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 3636: 1977, Size designation of clothes - Men’s and boys outerwear garments.
  • ISO 3637: 1977, Size designation of clothes - Women’s and girls outerwear garments.
  • ISO 3638: 1977, Size designation of clothes - Infants garments.
  • ISO 4415: 1981, Size designation of clothes - Mens and boys underwear, nightwear and shirts.
  • ISO 4416: 1981, Size designation of clothes - Women’s and girls’ underwear, nightwear, foundation garments and shirts.
  • ISO 4417: 1977, Size designation of clothes - Headwear.
  • ISO 4418: 1978, Size designation of clothes - Gloves.
  • ISO 5971: 1981, Size designation of clothes - Pantyhose.
  • ISO 7070: 1982, Size designation of clothes - Hosiery.
  • ISO 8559:1989 Garment construction and anthropometric surveys – Body dimensions
  • ISO/TR 10652:1991 Standard sizing systems for clothes
Clothes-size label with EN 13402-3 pictogram and body dimensions in centimetres (found on a high-visibility jacket sold in the United Kingdom).

The European Standards Organisation (CEN) has also produced a series of standards, prefixed with a EN 13402:

  • EN 13402-1: Terms, definitions and body measurement procedure
  • EN 13402-2: Primary and secondary dimensions
  • EN 13402–3: Size designation of clothes. Body measurements and intervals (2004)
  • EN 13402-4: Coding system (2006)

intended to replace the existing national standards of the 33 member states. It is currently in common use for children's clothing, but not yet for adults. The third standard EN 13402-3 seeks to address the problem of irregular or Vanity sizing through offering a SI unit based labelling system, which will ALSO pictographically describe the dimensions a garment is designed to fit, per the ISO 3635 standard.

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] Similarly a standard for men exists: BS 6185:1982 Specification for size designation of men's wear

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia. still use the JUS (F.G0.001 1979, F.G0.002 1979, F.G0.003 1979) standards developed in the former Yugoslavia.[3] In addition to typical girth measurements clothing is also marked to identify which of 5 height bands: X-Short, Short, Medium, Tall, X-Tall, and body types: Slim, Normal, or Full, it is designed to fit.

Numerous other national standards exist e.g.

  • Australia:
    • L9 - Women’s clothing - Apparel Manufacturers Association of NSW - 1959-1970
    • AS1344-1972, 1975, 1997 Size coding scheme for women’s clothing
    • AS1182 - 1980 - Size coding scheme for infants and childrens clothing
  • China:
    • GB 1335-81
    • GB/T 1335.1-2008 Size designation of clothes - Men
    • GB/T 1335.2-2008 Size designation of clothes - Women
    • GB/T 1335.3-2008 Size designation of clothes - Children
    • GB/T 2668-2002 Sizes for coats, jackets and trousers
    • GB/T 14304-2002 Sizes for woolen garments
  • Germany: DOB-Verband (1983).
  • Japan:
    • JIS L 4001 (1997) Sizing systems for infants' garments
    • JIS L 4002 (1997) Sizing systems for boys' garments
    • JIS L 4003 (1997) Sizing systems for girls' garments
    • JIS L 4004 (1997) Sizing systems for men's garments
    • JIS L 4005 (1997) Sizing systems for women's garments
    • JIS L 4006 (1997) Sizing systems for foundation garments
    • JIS L 4007 (1997) Sizing systems for Hosiery and Pantyhose
  • Korea: KS K 0050 (2004), and KS K 0051 (2004).
  • Russian Federation:
    • GOST R 53230-2008 (ISO 4415-1981) Designations for clothes Underwear, sleepwear, tops shirts for men and boys Size designation of clothes. Men's and boy's underwear, nightwear and shirts
  • Thailand: Wacoal (1981, 1987)
  • US:
    • CS-151-50 - Infants, Babies, Toddlers and Children's clothing
    • CS 215-58 - Women's Clothing (1958)
    • PS 36-70 - Boys Clothing (1971)
    • PS 42-70 Women's Clothing (1971)
    • PS 45-71 - Young Men's clothing,
    • PS 54-72 - Girls Clothing
    • ASTM D5585-95, (2001)
    • ASTM D6829-02, (2008)
    • ASTM D5585-11, (2011)
    • ASTM D6240-98,
    • ASTM D6960-04, Women's Plus sized (2004)

The common US misses sizes have not had stable dimensions. 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). There is no mandatory clothing size or labelling standard in the U.S, though a series of voluntary standards have been in place since the 1930s.

External websites exist to aid conversion between the different systems.[4]

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
Germany 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54
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
USA 4 6 8 10 12
UK 8 10 12 14 16
France 36 38 40 42 44
Japanese 7 11 15 17 21
Bust 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 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
Japanese dresses sizes (JIS L 4005 - 2001)
Dress size 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31
Bust (cm) 74 77 80 83 86 89 92 96 100 104 108 112 116 120 124
Japanese dresses length modifiers
Modifier PP (double-petite) P (petite) R (regular) T (tall)
Subject Height (cm) 142 150 158 166
Additional hip girth (cm) 0 0 2 4
Japanese dresses fit modifiers
Modifier Y A AB B
Additional hip girth (cm) 0 4 8 12

e.g. a dress marked 13-Y-PP or 13-Y-P would be designed for someone with an 89 cm bust and 89 cm hips, while a dress marked 13-B-T would be targeted at a taller individual with 105 cm hips, but the same 89 cm bust. The B fitting adds 12 cm and the T height modifier 4 cm to the base hip measurement 89 + 16 = 105 cm.[5] Additionally there are a set of age based waist adjustments, such that a dress marketed at someone in their 60s may allow for a waist 9 cm larger than a dress, of the same size, marketed at someone in their 20s. The age based adjustments allow for up to a 3 cm increase in girth, per decade of life.

