways to come up with your measurements. I normally measure something that I know fits my child and I also take the measurements from their actual bodies. By using these two measurements together, you are ensuring a perfect fit for your child’s outerwear. Here are the 5 key areas you’ll want to focus on:
1. Inseam - The first measurement you will want to take is the pant inseam measurement. You will want to find the seam in the middle of the seat area of the snow pants. If you are measuring your child’s body, you will want to measure from the lowest part of where their legs meet down to their ankles. This measurement is important because it determines whether your child will be comfortable when they bend down or if their pants will ride up their torso.
2. Chest – Taking the chest measurement of kids winter coats is pretty easy. You just need to measure from armpit to armpit on either your child or on a piece of clothing you know that fits. This is the measurement that I always want a little roomy. The chest measurement allows your child to feel comfortable in their jackets. You don’t want it too tight or they are going to feel constricted. Some manufacturers list the circumference around the chest, so be aware of how measurements are taken.
3. Sleeve Length– This is a trickier measurement with a few variations. If the jacket you are looking at has elastic or Velcro wrist cuffs, I would go a little larger on this one. The elastic will allow the sleeves to stay where they are supposed to stay and still have room for your child to grow with the coat. For the first method, you’ll want to measure from the center of your child’s neck bone to their wrist bone. A second method is to measure the distance between the top of shoulder bone and wrist bone. You’ll want this to be accurate so that the jacket doesn’t ride up on their arms or slide over their hands. Make sure you understand how the manufacturer arrived at their measurements so you are comparing apples to apples.
4. Overall Length of Coat – This measurement is totally a matter of personal taste. Some people want a bomber jacket that fits snug at the waist and some people want a stadium, parka or full-length jacket that will hit near the shins. To get this measurement you go by the seam in the back collar to the bottom of the jacket. If you are looking at your child, measure from where there neck os attached to their shoulders down to wherever they want the jacket to stop on their bodies. You will want to consider where your child will be using this coat. Will they be skiing or sledding? Are they playing in the snow? Etc.
5. Waist – The waist should be measured from hip bone to hip bone. You can also take a pair of pants that fit them and lay them on a table. Then you just lightly grasp the pants and without stretching the waistband, you measure the width of the pants. If the waist is fully elastic, you can measure relaxed and expanded measurements so you have the full range to compare.
Once you are armed with their key size measurements, you will have a much easier time purchasing children’s snow suits in a retail store or on-line. If the website you visit doesn’t offer a size scale for each brand or listing, be sure to ask the seller for assistance. For more information on sizing, check out this sizing guide from Snowsuits For Kids.