Clothing Size Chart by Brand

Why is My Size Larger at H&M than Chico’s?

When I was chasing down some obscure sewing information, I came across this chart. It definitely needs more publicity. sizebybrandchart

As you can see, it shows bust, waist and hip measurements for a number of different clothing brands.

All those lines are a bit confusing, so let’s look at two of them.


The line for Chico’s, a popular mid-price USA clothing chain that caters to older women. This line on the chart is light gray, and shows the following measurements for size 8:

  • Bust  36 1/2″
  • Waist  31″
  • Hips  39 3/4″

This size 8 is quite large, except in the bust.


H&M is a Sewdish chain, starting to expand into the USA. They are known for their low-priced clothing and “European fit”. On the chart, H&M has a dark red line.


  • Bust  34 1/2″
  • Waist  28 1/2″
  • Hips  37 3/4″

The H&M measurements are 2″ smaller than Chico’s, except for the waist, which has a 1 1/2″ difference. A size 10 at H&M is probably the same as a size 8 at Chico’s.

Cheaper Clothing is Larger?

In some ways, the smaller charts are even more interesting. It compares different clothing lines by the same manufacturer. Designer lines (with designer prices) end to be cut tighter than the same designer’s mid-price lines (the ones you’re more likely to find in discount clothing stores and outlet malls).

Manufacturers also use different sizing for their different stores. Gap owns three stores, and uses three different size charts.

  • Old Navy has the lowest prices, with a fit between the other two stores.
  • The Gap is mid-priced, and has the largest size 8, but only by a little.
  • Banana Republic is slightly more expensive than The Gap, and has markedly narrower hips.

What This Tells Us

First, don’t buy off the rack, without trying clothing on. This is especially important in a new store or with a new brand, as sizes are definitely not constant.

Clothing sizes are entirely arbitrary. “I’m a perfect size 4” is a meaningless statement.

If you have wide hips, don’t shop at Banana Republic. {grin}


Download a pdf of the chart, so you can zoom in on the lines.




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