Italian sizes (ITA)[edit]

Dress sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard dress size = ( Bust Circumference cm / 2 )

French sizes (FRA/BEL)[edit]

Dress sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard dress size = ( Bust Circumference cm / 2) - 4

Germanic sizes (DEU/AUT/NTH/SWE/DNK)[edit]

Dress sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard dress size (Height 164-170 cm) = (Bust Circumference cm / 2 ) - 6
  • Short dress sizes (Height <164 cm) = Standard dress size / 2
  • Tall dress sizes (Height >170 cm) = Standard dress size * 2
Women's clothing sizes (DEU/AUT/NTH/SWE/DNK)
Short Size codes < 164 cm 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Standard size codes < 170 cm 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54
Tall size codes > 170 cm 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 104 108
International XS S M L XL XXL
EU Tops 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 105 110 116 122 128
EU Bottoms 60 63 67 70 75 80 84 88 94 100 106 112
Shoulder Width (cm) 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14
Arm length (cm) 58 59 59 60 60 61 61 61 61 62 62 62
Bust (cm) 74–77 78–81 82–85 86–89 90–93 94–97 98–102 103–107 108–113 114–119 120–125 126–131
Waist (cm) 58–61 62–64 65–68 69–72 73–77 78–81 82–85 86–90 91–95 96–102 103–108 109–114
Hips (cm) 80–84 85–89 90–94 95–97 98–101 102–104 105–108 109–112 113–116 117–122 123–128 129–134
Inside Leg (cm) 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114
BH-Größe 65AA 70AA 70A 75A 75B 80B 85C 90C 90D 95D 100E 105E

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[6] S S M M L L LL,XL LL,XL LL,XL
Korea[6] 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

French sizes (FRA/BEL)[edit]

Chest / Suit sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard Size Code = ( Chest Circumference cm + 1) / 2

Germanic sizes (DEU/AUT/NTH/SWE/DNK)[edit]

Chest / Suit sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard Size Code = ( Chest Circumference cm – 1) / 2
  • Short / Stocky = Standard Size Code / 2
  • Portly = Standard Size Code + 1
  • Tall / Lean = (Standard Size Code - 1) * 2
Men's clothing sizes (DEU/AUT/NTH/SWE/DNK)
Standard Size Codes[7] 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74
Underwear[8] 4 5 6 7 8
International XXS XS S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL 5XL 6XL 7XL
Chest (cm) 086–89 090–93 094–97 098–101 102–105 106–109 110–113 114–117 118–121 122–125 126-128 129-132 133-136 137-140 141-144 145-148
Waist size (cm) 074–77 078–81 082–85 086–89 090–94 095–99 100–104 105–109 110–114 115–119 120-124 125-128 129-132 133-134 135-138 139-142
Hip circumference (cm) 090–93 094–97 098–101 102–105 106–109 110–113 114–117 118–121 122–125 126–129
Height (cm) 166–170 168–173 171–176 174–179 177–182 180–184 182–186 184–188 185–189 187–190 191-192 193-194 195-196 197-198 199-200 201-202
Short / Stocky 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37
Chest (cm) 093–96 097–100 101–104 105–108 109–112 113–116 117–120 121–124 125-128 129-132 133-136 137-140 141-144 145-148
Waist size (cm) 085–88 089–92 093–96 097–100 101–106 107–110 111–114 115–118
Hip circumference (cm) 101–104 105–108 109–112 113–116 117–120 121–124 125–128 129–132
Height (cm) 166–170 169–173 172–176 175–178 177–180 179–182 181–183 182–183 184 185 186 187 188 189-190 191-192
Portly 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73
Chest (cm) 100–103 104–107 108–111 112–115 116–119 120–123 124–126 127-130 131-134 135-138 139-142 143-146
Waist size (cm) 102–107 108–111 112–117 118–121 122–125 126–129 130-132 133-136 137-140 141-146 147-150 151-154
Hip circumference (cm) 108–111 112–115 116–119 120–123 124–127 128–132 133–137
Height (cm) 168–172 170–174 172–176 174–178 176–180 178–182 180–184
Tall size
(slender)
90 94 98 102 106 110 114 118 122
Chest (cm) 088–91 092–95 096–99 100–103 104–107 108–111 111-114 115-118 119-122
Waist size (cm) 074–77 078–81 082–85 086–89 090–93 094–98 100-104 105-109 110-114
Hip circumference (cm) 092–95 096–99 100–103 104–107 108–111 112–115 116-119 120-123 124-127
Height (cm) 175–179 178–182 181–185 184–188 186–190 188–192 193-197 196-200 199-203

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. ^ Ujevi, Darko; Szirovicza, Lajos; Karabegovi, Isak (2005). "Anthropometry and the Comparison of Garment Size Systems in Some European Countries". p. 73. 
  4. ^ [1] Dress Size Converter, 2013-04-09
  5. ^ "Japanese Size Charts". International Trade Administration. JIS. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Men's Clothing, Size Conversion Chart – South-Korea". korea4expats. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  7. ^ Große Größen Herren
  8. ^ Westfalia-Größentabelle