U.S. Women's Apparel Size Charts

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How To Find Your U.S. Apparel Size

Giovanna Battaglia wears a pink Valentino couture dress after the Valentino show at Hotel Salomon de Rothschild
Getty Images, Melodie Jeng / Contributor

If there's one thing that women can agree on when it comes to fashion, it might be this: finding your size has never been more difficult. Between vanity sizing and the sheer number of brands producing women's apparel right now, it's nearly impossible to find your definitive size across the board. For that reason, knowing the measurements of your bust, waist, and hips (in inches) can be an incredibly helpful tool to have at your disposal. While you might be a size 6 at one store and a size 2 at another, your consistent measurements will help you find the right fit and correct size from store to store, brand to brand.

The truth is, each manufacturer has a different standard for their sizes, which is why it can be so difficult to get your size right—especially when you're shopping online. We recommend using a size chart to get a good feel for what your size probably is, but when shopping from an online retailer, look for a "fit guide" that will help you make the best choice.

In addition to using the general size charts we've included in the slideshow ahead, be sure to consult the manufacturer or retailer size chart to find your accurate size for the different brands. Also, note that many online retailers have either live or email customer service to chat with you about sizing and fit.

Need to measure yourself?

Here's How. Use a cloth tape measure and a full-length mirror. Take measurements undressed or in lightweight clothes. Pull the tape measure snug, but not too tight. Keep your arms at your side and have a friend take the measurements, for the best results. And don't forget to stand up straight!

  • How to Measure Your Bust: Stand upright and measure around the shoulder blades, under the armpits and over the fullest part of the bust.
  • How to Measure Your Waist: In order to find your natural waistline, bend your body to the left or right side. You want to measure at this fold. It should appear above your hip bones and below your rib cage.  The tape measure should be snug, but not tight.
  • How to Measure Your Hips: Measure the fullest part of the hip (usually about 7-9 inches below the waist). This measurement should include your buttocks. Make sure the tape measure is flat against your body and parallel to the ground. 

The following slides will help you find your size using charts for sizes in the ranges of Misses, Junior, Plus, Petite and Tall clothing.

Note: The following charts are meant to be used for a general guidelines only. Consult size charts from individual stores and manufacturers to get a perfect fit.

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U.S. Misses Apparel Size Chart

U.S. Misses Apparel Size Chart
U.S. Misses Apparel Size Chart.

The Misses range is designated by even sizes that increase by two, like 4, 6 and 8, for example. This size range is commonly used for everything from mass market clothing (J. Crew and Gap) to designer and contemporary labels (Gucci, Theory, etc.). With designer labels, a 00 is typically the smallest size, while in most moderate or inexpensive clothing the sizes start at size 0 or 2. In contemporary clothing, it's not unusual for the sizes to only go up to a 10 or 12. Note that knitwear is frequently in sizes from XS-XL in misses' sizes, not by numeral.

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U.S. Juniors Apparel Size Chart

U.S. Junior Apparel Size Chart
U.S. Junior Apparel Size Chart.

Juniors sizes are for younger women and are designated by uneven sizes ranging from 1 to 13. The sizes for juniors are usually slimmer in the hips and bust than misses sizes (to fit the growing, younger body shapes of teenagers). Junior apparel is often trendier and less expensive than women's apparel and often made to be more like fast fashion that is only in style for a few seasons.

Here's the best advice for teens to save money while shopping.

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U.S. Petites Size Chart

U.S. Petites Apparel Size Chart
U.S. Petites Apparel Size Chart.

Petites are sizes in the misses range or plus sizes for women under 5' 4". You will usually see a P after the sizing such as 4P for a size 4 petite or 18WP (for a plus size petite). Many mass retailers now offer plenty of petite sizing options, including Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew and more.

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U.S. Tall Sizes Chart

U.S. Tall Size Apparel Chart
U.S. Tall Size Apparel Chart.

Tall sizes are also in the misses range and are adjusted for women who are 5' 9" and over. These sizes (found at J.Crew, Topshop and more) should be adjusted for your height, but if you're extra-tall, be sure to read the inseam and length measurements on the label or online description.

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U.S Plus Sizes Chart

U.S. Plus Size Apparel Chart
U.S. Plus Size Apparel Chart.

Plus sizes are for larger sized women, often designated by a W after the number such as 14W-24W. Some junior lines also come in plus sizes and would be uneven numbers higher than the usual range of 13: 15, 17, etc. In addition, instead of SML, Plus sizes are 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X.

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Shopbop.com Size Chart

Shopbop.com Size / Fit Chart
Shopbop.com Size / Fit Chart. shopbop.com

To give you an example of the kinds of sizing charts you might find online, here is one from digital-only retailer Shopbop. Their fit and size guide includes conversion for U.S. sizes, denim, UK and Australian sizes and even Japan, Korea, and China. Many retailers offer similar sizing guides to assist their international shoppers.