How to Pick the Right Size Coats for Children


Operation Warm coats are made to be a perfect fit for children. With so many different sizes and colors, we’ve made it easy for children to find the right coat that they will love and cherish for the entire season, no matter how cold it gets.

One of the questions you may have when gifting coats is, “How do we know what size coats to order?” Please don’t worry. We have put together an easy way to size coats for the children you are helping, no matter what the size of your coat program.

As an Operation Warm Community Hero, you have access to lots of help, especially when it comes to ordering coats for your community.

A basic rule of thumb when ordering coats is when in doubt, size up. Choosing a coat size that is one size larger than the size shirt or top a child wears is a good guideline. Sizing up will also allow additional layers to be worn under the coats.

Working with Your School or Beneficiary Organization

You should have a contact or coordinator at the school or organization that will receive the coats you will be giving the children. If possible this beneficiary contact to provide the sizes needed.

Your beneficiary may wish to size the children themselves in person (see information about ordering sizing kits), or ask parents to provide the information. Go here to automatically download a free Coat Sizing Letter to Parents template that you can customize.

Giving Coats to More than 200 Children

When you serve more than 200 children, the question of how to pick the right size coats has an easy answer. There is no need to enter sizes for each child. Fill out some basic information, such as the number of children in each grade in our spreadsheet, and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the right sizes you will need. Go here to automatically download the spreadsheet for sizing more than 200 children.

How to Tell if a Coat Fits a Child

Here is an easy method to tell if a coat fits a child. This method can be used during a coat celebration event (when you are giving coats directly to each child). You can also pass this information on to your beneficiary, if they will be responsible for giving each child a coat.

Have the child put the coat on and zip it all the way up. If the coat does not zip up, you will need to get a bigger size.

Next, show them to “reach for the sky” by lifting your arms straight up – they will follow your lead and do the same. When they do this, check to make sure the sleeves are still sitting at their wrists. If the sleeves are half way up their arms, the coat is too small and you will need to size up. If the sleeves are too long and covering their hands, the coat is too big and you will need to size down.

Then, you will demonstrate to the child how to hug themselves. When they do this, check the area near their shoulders and armpits to make sure it is not too tight. Keep in mind, a lot of children will wear a hoodie underneath the coat, so you want a little extra room for them to move. If all of these check out, the child is all set to go with their brand new winter coat.

Limited Sizing Kits Are Available

A sizing kit gives you one coat in each of six available sizes. You can use these coats for the kids to try on to help with sizing. Coats that come in sizing kits are all brand new coats. You can order a Boys sizing kit, a Girls sizing kit, an Adult sizing kit or any combination.

A Boys Sizing Kit: 6 coats (one each of Boys 3T, 4, 5/6, 7/8, 10/12, 14/16). Cost: $120.

A Girls Sizing Kit: 6 coats (one each of Boys 3T, 4, 5/6, 7/8, 10/12, 14/16). Cost: $120.

An Adult Sizing Kit: 6 coats (one each of Men Small, Men Large, Men XXL, Women Small, Women Large, Women XXL). Cost: $132.

Ordering Coats

To order coats, please sign into the Operation Warm partner portal using the login you received after you signed up. You can use the new Operation Warm shopping cart for quick and easy coat ordering. Only programs that have signed up as Community Heroes partners will be able to order coats.

Go here to learn more about the new Shopping cart.

Still have questions? Email us.

Interested in providing brand new coats for kids in your community? We would love for you to join us as an Operation Warm Community Partner!

Learn More




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