Fit and Sizing
Breathe Vélo has been sending kit around the world for a long time. It is very important to our customers and our business to make sure the fit is right!
Our base patterns are tried and tested through time and use; we have thousands of rider’s the world over wearing our kit, so we know our fits are spot on. Below is our guide to sizing, it’s a good idea to read through it so you know how we do things.
Breathe vélo‘s four basic rules of sizing…
Rule No. 1
Never compare the labeled sizing from different brands. They rarely mean the same thing.
Rule No. 2
Many people do not know their real size, nor how to measure to obtain sizing.
Rule No. 3
Breathe Vélo uses ‘True Sizing’.
We base our sizes on your physical size, not an arbitrary number, the size of a small Italian pro racer or a Himalayan goat herder. If your chest physically measures 101cm / 40″, then you will choose a 101/40 sized top, regardless of the cut. The same applies for our shorts and bibs.
Rule No. 4
Our jerseys fit close but not tight and never ‘race’ or skin tight.
If asked to describe our cuts, we say that ‘our jerseys are cut based on the properties of the fabric’; we allow for a close fit but take into account the fact that the Merino we use has a moderate stretch, so by nature can not be a tight fit.
Read below for our guide to Chest and Waist Sizing as well as our Benchmark Sizing system.
For all Breathe Vélo tops, the core measurement is physical chest size. If you don’t know what that is, you can:
1: Look at formal/business shirt, as these still use ‘True’ sizing.
2: Measure. Using a tape measure, measure around your chest at nipple hight. The tape should not be pulled taught, nor have any slack in it.
Once you have this, depending on your body size, select the size that corresponds. If you find you sit in the middle, say 39″ or 38.5″, we always advise you to go up rather than down, unless you want a firm fit and do not put on weight! Keep in mind Merino does not have the stretch of many synthetics, so a firm fitting Merino top will feel… firm.
If you know you have a smaller/larger chest etc. for your given height (ie. most shirts you buy will be too short/long in the arms and/or body), we can bespoke cut (for an additional charge), making sure the lengths are just right for you.
For all our shorts and bibs, the core measurement is physical waist size. If you don’t know what that is, you can:
1: As with shirts, check your formal/business pants which use ‘True’ sizing.
2: Measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your waist, at hip bone level – usually just below your navel. This will give you your ‘True’ waist size.
A note on waist sizing
Waist sizing is one of the most confusing as many people buy pants that are actually the wrong size!
We say this because many people buy jeans/casual pants a size too small. As the pants fit and don’t fall off without a belt, they assume this is the correct size. The reality though is all pants have what is known as ‘ease’ built into them. ‘Ease’ is usually a minimum of 5cm /2″ for jeans, that is added into the cut above the actual waist size. So someone with a 34″ waist may be wearing 32″ jeans because they fit snugly and don’t fall down, naturally assuming this is a good fit; but a 32″ jean with a minimum of 2″ of ease will be at least a 34″ physical finished waist, hence the perfect fit!
In reality jeans, and most casual pants, are meant to fit a little looser and incorporate the use of a belt, so a proper fitting 34″ set of jeans will measure closer to 36″.
A good way to see this is to measure your jeans. Lay them flat and measure from side to side, half way up the waist band. We bet that your jeans will be at least 2″ BIGGER than what’s on the label!
We also supply a extensive list of ‘finished’ core measurements.
‘Finished’ refers to the final dimensions of the garment and you can use these to measure against a similar garment you may have to see how they compare. Keep in mind that when using this method, there will be some discrepancies due to unavoidable variations in sewing etc., as well as any shrinkage in the garment you are using to measure from.
To measure a top, lay it flat and use the below chart as a guide on how to obtain comparative measurements. Try and make sure there are no wrinkles when measuring and ensure not to stretch the garment, which can make it longer than it really is.
Measuring a bottom uses the same method. Lay it flat and use the below chart as a guide on how to obtain comparative measurements. Try and make sure there are no wrinkles when measuring and ensure not to stretch the garment, which can make it longer than it really is.