How do women's clothing sizes work?

i was looking at my friend's clothes today and ladies, your clothing sizes are unbelievable confusing. her dress size was like a 2? and her pants size was like a 4 or 6 or something idk. and she was trying to explain bra sizes to me which I sort of understood. it goes up to like 32a and after that it goes to b cups until like 36b? then it's a c? men's clothing is so much simpler. pants: 30x30=waist x inseam. shirts: s, m, l, xl, xxl. I'm asking because they're confusing and I would like to learn for no reason at all.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • bras have a cup and a band. the band is how wide your back/waist is. the bigger the band size, the heavier you are. cup is how big your boobs are in comparison to your waist. i=I think the average band size is a 36 or 38. But a girl with 32C boobs does not have boobs as big as a woman with a 38C bra, they both just have boobs that are a bit larger than their back/waist region.

    Clothing sizes vary by store. 00 or 0 is the smallest and they generally go up to a 14, each degree getting bigger, after that it becomes plus size which goes up to a 24 I believe. some stores sell size 14+.

    Then there are stores that run differently. The standard sizing is 0-14 but some stores are cut larger or smaller. For example H&M goes 0-14 too but I wear a larger size there than I do at Gap or American Eagle or many other stores and they are known among my social circles to run small.

    Then some stores or brands go by European sizes like 24-32 or whatever, that goes by waist size.

    Then there are junior sizes 0 or one until size 15 or so..those are similar to misses but they are odd numbers and obviously run smaller than adult clothes do because they are made for teenagers. I wear a 4-6 in misses and I wear a 7 or 9 in juniors.

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What Girls Said 10

  • I agree with you. Men's sizes are much simpler but I guess womens sizes are complicated because women vary in shape a lot whereas men are very similar in build to one another.

    I don't tend to stick to a size personally because I don't understand them and am actually a different size in different places so just pick what's comfortable for me. Some women get really hooked on what size they are when its just a number and clothes are being made smaller with smaller numbers which is just making things so much worse.

    In terms of bra size, that one is quite simple really. The number part is the number of inches around just under the breasts. The letter part is the cup size. This is determined by measuring the number of inches across the breasts at the widest part and then working out the difference between that measurement and the other one. I think it works out something like half an inch difference is an A cup, one inch difference is a B cup and so on. (That bit may not be exactly right mind you)

    All in all, women's clothes and sizing are way more complicated than they need to be. But I hope what I've said has helped to enlighten you! :)

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    • "pick what's comfortable to me" same. I would rather by something that fits rather than buy something because of size.

  • Well dresses are a little bit loser so they usually aren't as big as pants sizes since pants wrap tightly around your waist. With dresses you have more room but it really all depends on the dress. Of course a tight dress won't fit so comfortably if you have a size 4 waist. Also pants vary. Some pants I'm a different size than others. It all depends on the maker/material. This is all why girls spend a lot of time in a store's dressing room. Our sizes vary on the material, designer, what it is, etc. Our shirts are the same as guys usually (xs, s, m, l, xxl, etc.). If there's a number instead then its just our pants size.

    Bra sizes are easy. The number is the measurement around your body. So its like a man's pant size. The letter is cup size. Usually girls need to be measured by someone in the store to find out both of these accurately.

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  • Women's clothing sizes are all different. It's the most confusing thing.

    Bra sizes are more standard. It starts at an A cup, then goes up from there. There are women who are a J cup or larger. For bras you have a cup size and then a band size. The cup size is the letter, so A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, etc... The band size is the measurement around. Most stores start at 32, some start at 30, then it can go up from there. Usually, its a 42 or a 44 that it stops at, but some places sell bigger.

    As for clothing sizes, sizes vary widely. You can have xs (extra small), S (small), M (Medium), L (large), XL (extra large), and XXL (extra, extra large).

    Or you can have number sizes. So anywhere from 4-24, or larger or smaller depending on the store. Some stores cater to special sizes.

    But clothing sizes and bra sizes all fit different depending on the brand. It's really confusing and frustrating trying to find clothes.

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  • Yea.. f***ed up designers. I have hard time finding the right sizes and they are never the same .. or even close! Bras are standard.. with only slight differences.. but dresses and pants SUCK big time .. that's why I hate shopping :)

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  • Well dress sizes may not always be the same as pants, shorts & skirts. It also depends on the material if it stretches, shrinks or is fitted. Clothes can start from 0 to I don't know what # I'm sure nothing dramatic but shirt are small, medium or larger and sometimes extra but then there is Plus size for the woman who are larger but its just obviously added to the reg. system. Bras start a A cups going from 32A- 38/40I believe I'm not too sure to be honest but then B,C,D...I'm not like a pro at this since I usually just focused more on my sizes as I grew up and not as much for the others but its not super hard. lol

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  • a lot of companies use under sizing as a marketing ploy. as in they'll mark it as being smaller then it is because it gives the buyer a buzz to read that they are a smaller size. also some girls are different up top to their bottom and certain shapes fit differently. This I s why it's really important that we try stuff on... although I personally often don't

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  • they don't work,they just exist to piss us off.

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  • Its all over the place. I wish there is just one standard sizing. For instance I have a pair of shorts that are size 2, but my jeans are size 5. Or size 25 or 27 My bra size 34D or a 32DD.

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  • it's even more confusing when you add in Junior sizes which are the odd numbers lol compared to the misses which are even numbers.

    it's very annoying! and even bra sizes which seem pretty standard in theory vary in how they fit because of push up padding or the shape of the cup or the material it's made out of and the bigger your size the harder it is to find a good fit :\

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  • i don't understand those weird US sizes, not even the European ones, I just know which one I fits on me, and that's all :\

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What Guys Said 3

  • This article link might help demonstrate some frustrations with various aspects of women's' clothing, including strange sizes.

    Can's wait for some company to come out with a 'square root of negative 1' size. (An imaginary number, for those who don't know)

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  • The sizes aren't consistent either.

    Bra size is reasonably consistent - its actually a measurement in inches, with cup size indicating the drop (difference) between mid bust and rib cage.

    Its a nice fantasy that men's clothing is simple, but in reality, a lot of brands are not the size they indicate.

    For example, all Gap (banana republic/old navy) men's pants are 'vanity sized' by about 2". So a '30X30' has 30" inseam ... and a 32" waist.

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  • Bra sizes are basically two separate measurements.

    As I understand it, the number is the bust measurement. The letter is the cup size (size of the actual breast). You can have someone who's a 30B, and someone who's a 38A. Obviously the 30B would be a very skinny girl with medium-sized breasts, and the 38A would be a larger woman with small breasts.

    Women's dress sizing is probably meant to confuse men.

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