Plus-sized clothing for women usually refers to clothing sized 14 and up. However, many stores have plus-sized ranges that start higher or lower. Some stores, such as Lane Bryant, specialize only in plus-sized clothing; while other stores offer clothing in these sizes as an addition to other lines, such as junior or petite-sized clothing. Because there is no size standardization, the actual cut of the clothing can vary -- and your size could be different from store to store. In addition to numbered sizes such as 22, plus-sized clothing can also come in X's, such as 1x, 2x, 3x and so on.
Stores that size plus clothing by X's have a range from 1x and larger, depending upon the store. These sizes usually correspond to a small range of sizes in the larger numbered ranges. For example, 1x is usually the equivalent to sizes 14/16 -- 2x to sizes 18/20 -- and 3x to sizes 22/24. It is always best to check the fit of the item, before you think about purchasing an article of clothing.
Stores that utilize number sizing for plus-sized clothing usually ranges from 14w and upward. The difference between a 14 and a 14w is that the w-size is usually cut a bit larger. Plus-size for juniors uses odd numbers, such as 13, 15 or 17 and is cut a bit smaller than clothing found in women's lines.
Comparing Size Scales
Depending upon the store, there usually will not be a big difference between a 22 and 3x. Because the 3x is cut for several sizes -- 22 to 24 -- it will probably be larger than a 22, which is a more precise size. Clothing that emphasizes tailoring and fit will typically be marked with number sizes while loose clothing, such as T-shirts and sweats, will use the X scale.
Where to Purchase
Plus-sized clothing used to be difficult to find. Today, it has grown easier to find fashionable and well-fitting clothes, particularly with the advent of online shopping. Because you cannot try clothing on before you purchase, be sure to familiarize yourself with online store return policies. Plus-sized clothing available at ASOS Curve, Lane Bryant, Torrid, Target and many other online and department stores has made shopping for well-fitting tailored clothing easy and affordable.