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All the different sizing can really make shopping for clothes a frustrating experience. Girls, Juniors, Misses, Women’s – what really is the difference and what draws the line between each sizing category anyway? Is it even possible to convert juniors to women’s sizes?
While there are general guidelines you can follow if you’re trying to convert between sizes, often times it’s not exactly straightforward.
What’s the difference between women’s and junior’s sizes anyway?
The short answer here is women’s sizing generally references misses sizes, which is clothing that is cut for grown women. On the other hand, juniors is meant for developing females who grow out of the little girls departments.
Women’s (misses) clothing is evenly numbered 0, 2, 4, etc. while juniors clothing has odd numbers like 2, 3, 5, etc. They both still use the typical S, M, L, XL labels as well.
The most simplistic way to convert juniors to women’s is to size down 1 – 2 sizes. If you wear a 7 in juniors, try a 4 or 6 in women’s. If you wear a L in juniors, you might be able to fit a S or M in women’s.
But first, let’s clear up some confusion about women’s, juniors, misses, and plus sizes
So technically, within the clothing industry a women’s size is a way to designate plus size. So within a brand, a 14W, 16W, etc. are the plus (women’s) sizes, indicating that they’re cut larger than the normal sizes 14 and 16 of the same item. The difference is usually around 1 inch larger (give or take) in the hips, bust, and waist.
But usually in everyday terms, when people say women’s sizes, it’s more often used to be synonymous with misses sizing. Misses sizes just mean that they’re made for adult females and are cut with a women’s natural curves in mind.
You may see misses sizing at certain retailers, but many don’t use that term anymore. Most clothing retailers separate female clothing categories into girls, juniors, women’s, and then plus size. Then there are the sub-categories like maternity, petite, and tall.
The W (women’s) label is not always used on plus sizing
In recent years, plus sizes have become more and more mainstream. It’s very common for clothing companies to have their own designated women’s plus sizes, and the 14W, 16W, 18W labels are less common than they used to be.
Of course they do still exist, and when you see the W label after a size, you’ll know it means it’s a plus size.
But for the most part, it’s way more common to see sizing like “1X, 2X, 3X” or just regular numbers like 14, 16, 18+ in the plus size departments. In the case of Torrid (one of the most popular plus size stores) they drop the X and just use 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. for sizing.
Converting juniors to women’s sizes – size down 1-2 sizes
In general, when trying to go from the juniors to the women’s department, you’ll need to size down. Juniors sizes are smaller than women’s.
Juniors to Women’s Sizing Chart (Generalized)
|Juniors (pants size)||Women’s (pants size)|
|3||0 or 2|
|5||2 or 4|
|7||4 or 6|
|9||6 or 8|
|11||8 or 10|
|Juniors (tops)||Women’s (tops)|
|M||XS or S|
|L||S or M|
So a juniors 7 would be roughly similar to a women’s 4 or 6.
And going the opposite way, from women’s to juniors, size up. A women’s 12 would be similar to a juniors 13 or 15.
If you wear a large in juniors, try a small or medium in women’s.
How much you need to size up or down just depends on the brand and your body type. Since women’s sizes are cut curvier, and juniors cut straighter, some curvier women may find they don’t fit very well in juniors sizes even if they try to size up.
The most accurate way to know how juniors vs. women’s clothing will fit you is to either try items on or know your measurements
Because there is just SO much variation in sizing, trying the clothing on and comparing is just the best way to really know how the different sizes fit on your body.
But if you can’t try clothes on, do the next best thing – find a tape measurer to get accurate measurements of your bust, waist, and hips. Make sure to write them down. Taking your inseam measurement is a good thing as well.
After you have that information, all you need to do is check the size charts of the clothing items you’re interested in. It will give you a better idea of which size you should order when you’re not able to actually try the clothing on.
Of course because clothing sizes can be all wonky and crazy, things still may not even fit. But at least it gives you a general starting point.
Plus sizing vs. women’s (misses)
Another source of confusion within women’s clothing sizes is the overlap between regular women’s sizing and plus.
What’s the difference between a 14, 16, 18, 20 in regular sizing and a 14, 16, 18, 20 in the plus department? What about the difference between an XXL and a 2XL?
While this is very general and varies so much across brands, generally speaking…
A women’s straight size (misses) 14, 16, and 18 will be sized to fit a more hourglass type shape, with a narrower point at the waist. They’re not as accommodating to larger busts, legs, and arms.
Plus sizes, however, are sized larger and allow more room in the hips, bust, armpits, and waist.
A 14 plus or 14W is larger than a regular 14. Women who wear a regular 14 may find the 14W/plus way too big.
Example – Old Navy’s plus vs. regular sizing
Let’s use Old Navy’s plus vs. regular women’s sizing, just for an example.
According to Old Navy’s size chart, a women’s XXL is equivalent to a size 20 and measures 47.5 at the bust, 39.5 at the waist, and 50.5 in the hips.
Old Navy’s plus size 20 is a 2XL and measures 48 inches in the bust, 40 inches at the waist, and 51.5 at the hips.
|Sizes (Old Navy)||Bust||Waist||Hips|
|Women’s Regular XXL (20)||47.5||39.5||50.5|
|Women’s Plus 2X (20)||48||40||51.5|
This means the plus size 20 allows an extra half inch in the waist and an entire extra inch at the hips, which can make quite a difference in the fit.
However when you check the 16 regular sizing vs. the 16 plus size, there is even more of a difference.
|Sizes (Old Navy)||Bust||Waist||Hips|
|Women’s Regular XL (16)||42.5||34.5||45.5|
|Women’s Plus 1X (16)||44.5||36.5||48|
The plus size 16 allows an extra 2 inches in the bust and waist, and 2.5 in the hips.
Despite having all the information, knowing exactly how any particular clothing will fit is always a gamble
Clothing sizes, particularly for ladies, are hard to predict. Knowing your measurements and checking size charts is the best way to get a more accurate idea of what sizes you should order while shopping online.
If you’re able to shop in store, take advantage of trying clothing on. This is the only way to know for sure which size you need.
Regardless of how you shop, always make sure you know the stores return policy. Clothing is just one of those things you may need to return!