Kids Clothes Sizes: A Guide to Finding the Right Fit

Shopping for kids clothes can be a real nightmare. Kids grow up fast, and it gets really hard trying to monitor their current kids clothes size because they keep on changing. It also doesn’t help that there is no required universal children’s clothing size guide that all clothing manufacturers and retailers must follow. To have a fighting chance against this huge predicament, this site provides a helpful guide to finding the right fit for the most common types of kids’ clothes.

At a Glance

  • When it comes to finding the right fit, it’s far better to take your child’s height and weight into consideration than just simply relying on age. However, the best way is to take accurate measurements of your kid’s body using a cloth measuring tape. You may then refer to a size chart to know the corresponding clothing size to your child’s measurements.
  • American sizes, along with British and Australian clothing sizes, are traditionally based on age. The rest of Europe, on the other hand, have sizing guides based on height.
  • International size conversions are merely approximations as apparel companies tend to make clothes based on their own version of standard sizing.
  • In the United States, clothes for toddlers and small children use age to name different size classifications. The sizes are typically based on the weight and height of the child but specific measurements for the chest, waist, and hip are also provided.
  • For older kids, the size guide for males is different from the one used for females.

How to measure

Clothing sizes vary and for children’s apparel, they are usually labeled according to the child’s age. However, when it comes to finding the right fit, it’s far better to take your child’s height and weight into consideration than just simply relying on age. The best way, of course, is to take accurate measurements of your kid’s body using a cloth measuring tape.

Children’s measurements should only be taken over their bare skin or while they are wearing skin-tight clothes. For tops and dresses, record your child’s chest, waist, and sometimes hip measurements. For dress shirts, including neck and sleeve measurements.

For bottoms like trousers and jeans, measure the waist, hips, and inseam. You may then refer to a size chart to know the corresponding clothing size to your child’s measurements. Clothing sizes found in generic charts can be a good reference but it’s best to rely on the size chart of specific brands or retailers that you patronize.

 

 

U.S. Children’s Clothing Sizes

In the United States, clothes for toddlers and small children use the age to name different size classifications. The clothing sizes are typically determined by the height and weight of the child but specific measurements for the chest, waist, and hips are also provided. For older kids, the size guide for males is different from the one used for females.

Toddlers and Small Kids (Girls and Boys)

The chart below provides an overview to US sizes for young children, boys and girls. The clothing sizes are determined by weight in pounds and height in inches. The “T” found next to size numbers stands for “Toddler.” For this age group, the size guide for boys and girls is the same because children have yet to develop masculine or feminine body shapes at this point in their lives.6 Sizes only start to separate by gender after size 6X.

SizeHeightWeight (lbs)
PreemieUp to 17Up to 5
Newborn17-1/2 - 215-1/2 - 7-1/2
0 - 3M20-1/2 - 236-1/2 - 12
3 - 6M23-1/2 - 2612-1/2 - 16
6 - 9M26-1/2 - 27-1/216-1/2 - 19
12 Month28 - 29-1/219-1/2 - 22
18 Month30 - 31-1/222-1/2 - 26
24 Month32 - 33-1/226-1/2 - 30
2T32 - 33-1/226-1/2 - 30
3T34 - 37-1/230-1/2 - 34
4T38 - 41-1/234-1/2 - 38
5T42 - 44-1/238-1/2 - 42

Girls Sizes

Measurements aside from weight are more useful in figuring out the clothing size of older children. In fact, the body proportions of children in this age group are so varied that some brands have even made further distinctions between tall-, regular-, and plus-sized children. Determining clothing sizes for girls are even more difficult since their body parts like the chests and hips develop at different paces.

