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Ladies Sizes

It isn't always an easy task to decipher the different sizes for ladies clothing. Not all clothing manufacturers designate the same sizing for their clothing lines which can make buying clothing even more confusing and stressful.

The number one rule, when it comes to ladies sizes, is to always try on a piece of clothing before you buy it. Examine yourself in a full-length mirror in a number of different poses and move around in the garment to make sure that it does not sag, bulge, or pull.

It is important to remember that while you may need a top in a misses size, you may need a dress in a petite size. Don’t automatically assume that you are a size 12 across the board and always, always, try clothing on before you part with your hard earned dollars.

There is no official US standard for women’s clothing. There was one used back in the 1940's and 1950's and that standard was widely used until the 1980's.

But since then, designers have gotten away from those standards and have started to make up their own rules for determining sizes, thus making it a confusing experience for many women when they go shopping.

Theoretically speaking, the difference between a “women’s” size and a “misses” size is that the former has more of a bust, but the two have similar shoulder widths. A woman with a mature figure would more than likely prefer the women’s size to the "misses" size. There is also a size called “juniors,” which refers to youth, but this size is not that much different from a "misses" size.

The misses size is for average to tall, slim women. Petite sizes are for women who are short in stature, or at least shorter than average.

Some clothing companies have lines for petites that start at those 5’4’ while others start at 5’3.’ The average woman in the United States is believed to be a "misses" size 16. This is open to interpretation however because the US standard for clothing, as previously mentioned, is no longer in effect and therefore this size could, in reality, be what a catalogue would classify as a size 12 medium.

Tall sizes also vary from company to company. Some companies classify women who are 5’8’ as being tall, while for others, the standard is 6 feet. Tall sizes often range anywhere from size 4 to size 20. Remember that the tall size is about height and not about weight or body shape.  

Plus sizes are generally considered to be sizes that go beyond women’s or "misses" size 18. Fort examples, sizes 20 and upward are plus sizes and they are often referred to as being sizes 1X, 2X, 3X, and so on. 

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