How to Choose the Right Size for a Men’s Crochet Garment

Crocheting garments for men is quite similar to crocheting garments for women, but there are a few key differences that play an important role in getting a great fit and look.

Knowing how to measure, choose the right size, and make adjustments when needed is going to help you get a great fitting and great looking crochet garment.


Measuring & Choosing Size

Knowing how and where to measure is key when choosing the right size garment to crochet. This applies to any garment pattern, not just men. But for men, there is an added component that makes a huge difference.

First, I recommend taking lots of measurements of yourself or the person you are making the garment for. You can find full size charts at Craft Yarn Council to determine what size the person fits into best.

The main difference in choose the right size for men is their shoulder-to shoulder measurement. Most men have broader shoulders, making their shoulder-to shoulder circumference bigger than their chest circumference. So sizing needs to be based on the shoulder measurements, and not the chest.

Measure tip of shoulder bone to tip of shoulder bone to get the most accurate shoulder-to-shoulder measurement.

If the shoulder circumference is bigger than the chest circumference, you need to size up to fit the shoulders. The easiest way to determine this is take the shoulder-to-shoulder measurements and multiply it by 2. If that number is larger than the man’s chest circumference, use the shoulder measurement to determine size.

For example, my husband’s chest circumference is 35 inches. His shoulder-to shoulder measurement is 18 inches, meaning his shoulder circumference is 36 inches. Size large is the size that his shoulder measurement falls into, so I need to make him a size large garment.

If you don’t size up, and just use the chest circumference measurement, you will often get a sweater that is too tight and uncomfortable around the shoulder and back area. It may not even fit at all.

This also applies to children’s sizes, especially in boys. I find that from about 10/11 years old and up, you’ll need to use the shoulder-to-shoulder measurement as they are growing and their shoulders are getting broader.

A Few Exceptions

The weight of the yarn can make a difference in the fit of the garment. Often times when I’m making my husband a garment in worsted or bulky weight yarn, I do not need to size up. The thicker yarn often gives more room or ease, and stretches more, making the fit naturally a bit bigger. So I usually make him a size medium in these thicker yarns.

As I always recommend, try the garment on often as you crochet it, to determine where you need to make adjustments.

Making Adjustments

Often times, small adjustments are needed to get a better fit in certain areas of the garment.

Length is an common issue I have found with crocheting garments for men. Some men are really tall and need added length to their sweater or garment.

If you are crocheting a garment for a person who is especially tall you can usually add more length by crocheting more rounds/rows within the body of the garment. If the garment is worked vertically in rows, you’ll need to add more stitches to the row. You can do this by looking for the stitch multiple and adding that multiple of stitches until you reach the length you need. If the stitch multiple is not listed in the pattern, I’d recommend reaching out to the designer for that information.

For shorter length, you can do less rows/rounds or adjust the stitch count to be less stitches in the multiple that it is worked.

If you need a little extra width or give in the garment in certain areas, an easy adjustment you can make is to go up a hook size or two. This will open up the stitches a bit to give more room. If you need less room, you can go down a hook size or two.

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