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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.

There are three approaches for size-labelling of clothes:

  • Body dimensions: The label states the range of body measurements for which the product was designed. (For example: bike helmet label stating “head girth: 56–60 cm”.)
  • Product dimensions: The label states characteristic dimensions of the product. (For example: jeans label stating inner leg length of the jeans in centimetres or inches (not inner leg measurement of the intended wearer).)
  • Ad hoc sizes: The label states a size number or code with no obvious relationship to any measurement. (For example: Size 12, XL.)

Traditionally, clothes have been labelled using many different ad hoc size systems, which has resulted in varying sizing methods between different manufacturers made for different countries due to changing demographics and increasing rates of obesity, a phenomenon known as vanity sizing. This results in country-specific and vendor-specific labels incurring additional costs, and can make internet or mail order difficult. Some new standards for clothing sizes being developed are therefore based on body-dimensions, such as the EN 13402 “Size designation of clothes”.


  • 1 History of standard clothing sizes
  • 2 Standards
    • 2.1 International
      • 2.1.1 ISO
    • 2.2 Asia
      • 2.2.1 China
      • 2.2.2 Japan
      • 2.2.3 South Korea
      • 2.2.4 Russian Federation
      • 2.2.5 Thailand
    • 2.3 Australia
    • 2.4 Europe
      • 2.4.1 CEN
      • 2.4.2 Germany
      • 2.4.3 France
      • 2.4.4 United Kingdom
      • 2.4.5 Former Yugoslavia
    • 2.5 North America
      • 2.5.1 United States
  • 3 Women
    • 3.1 Comparison tables
    • 3.2 Italian sizes (ITA)
    • 3.3 French sizes (FRA/BEL)
    • 3.4 German sizes (DE/AT/NL/SE/DK)
  • 4 Men
    • 4.1 Comparison tables
    • 4.2 French sizes (FRA/BEL)
    • 4.3 German sizes (AT/DE/NL/DK/SE/FI)
  • 5 Size dividers
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

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 their homes. Then garment makers noticed that the range of human body dimensions was relatively small. Therefore, sizes were invented to

  • 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 apparel in most styles.




There are several ISO standards for size designation of clothes, but most have them are being revised and replaced by one of the parts of ISO 8559 which closely resembles European Standard EN 13402:

  • ISO 3635: 1981, Size designation of clothes – Definitions and body measurement procedure (withdrawn)
  • ISO 3636: 1977, Size designation of clothes – Men’s and boys outerwear garments. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 3637: 1977, Size designation of clothes – Women’s and girls outerwear garments. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 3638: 1977, Size designation of clothes – Infants garments. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 4415: 1981, Size designation of clothes – Mens and boys underwear, nightwear and shirts. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 4416: 1981, Size designation of clothes – Women’s and girls’ underwear, nightwear, foundation garments and shirts. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 4417: 1977, Size designation of clothes – Headwear. (withdrawn)
  • ISO 4418: 1978, Size designation of clothes – Gloves. (withdrawn)
  • 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 (withdrawn)
    • ISO 8559-1: 2017, Size designation of clothes — Part 1: Anthropometric definitions for body measurement
    • ISO 8559-2: 2017, Size designation of clothes — Part 2: Primary and secondary dimension indicators
    • ISO 8559-3: 2018, Size designation of clothes — Part 3: Methodology of the creation of the body measurement tables and intervals
  • ISO/TR 10652: 1991, Standard sizing systems for clothes



  • 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


  • 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

South Korea[edit]

  • KS K 0050 (2009) Men’s wear
  • KS K 0051 (2004) Women’s wear
  • KS K 0052 Infants
  • KS K 0059 Headgear
  • KS K 0070 Brassiere
  • KS K 0037 Dress Shirts
  • KS K 0088 Socks

Russian Federation[edit]

    • GOST R 53230-2008 (ISO 4415-1981) Size designation of clothes. Men’s and boy’s underwear, nightwear and shirts


  • Wacoal (1981, 1987)


  • 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 children’s clothing



The European Standards Organisation (CEN) produced a series of standards, prefixed with 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 interng 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.


