Thursday, August 21st, 2008...8:29 pm

How to Size a Racing Suit

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It is not uncommon for customers to assume they know what size they need. All their life, they have been getting accustomed to their body, and how clothes fit. But most of us have never tried on a racing suit before, so what are the chances we know what size we need without referencing a sizing chart?

Probably the most ignored aspect of racing suit sizing is that the suit is not supposed to fit perfectly when you are standing up, but rather while you are in the driving position. When you take your measurements, you want to be sure that the way you take them coincides with the way your sizing chart instructs you to. Some sizing charts will recommend that you take them while standing up. Others will recommend taking them while sitting down. And almost all of them will recommend you have someone else take the measurements for you, to ensure accuracy.

So, why the fuss about using a sizing chart? Because it will make everything so much easier for you, from the ordering process to the track. Let’s face it, one of the most difficult parts about buying anything online is that you cannot tell if it fits. Then why not use a sizing chart if it is available. It will save you and your retailer a huge potential headache! And honestly, it will probably save you some money too, as most retailers will charge a restocking fee on such items, plus the return shipping cost.

Beyond the ordering process, it is also imperative that your suit fit properly so you can drive or ride comfortably, which equals additional safety. When you are uncomfortable, your concentration falters. And when your concentration falters on the track, you are putting yourself and everyone else on the track at risk.

Another issue you may be concerned about regarding sizing is how to determine which size is right for you based on your measurements. Not everyone will fall right into a particular size. Often times, you will have to go with the lesser of two evils – “My pants might be a little too long, but at least my chest won’t be compressed.” Or you could consider a 2 Piece suit, which provides greater flexibility in regards to sizing. (Most racing and karting suits are available in 2-Piece, however, it is much more difficult to find in motorcycle racing suits. In snowmobile clothes, 2-piece suits are often comprised of snowmobile bibs and snowmobile jackets.)

The last barrier to customers using sizing charts is the complicated numbers and metrics. Sometimes the same brand will use both inches and centimeters on its sizing charts. There isn’t a great way around this, other than to simply encourage you to pay close attention when you are reading the instructions, and make sure you use the right metric.

Essentially, it is a good idea to make use of the resources that are provided to you. If a retailer has had the foresight to provide you with a sizing chart, take advantage of it! They are trying to do you a favor! And if you can’t understand it, send their customer service team an email, or give them a call. They would much rather help you figure it out before you place your order, then after you have received it and discover it doesn’t fit.

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