SizeUS SizeHeightChestWaistHip
44/5 (XS)39 - 41-1/2232123
54/5 (XS)42 - 44-1/22421-1/224
66/6X (S)45 - 46-1/2252225-1/2
6X6/6X (S)47 - 48-1/2262326-1/2
77/8 (M)49 - 50-1/2272428
87/8 (M)51 - 53282529-1/2
1010/12 (L)53-1/2 - 55292630-1/2
1210/12 (L)55-1/2 - 57-1/230-1/22732
1414/16 (XL)58 - 6031-1/22833
1614/16 (XL)60 - 62332934-1/2
1818 (XXL)60 - 62343035-1/2
2019 (XXL)60 - 6235-1/23137

Girls Slim Sizes

SizeHeightChestWaistHip
7 SLIM49 - 50-1/225-1/22225
8 SLIM51 - 5326-1/22327-1/2
10 SLIM53-1/2 - 5527-1/22428-1/2
12 SLIM55 - 57-1/2292530
14 SLIM58 - 60302631
16 SLIM60 - 6231-1/22732-1/2
18 SLIM60 - 6232-1/22833-1/2

Girls Plus Sizes

SizeUS SizeHeightChestWaistHip
7-1/2(7-1/2 - 8-1/2)49 - 50-1/2282730-1/2
8-1/2(7-1/2 - 8-1/2)51 - 5329-1/22831-1/2
10-1/2(10-1/2 - 12-1/2)53-1/2 - 5530-1/22933
12-1/2(10-1/2 - 12-1/2)55-1/2 - 57-1/2323034
14-1/2(14-1/2 - 16-1/2)58 - 60333135-1/2
16-1/2(14-1/2 - 16-1/2)60 - 6234-1/23236-1/2
18-1/217 - 1960 - 6235-1/23337-1/2

U.S. Clothing Sizes for Boys

SizeUS SizeAgeHeightChestWaistHip
44/5 (XS)4 - 539 - 41-1/2232123
54/5 (XS)5 - 642 - 44-1/22421-1/224
66/7 (S)6 - 745 - 47-1/22522-1/225
76/7 (S)7 - 848 - 49-1/22623-1/226
88 (M)8 - 950 - 5226-1/224-1/227-1/2
1010/12 (L)8 - 952-1/2 - 55-1/22725-1/228-1/2
1210/12 (L)9 - 1056 - 582826-1/230
1414/16 (XL)10 - 1158-1/2 - 60-1/229-1/227-1/231-1/2
1614/16 (XL)11 - 1261 - 64312933
1818 (XXL)12 - 1364-1/2 - 66-1/232-1/23034

A separate and more detailed discussion on boys sizes is also available here.

Boys Slim Sizes

SizeAgeHeightChestWaistHip
8 SLIM8 - 950 - 5225-1/221-1/225-1/2
10 SLIM8 - 952-1/2 - 55-1/226-1/222-1/226-1/2
12 SLIM9 - 1056 - 582723-1/228-1/2
14 SLIM10 - 1158-1/2 - 60-1/228-1/224-1/230-1/2
16 SLIM11 - 1261 - 643025-1/232
18 SLIM12 - 1364-1/2 - 66-1/232-1/226-1/233

Boys Plus Sizes

SizeUS SizeSpanish
Translation
HeightChestWaistHip
8 Plus8H (M)8 Corpulentt TO 8C (M)49 - 51302930-1/2
10 Plus10/12H (L)12 Corpulent TO 10/12C (G)51-1/2 - 54-1/230-1/23031-1/2
12 Plus10/12H (L)13 Corpulent TO 10/12C (G)55 - 5731-1/23133
14 Plus14/16H (XL)16 Corpulent TO 14/16C (XG)57-1/2 - 59-1/2333234-1/2
16 Plus14/16H (XL)17 Corpulent TO 14/16C (XG)60 - 6334-1/233-1/236
18 Plus18H (XXL)18 Corpulent TO 18C (2XL)63-1/2 - 65-1/23634-1/237

Teenager Boys Sizes

SizeUS SizeBust/ChestWaistHip
S332-1/224-1/235
S533-1/225-1/236
M734-1/226-1/237
M935-1/227-1/238
L11372939-1/2
L1338-1/230-1/241
XL15403242-1/2
XL17423444-1/2
XXL19443646-1/2

