Xs to 3X: A Brief Guide to Clothing Sizes

Posted September 28, 2022 by in Fashion
clothes hanging in boutiqe

If you have done any clothing shopping in the past decade, you know that sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. A size 7 pants from one company is equal to a size 5 at another company. The term “universal size” is misleading and size labels for clothing seem to be a guideline rather than a concrete number. 

The most reliable size chart is an actual measurement of the clothing and then compare that to the measurements of your body. The issue with this is that shopping online isn’t always as easy or correct as shopping in a clothing store. Although shopping by size is often the quickest and easiest way to get your clothing, using the actual measurements of the garment are going to provide the most accurate fit, no matter how you are shopping. 

You must also consider that the United States has a different type of clothing size scale than other parts of the world. There are several comparison sites online that will help you determine what size you are if you are purchasing an item of clothing from another country. Just be sure your measurements are converted properly before making the final purchase. 

Years Ago 

Uniform clothing sizes were not introduced in the United States until the Civil War when each soldier needed to wear the same thing. Before that, people, mostly women, would sew the clothing for the family and could adjust sizes for everyone. Rarely did they make more than a single item, and no two pieces of clothing were the exact same size. That is until manufacturing of clothing with large machinery became popular in factories. 

XS to S Clothing Sizes 

This category is for thinner individuals who most likely have small breasts. Bust size is another type of determining factors for various clothing sizes. For men and children, it might be listed as chest size. And this is the main measurement for how a shirt, blouse, or jacket will fit a person’s body. Although most clothing labels will not list a chest size in numbers, the range will be smaller and fall under extra small to small. It may also be listed as petite, but this term also refers to a shorter person.


In the beginning, medium equaled average. And the average for a woman was around one-hundred and fifteen pounds. About a size 5 or 6. Today, there is nothing average about clothing measurements and what is considered average by society standards is about a size 8 or 10. Although many more women wear a size 16 to 18. 

Large to XL 

Often, large sizes are plentiful in the stores. Manufacturers have realised that more women are larger than years past. Although harder to find, clothing in size XL or 2X are popular with middle-aged and older women, even if they are not that large. When you reach a certain age, comfort becomes a priority. 

Plus Sizes 

Clothing designers and creators have levelled up their game to include plus size women. This section of clothing is now trendy, as well as comfortable, which was hard to find a mere decade ago. Body size acceptance has also come a long way to help create more clothing choices for bigger women and men. 

The bottom-line is to make sure you are comfortable in the clothing you are wearing. What is trendy for your best friend may not be what fits you and your lifestyle best.