How to Convert Girls' Clothing Sizes to Ladies'

by Melissa J. Bell

When you're drowning in your clothes, despite the XXS or size 0 label, it's time to look for some alternatives to the womens' department.

Petites Isn't Perfect

Shopping when you're smaller than average can lead to some unique complications -- and not just in terms of trouser length. The petites section in any women's clothing store has the vertically challenged covered, but it sure doesn't help those who are more slender than the average American woman. Measurements in petite sizes, save for length, typically correspond closely with regular women's measurements.

Teen Sizing

Many slight-bodied women opt to shop in the junior or teen department, because juniors' sizing is based on a less curvy figure with a smaller bust and lower waist-to-hip size difference. However, you may dislike the trendy styles available in juniors' or simply wish to broaden your options. That leaves girls' sizes, which range from ages 7 to 18.

Older girls of average size can usually shop in girls', juniors' and sometimes the lower sizes of the women's department. You may find yourself doing quite the same thing to round out your wardrobe.

How Girls' Sizing Compares Women's

Girls' sizes are far less curvaceous than women's, based on the expectation of developing, not developed, bodies. Outside of plus sizing, slender limbs may also be assumed.

Size charts for girls' clothing will not list a bust measurement, but instead a chest measurement. Some clothing charts do not address the chest area at all.

How Do I Find My Size in Girls'?

In general, you will likely be looking in L to XXL sizes -- at the higher end of the girls' range. Because there is no strictly followed industry standard for pairing a numerical clothing size with body measurements, you'll have to make your own size conversions within specific brands.

For example:

  • For many brands, a women's size 0 or XS features a bust size of about 32 inches, a waist size of about 25 inches and a hip size of about 35 inches. In juniors', this is similar to a size 3. 
  • In girls', these measurements may correspond most closely to anywhere from a size 14 to a size 18, depending on the brand. Some brands list a size 14 with chest measurements of 33 inches, waist measurements of 27 inches and hip measurements of 33 inches. Other brands list similar measurements for a size 18. 

Make sure you can find size charts with detailed measurements for the brand you're shopping for, especially when ordering clothing online.

Tips

  • Keep in mind that girls' size charts may also offer a range of measurements, rather than specific ones, for each size. Trial and error is likely until you find a brand that fits how you like.

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.