Teenager Plus Sizes Boys

SizeUS SizeBust/ChestWaistHip
1X174234-1/244
2X194436-1/246
2X214638-1/248
3X234840-1/250
3X255042-1/252

Set of kids clothes on a table

Children’s Pants Sizes

To find well-fitting pants for your child, measure the fullest part of his hips, his natural waist (near the bellybutton), his inseam (situated along the inside leg; measured from the center of the crotch to the floor), and his height. Match your child’s measurements to the specific size charts of the clothing brand you patronize. Options are not limited to regular sizes. Some retailers offer slim sizes as well as plus (“husky” for boys) sizes.  The ideal pants should not pucker around the crotch area and must have extra breathing room around the waist.

Boys Pants Sizes (2-7 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeWeight
(in lbs.)
Length
(Inches)
2T2T2 Years24-2933-35
3T3T3 Years29-3335-38
4T4T4 Years33-37.539-41
4S(4)3-4 Years37.5-4242-44
5M(5)4-5 Years42-4645-47
6L(6)5-6 Years46-5348-49
7XL(7)6-7 Years53-5850-52

Boys Pants Sizes (7-14 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeHeight
(Inches)
Chest
(Inches)
Waist
(Inches)
Hips
(Inches)
8S(8)7-8 Years50-5327-2823-2428
10M(10-12)8-9 Years54-5728.5-3024-2529
12M(10-12)10-11 Years58-6030-3125.5-26.530
14L(14-16)11-12 Years61-6331-3226.5-2831-32
16L(14-16)12-13 Years64-6533-3428-2933-34
18XL(18-20)13-14 Years65-6634-3529-3034-35
20XL(18-20)14+ Years66-6735-3630-3135-36

Girls Pants Sizes (2-7 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeWeight
(in lbs.)
Length
(Inches)
2T2T2 Years24-2933-35
3T3T3 Years29-3335-38
4T4T4 Years33-37.539-41
4S(4)3-4 Years37.5-4242-44
5M(5)4-5 Years42-4645-47
6L(6)5-6 Years46-5348-49
6xXL(6x)6-7 Years53-5850-52

Girls Pants Sizes (7-14 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeHeight
(Inches)
Bust
(Inches)
Waist
(Inches)
Hips
(Inches)
7S(7-8)6-7 Years51-5226-2722.528
8S(7-8)7-8 Years53-5427-28.523.529
10M(10-12)8-9 Years55-5628.5-29.524.530
12M(10-12)10-11 Years57-5930-3125.531-32
14L(14)11-12 Years60-6231-3226.533-34
16XL(16)12-13 Years63-6433-3427.535-36

Boys Jeans Sizes (2-7 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeWeight
(in lbs.)
Length
(Inches)
2T2T2 Years24-2933-35
3T3T3 Years29-3335-38
4T4T4 Years33-37.539-41
4S(4)3-4 Years37.5-4242-44
5M(5)4-5 Years42-4645-47
6L(6)5-6 Years46-5348-49
7XL(7)6-7 Years53-5850-52

Boys Jeans Sizes (7-14 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeHeight
(Inches)
Chest
(Inches)
Waist
(Inches)
Hips
(Inches)
8S(8)7-8 Years50-5327-2823-2428
10M(10-12)8-9 Years54-5728.5-3024-2529
12M(10-12)10-11 Years58-6030-3125.5-26.530
14L(14-16)11-12 Years61-6331-3226.5-2831-32
16L(14-16)12-13 Years64-6533-3428-2933-34
18XL(18-20)13-14 Years65-6634-3529-3034-35
20XL(18-20)14+ Years66-6735-3630-3135-36

