Translating kids' clothing sizes

Erika - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Can anybody explain kids' clothing sizes to me? I have had some people tell me that the "T" in 5T stands for "tall". Others say it is just for "tot". Then I am thoroughly confused by the "X" (as in 6X). Is that for extra large children? Are there other letters that I don't know about? What do I look for if I just want clothing for a normal sized kid?? I can't believe that my daughter is almost 5 years old and I still can't figure this out. LOL

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Suzanne - posted on 03/12/2012

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Hi Erika,



It's no wonder you can't figure it out! There are, literally, over 200 different children's clothing sizes out there between U.S. sizing and international sizing (and, that's not including shoes!). To make matters more confusing, a 5T in one brand may not fit at all like a 5T in another. (Tip: So....I take my kid's actual measurements about once every 6 months and carry them in my wallet.).



Here goes...!



There are at least a few categories, and sizing gets progressively slimmer cut with each (just like kids grow):



• Infant (0-24 months)

• Toddler (2T-6T)

• Little kid (4-6x)

• Big kid, or "tween" (7-16)

• Extended sizing (18-20)



So, the "T" in 2T - 6T stands for Toddler Sizing. A 2T is going to fit slimmer than a 24 months in baby/infant sizing. There is overlap between the size ranges mainly because all kids don't grow the same. For example, a "4" in little kids sizing is going to fit slimmer yet than a 4T.



To make matters worse, some brands have (or still do) use an xss, xs, s, m, l, xl, xxl type of sizing. These can cross toddler/little kid, or little kid/big kid, etc. Very confusing. You have to look at the measurements or size conversion charts (if provided).



Keep in mind that there are also "slim" and "plus/husky" size variations in the Little Kid, Big Kid, and Extended sizes, too. As well, as some length variations, mostly in jeans.



And... (when you get this far) sizes 14-20 has length/width overlap with Junior-sizing, but Juniors will be cut for teens with more adult figures.



The "X" in 6X has boggled me, too. The best I can tell is that it originated as an extension of the little kid's size range, before graduating to a size 7 in big kids. Many kids actually need this size, which is probably why it came about. It may have been used by some brands as a plus or husky size in the past, but I don't find that anywhere today. It is usually cut in similar length to a 7, but a bit roomier like little kid sizing.



Hope this helps!

Suzanne @LoobaLee



p.s. I've researched kids sizing extensively, and am the founder of LoobaLee.com -- a Mom to Mom resale site, specializing in quality children's clothing. And, the best part, there are no fees to list -- it's completely free.

Sherri - posted on 03/11/2012

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Ya definitely different Kristy I actually find that more confusing but maybe because I am just used to it. Our baby starts off Newborn, then 0-3mo's, then 3-6mo's, then 6-9mo's, then 12mo's, 18mo's, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T. Children is 5-18. Then womans/misses sizes start at 00-14, Plus sizes are 16 on up and men's are by waist size.

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Erika - posted on 03/12/2012

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Thanks everybody for your help. I don't know if I'm more educated or more confused! But I am glad to know that I'm not the only one out there who thinks that the sizing system is ridiculous. :)

Bonnie - posted on 03/11/2012

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Sherri the info you gave above is the same where I am in Canada. And I agree with you Teresa, those 0's are way too confusing for me.

Kristy - posted on 03/11/2012

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Wow i have to say that whereever you are, and i am thinking maybe the states, then they need to get it together. How confusing and hard for you. I live in Australia, our clothing starts at ooooo (5o's) for very small babies and carries on through oooo (4o's) ooo (3o's) to two os and one o and then we go from size 1 to 16 For children and teenager clothes. Then ladies clothes start at size 8,10,12,14 etc. Mens clothing is in waist size in centremetres or, small, medium, large, extra large etc. A whole lot easier to understand and work out when it is in numerical order, good luck with figuring your sizing out.

Bonnie - posted on 03/10/2012

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Yup, the 'T' in 5T stands for toddler. The 'X' in sizes means that the size is made a bit bigger, but it is a bit smaller than the next size up.

Sherri - posted on 03/09/2012

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No 5T stands for toddler. A 6X is usually longer than a standard 6, just like a standard 5 is longer than a 5T.

Amy - posted on 03/09/2012

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5t usually stands for 5 toddler, not every store carries this size. Where I work our size goes 6, 6x/7 (so it's really a 7 but just like to confuse people), 8, ect. There are half sizes or husky sizes in boys so an 8 husky is the waste size of an 8 but shorter length, that would be the same for girls plus size. Slim sizes have the smaller waste for the skinny kids.

Chrystal - posted on 03/09/2012

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Oh I never heard of the "X" before so I looked it up it mean half sizes (like not a 7 but bigger than a regular 6)

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