How are the different women’s sizes broken down?

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and you want to find the best fit for your customer. Let’s dive into this complicated area and determine some key questions to ask when fitting a group.

Women’s sizes come in categories based upon body shape. The considerations are:

  • Height (back length)
  • Whether the bust, waist, and hips are straight and narrow (teenager) or curvier (most adult women)
  • Whether the bust line is higher or lower (characteristics of younger and older women, respectively)

As such, most manufactures put women’s clothing into three categories:

  • Ladies/misses/women’s fit: The most common type of women’s clothing. For women of about average height (5?4″) with an average bust height and an hourglass figure. Sizes range from 2-16 or XS-4X.
  • Junior fit: For shorter women (less than 5?4″) with higher busts and straighter bodies (usually teenagers). Sizes range from 1-15 or XS-XL.
  • Plus sizes: For women larger than a size 16 of average height. These sizes have a similar fit to ladies and misses with more room in the bust and hips. Sizes are from 18 up and 1X up.

When working with your customers, there are a couple of crucial factors to note. First, don’t confuse an XL women’s fit with a 1X plus size. While a plus fit XL or 2X shirt is still cut the same as a women’s fit small, medium, or large, and the shape is the same, it will merely increase in inches. A plus size 1X or 2X will be a different shape, being roomier in the bust and hips. Also, don’t discount the height of the individual. You may have a teenager with a more or less straight body that is 5’10”. If you put them in a junior fit shirt, it will likely look like a crop top.

—Wear Your Spirit Warehouse

Ali Banholzer

View all articles by Ali Banholzer  

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