There are many different categories for clothing sizes and if you don't know the terminology it can be confusing to tell the difference between categories. Each category sizes clothing uniquely, which makes it crucial to know which to buy from. This confusion is most prevalent when choosing between Youth and Junior clothing sizes.
Youth clothing sizes are smaller than Junior sizes and size is listed with even numbers. Junior clothing is listed with odd numbers. For example, a size 8 dress is considered Youth, while a size 9 dress is considered Junior. This is not a perfect indicator of sizing, however, as both Youth and Junior sizes can also list clothing as "small," "medium," or "large," and may not list the corresponding numerical size. These labels mean different things in both types of clothing.
Youth clothing is designed for children and preteens, so the styles often still have a child like design. Colors are brighter and the designs are often flashier than Junior clothing. Junior clothing is designed for teenagers, so they will reflect current teenage trends. They can range in style and color, but they have a more grown up appearance than Youth clothing and may be more revealing.
Youth clothing is cut to fit looser on the body than junior clothing and often does not allow for curves or adult proportions. Junior clothing will be designed to fit growing bodies and are cut to fit closer to the body than Youth clothing. Junior clothing is still tighter than adult clothing and often will not make allowance for more adult body types, but Junior pants will be wider in the hip and looser in the chest than Youth clothing.
It is easier to tell the difference between Youth and Junior clothing when shopping for a boy. Youth clothing works the same way regardless of gender, but Junior clothing for males works the same as adult clothing; pants are listed by waist size and shirts are listed by the measurement around the neck. As with women's clothing, always try on any clothing listed as "small," "medium," or "large" before buying anything as these sizes are often approximate.