How to Find the Correct Size for Men's Bib Overalls

Having stepped out of the farmer's shadow, bib overalls appear in a variety of colors, fabrics and styles for men's casual wear. Pair them with a tee, a crisp button-front shirt, or a turtleneck sweater and wear them any season. Bibs have button fasteners at the waistline on each side and adjustable shoulder straps, so you can get a perfect fit, whether you wear a one-sided bib or go for the complete-coverage look. Although bib-overall sizing has some quirks corresponding to body type, you'll find waist and inseam measurements on the tag to use as guides.

Two men are standing next to a shipping container in overalls. (Image: Tay Jnr/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Step 1

Measure your waist size at the belly button line, and buy at least one size larger. It may seem huge, but many men wear regular pants and jeans below their waist or tucked under a waistline overlap, so the number size of the waist of their regular pants is not big enough for a comfortable fit in bib overalls. Overalls need to be somewhat loose for ease of movement.

Step 2

Measure your inseam from crotch to hem. This measurement is not as specific as the girth, because the hanging length of the overalls changes as you adjust the shoulder straps. The inseam does need to be long enough for the overalls to fit comfortably without binding at the crotch.

Step 3

Try on the bib overalls, fastening the side buttons. The overalls should rest comfortably around the waist without being tight. If you plan on wearing only one shoulder strap fastened for a casual look, make sure the waist buttons fit snug enough to hold the overalls in place. If you’ll wear both shoulder straps fastened, adjust them so they hold the bib portion in place without binding your shoulders.

Tip

The fit of your overalls can be affected by fabric type. Soft denim and light-weight, twill-weave fabrics are more flexible and forgiving than heavy denim is.

As a general rule, the size of the overalls is at least one size larger than your normal waist measurement and one size shorter than your typical inseam measurement. You also need to allow for shrinkage.

Be realistic when you measure, and don't tighten the measuring tape so that it presses into your skin. Overalls must be large enough to fit your actual waist measurement.

Work overalls are not designed to be form fitting, but to be long wearing with convenient pockets and pouches. Designer overalls are more individually styled; you’ll find them in regular fit, relaxed fit or slender cuts, for example.

Add 4 to 6 inches to the waist measurement if you are purchasing insulated bib overalls. Insulated overalls are intended to be worn loosely over other clothing.

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