What Do Women's Clothing Sizes and Size Numbers Mean? Get the Right Fit

Updated on March 2, 2016


I am not a tailor but I work closely with the clothing industry responsible for clothing factory workers with various uniforms. Finding the right size for the right people is always an interesting issue. You can buy the perfect clothing size for a person's body type and it still might not be the right fit. For example, the clothes may have the wrong size tag or the wearers personal preference (baggier vs fitted jeans etc) may override the correct fit.

Here are some raw sizing basics that might help you get the right size and fit. This article I'll simply get into what all of those letters and numbers translate to in terms of size.

I'll dedicate one section to each size.

If you were looking for explanation on what women's sizes mean, see the link below.

XS Women's Extra Small

XS means extra small.  Extra small translates to a women's size 4.  Bust size 33". Waist size 25". Hips 35 1/2"

S Women's Small

S means small.  Small translates to a women's sizes 6 - 8.  Bust size 34 - 35". Waist size 26 - 27". Hips 36 1/2" - 37 1/2

M Women's Medium

  M means medium. Medium  translates to women's sizes 10 - 12.  Bust size 36 - 37 1/2". Waist size 28 - 29 1/2". Hips 38 1/2 - 40

L Women's Large

L means large. Large translates to women's sizes 14 - 16.  Bust size 39 - 40 1/2". Waist size 31- 32 1/2". Hips 41 1/2" - 43

XL Women's Extra Large

XL means extra large. Extra large translates to women's sizes 18 - 20.  Bust size 42 1/2" - 44 1/2". Waist size 34 1/2" - 36 1/2". Hips 45 - 47"

2XL Women's Double Extra large or Two Extra Large

2XL Means woman's double  extra large or two extra large. Double extra large translates to translates to woman's sizes 22 - 24.  Bust size 46 1/2" - 48 1/2". Waist size 38 1/2 - 40 1/2". Hips 49 - 51"

3XL Women's Triple Extra Large or Three Extra Large

3XL Means women's triple  extra large or three extra large. Double extra large translates to translates to women's sizes 26 -  28.  Bust size 50 1/2" - 52 1/2". Waist size 42 1/2 - 44 1/2". Hips 53 -55"

Thanks for Reading

Thanks! I hope that helps you to better understand sizes of women's clothing

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Juliet 7 days ago

        Please am looking for a seize of complete and the seize is 40,42 what does dat mean

      • profile image

        bennice jackson 2 weeks ago


      • profile image

        Gary L. Olson 4 months ago

        In womens sizes what is ment by

        1&m 2&m 3&m mean all the way

        to 10&m.

      • profile image

        Rags 4 months ago

        What does size 12 B & B mean?

      • profile image

        Gabby 6 months ago

        What does S/US 4 mean???

      • profile image

        pipp 7 months ago

        hi i need you help I'm looking at a pair of jeans and the size is '4L32' What does that mean?

      • profile image

        chris 17 months ago

        what does l/x mean

      • profile image

        subhadra sahoo 20 months ago

        What do you mean by woman sizes mean

      • TurtleDog profile image

        TurtleDog 2 years ago

        Thar is a tough one! Appesars theres a tee shirt co named xuu but i dont recall that size either. Sorry!

      • profile image

        Kristin 2 years ago

        Hi, I came across women's pants that have "xUU" (such as 10 xuu) and have no idea what it means. Can you explain??

      • TurtleDog profile image

        TurtleDog 7 years ago

        Very well said Amy! A lot of really good points on the odd variance you can sometimes get between stated size and actual size. Even things less thought of like laboratory (latex) gloves fit differently. In that case it usually has to do with the country of origin (and the size of their population :-)

        Thanks for the comment! Really appreciate it.

      • Amy Becherer profile image

        Amy Becherer 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

        Very interesting topic. Since I do most of my shopping online, I check the size charts (European clothing is generally less generous than American sizes) and always read reviews before making a purchase. Certain manufacturers apparently calibrate sizing differently (Pilco jeans sold at Anthropologie are notorious for "tight through the thighs no matter the size and generally, the more expensive, the more generous the material). I often wonder if the motivation of expensive lines is more promotional, flattering the consumer to increase sales. The type of material (stretch factor) can have a bearing. The cut of a dress can create a design that is more or less forgiving depending on body type. Shoes can be tricky, and I've found reviews from buyers are the best indicator regarding how true to fit a product runs. Thank you for this informative and well done write on an interesting subject.

      • TurtleDog profile image

        TurtleDog 7 years ago

        Hi! Thanks for the great question I'd suggest double checking my answer with the store or site you are looking to buy from but I do believe that women's full in most Halloween costumes range from 16-18 and even a broader range of 14-18 depending on where you are shopping. Best bet is to double check this since Halloween costumes vary in styles and sizes enough that it can be tough to pin down an exact number.

        Thanks again for reading!

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        sarah 7 years ago

        what does women's full mean in halloween costumes?