Understand the Sizing Puzzle
Figuring out what size you are may be as difficult as solving the problem of the national debt. Women’s sizes are as different as women themselves.
Are you a 4 or 14? Or could you be both? Most U.S. manufacturers categorize by junior, petite, missy¸ plus, half sizes, or simply XS-XL. Other manufacturers categorize by a numbering system such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And then, to the further complicate the issue, foreign sizes are different as well.
First, for U.S. sizing, determine what category your body type fits. Junior sizing fits a younger body type. Bust, waist, hips are narrow and less rounded. Petites are 5’4” or shorter. The cut of a petite means the arm holes and waist will be higher, the sleeves, rise, and pants shorter. Missy women have rounder figures with fuller busts, hips, and tummy. Arm holes, and waist are lower than in petites. Sleeves, pant rise and length are longer. Plus sizes have larger busts, hips, tummy, and arm fullness. Plus tops also have a longer length. Few manufacturers make half sizes. Half sizes are petite proportions, but but with fuller bust, tummy, hips, and arms.
Sizes XS-XL vary depending on the manufacturer and the category. Generally a missy XS is 2-4, S is 4-6, M is 8-10, L is 12-14, and XL is 16-18. Ultimately, every garment can have a slightly different fit. Because of the variance in manufacturing sizing and design, it is best to try everything on to be sure you get the best fit.