Busy parents know that their little ones get bigger and taller every day. It’s part of the wonderful and exciting journey of raising children and allows plenty of opportunities for picking out fun and exciting new clothing to fit their styles and new preferences.
At times, it can feel a little overwhelming to keep your children properly clothed and comfortable. However, and the more you know and understand about clothing sizes, the easier it will be to find those perfect fits.
PixieLane has you covered. In addition to carrying cute and fun clothing that the whole family is sure to enjoy, we also want to share what we’ve learned about sizing for kids, so you can focus on the things that really matter.
Is There Universal Sizing for Children’s Clothing?
One of the frustrating parts about finding the right clothes for your kids is that there’s not actually a universal sizing system for children’s clothing. That means different clothing companies will have different sizes, certain materials will fit differently, and that pieces and products won’t carry over from one brand to the next, even if they claim to be the same size.
The good news is that with a little research and know-how, you can learn the tips and tricks of the children’s clothing system, so you’ll be able to find those perfect pieces every time.
What Are the Standard Children’s Sizing Categories?
There isn’t a universal sizing system for children’s clothing, but there are standard categories that you can turn to when your little one begins to grow bigger and taller. These are the most common children’s sizing categories to look for when picking out pieces for your kids.
Toddler (2T to 6T)
It’s important to remember that your child is an individual. While there are some helpful standards for picking out clothes, they’re simply a good place to start and may not be the best fit for your kid every time.
Toddler sizes are a good example. The T stands for toddler, and the number before it refers to the age of the child, with 2T designed for two-year-olds and upward. The sizes at the top and bottom of the scale may cross over with baby or children’s clothing.
Your two-year-old may fit easily into clothing labeled for 24 months, but the difference is that the 24 months is at the top of the scale, whereas the two-year size is at the bottom of the scale. A 2T outfit should fit your child, starting at two years old and continuing up to about three years when they’ll scale to the next piece.
Child (4/S to 7/XL)
Your child will move out of the toddler size and into children’s sizes once they hit a certain height and weight, and children’s sizes run from about a 4/S to a 7/XL. There is some crossover between the largest toddler sizes and the smallest children’s sizes.
So, you’ll want to consider your children’s style, mobility needs, age, and height, and weight to decide which option is best for them. Most commonly, children will begin to move out of toddler sizes around the age of four or five and into more traditional sizing around four to seven.
Tween (7 to 16)
Once they hit their tween years, that means they grow and size up consistently. Tweens eat and grow a lot, and these are some of the biggest changes you’ll see in their height and weight before they stop growing.
These sizes work similarly to how adult sizing works, with sizes around seven being the smallest and 16 being the largest. Once your child reaches an age where tween clothing no longer fits comfortably, they can begin sizing up to juniors or young adult options.
When Do Boys and Girls Clothing Sizes Split?
The sizing and fit for boy’s and girl’s clothing will remain the same in toddler and child clothes. Once your children begin reaching the tween size, however, there will be a more obvious distinction between the sizing for boys and girls.
Of course, the clothing your little one picks out should represent their preference and what they feel comfortable in, but knowing how boy’s and girl’s clothing works will make it easier to find that right fit.
When Do Kids Start Using “Alpha” Sizes?
Alpha sizes are sizes that use letters rather than numbers, meaning small, medium, large, XS or XL. These sizes typically appear with tween clothing and may be used alongside numerical sizing, at least in the beginning.
A good rule of thumb for alpha sizes is that they go up by about two inches per size, but always try on clothing and consider height and weight when determining the best size.
How Do I Know Which Size Is Right for My Child?
All these sizes can be very confusing, especially if your child is always growing and changing.
Here are a few of the most important things to consider when picking out the perfect sized clothing for your kids.
Height and Weight Specifications
Your child’s height and weight are the most important features to consider when determining their clothing size. Height is especially important for items like pants, which can be too long or too short for their legs, and shirts, which may ride up and limit their mobility. You want to consider height and weight together.
Chest, Waist, and Hip Measurements
In addition to height and weight, the chest, waist, and hip measurements will also play an important role in finding that right fit, particularly for tweens. Young girls will begin to fill out differently than young boys regarding these measurements. When trying on new clothes, make sure they feel comfortable in these areas.
Growing Up (But Always Your Baby)
New clothes can be a lot of fun for little kids, but they can feel overwhelming at times, too, as your kid grows up and gets taller and larger. Always check their height and weight when purchasing new clothes, and consider exploring the easy-to-use catalog here at PixieLane to find pieces the whole family will enjoy.