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A Plus Size Guide to Size Charts

Size charts are the mortal enemy of many plus size women. Though I have been talking for years literally the number on the size tag is not meant for the shopper I still get nasty looks when I talk about size charts. Today, I am going to break down size charts so when you go shopping you will be armed with everything you need to have a successful shopping trip.

The chart below comes from the Fruit of the Loom new Fit for Me collection. I will be talking about the brand more in the near future so stay tuned. As I stated, I am going to break down this size chart based on my wife’s measurements so that you understand how to read it and compare it to your silhouette.

Dress Size

Since dress size is the one stat most ladies can relate to I will start there. For example, my wife normally wears a 18W/20W, which as you can see on the chart equates to a size 10. Ignore this number because it is for cataloging purposes only. Going by her hip measurements of 48 1/2″ you can see she is on the high end of the size 10 on the chart. In cases like this it is recommended to go up to the next size to give room for movement. I know for the typical plus diva this is counter-intuitive, but it is easier to take-up some extra than it is to walk around with a garment that is to tight.

SIZE 9 10 11 12 13
HIPS (IN) 45-46.5″ 47-48.5″ 49-51.5″ 52-55.5″ 56-59.5″
HIPS (CM) 114-118 119-123 124-131 132-141 142-151
DRESS 16W 18W/20W 22W/24W 26W/28W 30W-32W

Hip Size

Referring back to our measurements of 48 1/2″ for her hips once again you can see that it falls in the size 10 category. Taking her former measurements of 52″ in the hips that would put her in a 26W/28W, for this merchant ONLY. Based on reading the chart in this manner reveals the hidden magic in size charts that if you do not understand what you are looking at it can cause a few problems.

Size Chart Magic

Continuing with the example from above, 52″ hips equate to a size 26/28 for this merchant. If you are to believe that you are a larger size because you looked at ONE size chart you will be in trouble. Based solely on measurements, it tells me this merchants sizes run a little on the small size. Why? There is a six size swing in sizes from 20 to 26 based on three inches difference. If you rely on the numbers instead of the measurements with this merchant then you will be disappointed.

A basic rule of thumb is if your measurements are on the high side of the chart then you need to go up. If they are on the low end of the chart then you should be good. Since there is no regulation on what is considered a particular size then it just makes more sense to be armed with your measurements and rely on them more than you do the size on the tag.

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