Clothing sizes

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In clothing, clothing size refers to the label sizes used for garments sold off-the-shelf. There are a large number of standard sizing systems around the world for various garments, such as dresses, tops, skirts, and trousers. Made-to-order garments require measurements to be taken, but these do not need to be converted into national standard form.

History of standard clothing sizes[edit]

Before the invention of clothing sizes in the early 1800s, all clothing was made to fit individuals by either tailors or makers of clothing in homes. Then garment makers noticed that the range of human body dimensions was relatively small. Therefore sizes were invented as a crucial, and underappreciated, step in the mass production of garments.[1]

Types of measurements in standard sizes[edit]

Standard sizes take into account the combinations of body measurements of the general population:

  • Horizontal torso measurements include the neck circumference, the shoulder width, the bustline measurements – over-bust circumference, the full bust circumference, the bust-point separation, and the under-bust (rib-cage) circumference – the natural waist circumference, the upper hip circumference and the lower hip circumference.
  • Vertical torso measurements include the back (neck-waist) length, the shoulder-waist length (not the same as the back length, due to the slope of the shoulder), the bust-shoulder length, the bust-waist length, and the two hip-waist lengths.
  • Sleeve measurements include the under-arm and over-arm lengths, the fore-arm length, the wrist circumference and the biceps circumference.

However, because of the drape and ease of the fabric, not all measurements are required to obtain a well-fitting dress in most styles.

Standards[edit]

There are several ISO standards related to Size designation of clothes:

  • ISO 3635:1981 Size designation of clothes – Definitions and body measurement procedure
  • ISO 4416:1981 Size designation of clothes – Women's and girls' underwear, nightwear, foundation garments and shirts
  • ISO 5971:1981 Size designation of clothes – Pantyhose
  • ISO 8559:1989 Garment construction and anthropometric surveys – Body dimensions
  • ISO/TR 10652:1991 Standard sizing systems for clothes

The European Union has produced a standard EN 13402 intended to replace existing standards in the member countries. It is currently in common use for children's clothing, but not yet for adults.

The United Kingdom has an existing standard for women's clothing BS 3666:1982, however this is rarely followed by manufacturers as it defines sizes in terms of hip and bust measurements only within a limited range. This has resulted in variations between manufacturers and a tendency towards vanity sizing.[2]

The standard sizes have not had stable names, however. For example, the dimensions of two size 10 dresses from different companies, or even from the same company, may have grossly different dimensions; and both are almost certainly larger than the size 10 dimensions described in the US standard. Vanity sizing may be partly responsible for this deviation (which began in earnest in the 1980s).

The new European standard EN 13402 seeks to address this problem, since it is an absolute scale and mandatory; there is no mandatory clothing size standard in the U.S. In the US there exists a US standard clothing size. External websites exist to aid conversion between the different systems.[3]

Women[edit]

Women's dresses and suits
United States 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
UK 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28
France 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56
Italy 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60
Women's clothing sizes
UK 8 10 12 14 16
USA 4 6 8 10 12
Continental (Europe) 36 38 40 42 44
Japanese 7 9 11 13 15
Bust (Vòng Ngực) 32" 34" 36" 38" 40"
81 cm 86 cm 91 cm 97 cm 102 cm
Waist 24" 26.5" 29" 31" 33"
61 cm 66 cm 71 cm 76 cm 81 cm
Hip (vòng hông) 35" 37" 39" 41" 43"
89 cm 94 cm 99 cm 104 cm 109 cm
Women’s blouses and sweaters
EU 40 42 44 46 48 50
UK 34 36 38 40 42 44
US 32 34 36 38 40 42
Children’s junior misses dresses and coats
EU 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42
UK 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
US 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15

Men[edit]

Men's shirts
UK & other EU / Japan 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
UK / US / AUS 14 14½ 15 15½ 15¾ 16¼ 16½ 17 17½ 18 18½
Japan[4] S S M M L L LL,XL LL,XL LL,XL
Korea[4] 90 95 100 105 110
Men's sports shirts, T-shirts
EU 36 37/38 39/40 41/42 43/44 45/46
UK / US XS S M L XL XXL
94 cm 110 118 cm 124 cm 1
Men's sweaters, jackets
EU 38/40 42/44 46/48 50/52 52/54
UK / US S M L XL XXL
Men's suits, overcoats
EU 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64
UK / US 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54
Men's jeans, slacks, pants, trousers: Waist
EU 64/68 68/72 72/76 76/80 80/84 84/88 88/92 92/96 96/100 100/104 104/108 108/112 112/116
Italy 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
UK / US 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 36 38 40 42 44
Men's jeans, slacks, pants, trousers: Length
EU 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48
UK / US 25/26 27/28 29/30 31 32 33 34 36
Men's underwear
EU 1 2 3 4 5
UK / US S M L XL XXL

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson. 3-hour Documentary on PBS-TV. May 2012
  2. ^ Stephanie Clifford: One size fits nobody: seeking a steady 4 or a 10, New York Times, 2011-04-24
  3. ^ [1] Dress Size Converter, 2013-04-09
  4. ^ a b "Men's Clothing, Size Conversion Chart – South-Korea". korea4expats. Retrieved 2012-06-15.