  • DOB-Verband (1983)


  • AFNOR NF G 03-001 (1977) – Human body – Vocabulary – Pictogram;
  • AFNOR EXP G 03-002 (1977) – Women Measures
  • AFNOR EXP G 03-003 (1977) – Men Measures
  • AFNOR EXP G 03-006 (1978) – Measures of babies and young children
  • AFNOR EXP G 03-007 (1977) – Size designation of clothes for men, women and children
  • AFNOR NF G 03-008 (1984) – Tights – Sizes – Designation – Marking

United Kingdom[edit]
Clothes-size label with EN 13402-3 pictogram and body dimensions in centimetres (found on a high-visibility jacket sold in the United Kingdom).

  • BS 3666:1982 Specification for size designation of women’s wear
  • BS 6185:1982 Specification for size designation of men’s wear

BS 3666:1982, the standard for women’s clothing, 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.[1]

Former Yugoslavia[edit]

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.[2] 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.

North America[edit]

United States[edit]

  • 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)

There is no mandatory clothing size or labeling standard in the U.S, though a series of voluntary standards have been in place since the 1930s. The U.S. government, however, did attempt to establish a system for women’s clothing in 1958 when the National Bureau of Standards published “Body Measurements for the Sizing of Women’s Patterns and Apparel.” The guidelines of the book was made a commercial standard and was even updated in 1970. But the guide was eventually degraded to a voluntary standard until it was abolished altogether in 1983.[3] Private organization ASTM International started to release its own recommended size carts in the 1990s.[4]

Since then, the common US misses sizes have not had stable dimensions. Clothing brands and manufacturers size their products according to their preferences.[4] 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).


Comparison tables[edit]

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

German sizes (DE/AT/NL/SE/DK)[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


Comparison tables[edit]

French sizes (FRA/BEL)[edit]

Chest / Suit sizes are calculated as follows:

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

German sizes (AT/DE/NL/DK/SE/FI)[edit]

Chest / Suit sizes are calculated as follows:

  • Standard Size Code (Normale) = ( Chest Circumference cm – 1) / 2
  • Short / Stocky (Kurz / Untersetzt) = Standard Size Code / 2
  • Portly (Bauchgrößen) = Standard Size Code + 1
  • Tall / Lean (Schlank / Lang) = (Standard Size Code – 1) * 2

Size dividers[edit]

Size dividers are used by clothing stores to help customers find the right size. Like index cards, they are found on racks between sizes. There are three basic types: the rectangular, round and the king size. Among the stores that use them are Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

See also[edit]

  • Anthropometry
  • Brassiere measurement
  • BWH
  • Female body shape
  • Petite size
  • Shoe size
  • Size zero


  • ^ Clifford, Stephanie. “One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10″. Retrieved 2017-06-14..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • ^ Ujevi, Darko; Szirovicza, Lajos; Karabegovi, Isak (2005). “Anthropometry and the Comparison of Garment Size Systems in Some European Countries”: 73.
  • ^ Ingraham, Christopher (2015-08-11). “The absurdity of women’s clothing sizes, in one chart”. Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  • ^ a b “When — And Why — We Started Measuring Women’s Clothing”. Time. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  • ^ “Japanese Size Charts”. International Trade Administration. JIS. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  • ^ a b “Men’s Clothing, Size Conversion Chart – South-Korea”. korea4expats. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  • ^ “Men’s clothing sizes – International conversion charts and size charts”. www.sizeguide.net.
  • ^ GmbH, BB-Trading. “Größentabelle Herren – Big-Basics.com”. www.big-basics.de.
  • ^ “Men’s Size Charts: Guide how to Measure, Convert. + EASY Fitting Guide”. BlitzResults.com. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2018-05-18.

External links[edit]

  • Clothing sizes travel guide from Wikivoyage

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