Girls Jeans Sizes (2-7 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeWeight
(in lbs.)
Length
(Inches)
2T2T2 Years24-2933-35
3T3T3 Years29-3335-38
4T4T4 Years33-37.539-41
4S(4)3-4 Years37.5-4242-44
5M(5)4-5 Years42-4645-47
6L(6)5-6 Years46-5348-49
6xXL(6x)6-7 Years53-5850-52

Girls Jeans Sizes (7-14 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeHeight
(Inches)
Bust
(Inches)
Waist
(Inches)
Hips
(Inches)
7S(7-8)6-7 Years51-5226-2722.528
8S(7-8)7-8 Years53-5427-28.523.529
10M(10-12)8-9 Years55-5628.5-29.524.530
12M(10-12)10-11 Years57-5930-3125.531-32
14L(14)11-12 Years60-6231-3226.533-34
16XL(16)12-13 Years63-6433-3427.535-36

Girls Skirt/Dress Sizes (2-7 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeWeight
(in lbs.)
Length
(Inches)
2T2T2 Years24-2933-35
3T3T3 Years29-3335-38
4T4T4 Years33-37.539-41
4S(4)3-4 Years37.5-4242-44
5M(5)4-5 Years42-4645-47
6L(6)5-6 Years46-5348-49
6xXL(6x)6-7 Years53-5850-52

Girls Skirt/Dress Sizes (7-14 Years)

US SizeUS Alpha SizeAgeHeight
(Inches)
Bust
(Inches)
Waist
(Inches)
Hips
(Inches)
7S(7-8)6-7 Years51-5226-2722.528
8S(7-8)7-8 Years53-5427-28.523.529
10M(10-12)8-9 Years55-5628.5-29.524.530
12M(10-12)10-11 Years57-5930-3125.531-32
14L(14)11-12 Years60-6231-3226.533-34
16XL(16)12-13 Years63-6433-3427.535-36

Dresses and skirts are form-fitting clothes that should feel comfortable to wear. To find a good fit, measure your daughter’s height, hips, waist, chest, and even the shoulder seams.

Kids Clothes Size Chart (International Size Conversion)

International clothing sizes have different measurements from each other. American, UK, and Australian clothing sizes are traditionally the same because they are all based on age. European clothing sizes for kids, on the other hand, are different because they are based on height. Conversion charts are helpful when it comes determining your child’s clothing size in other countries. However, keep in mind that these size conversions are merely approximations as apparel companies tend to make clothes based on their own version of standard sizing.
What is large in one brand may be converted as XL in another. A US size 2T may be theoretically the same as the European size 92-98 cm but in reality, it may be a bit bigger than the latter.
To get the most accurate conversion of clothing sizes, rely on sizing charts that contain specific body measurements. All you would need to do is to convert from one unit of measure (inches) to another (centimeters).

Is there such a thing as standard children clothing sizes?

Various countries have established their own standards when it comes to classifying clothing sizes. However, in the case of the United States, there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to standardizing and classifying clothing sizes in the ready-to-wear clothing industry. The U.S. government once tried to establish a system in 1958 and even made it a commercial standard, but it was eventually degraded to a voluntary standard until it was abolished altogether. Nowadays, clothing brands enjoy some degree of liberty in defining the measurement range of their clothing sizes though many also observe the voluntary standards recommended by private organization ASTM International.  However, with more countries opening its doors to other nations, there is now a serious call for international standardization when it comes to clothes, with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) at the helm in producing said standards. Unfortunately, there are those who believe that setting a standard is difficult because people are growing bigger now, which means clothing sizes should be getting bigger too.

Can you rely on sizes?

The truth is size charts today are not universal and clothing sizes are inconsistent. As for whether you can still rely on clothing sizes, the answer is you can, but not as much as you may have hoped. If you already have specific clothing brands you are loyal to, then you can easily use their sizing charts as guides for buying clothes for your child. However, if you’re unfamiliar with a brand and relying on a generic size chart in selecting clothes for your kid, then you may find clothing sizes to be not as helpful. In the end, it’s better to have something to rely on even if it’s only reliable up to a certain extent than not to have any guide at all.