Boys and Menswear Sizing

Many of our readers want to know what the tag sizes mean on “boys” and “menswear” clothing (in other words, size conversions.)  This is a bit tricky to answer, because brands differ in their fit. The Art of Manliness fashion blog states, “Remember that every brand has a different set of models they use to design their clothing’s sizes, so a medium in one brand does not mean you’ll have the same fit in another.” Esquire Magazine’s article “Are Your Pants Lying to You: An Investigation” reveals the size disparities between popular brands. I’ve had personal experience with this when trying on clothing from various “womenswear” departments. I’m a size 4 in one brand and a size 6 in others. I even own a few pair of size 2 pants from brands that engage in “vanity sizing.” The same holds true for shoes.

To give you a ballpark idea of standard boys and menswear sizes, I compiled information from size charts provided by some of the top selling menswear brands.

Menswear Tops (in inches)
*Click here for video instructions on how to measure for men’s shirts.
**Blazer and suit jacket sizes generally correspond with chest size
(i.e., if your chest measures 36, then your jacket size will be approximately 36.)

XS

Small

Medium

Large

XL

XXL

3XL

4XL

5XL

Neckband

13-13.5

14-14.5

15-15.5

16-16.5

17-17.5

18-18.5

19-19.5

20-20.5

21-21.5

Chest

33-34

34-36

38-40

42-44

46-48

50-52

54-56

58-60

62-64

Arm

31.5-32

32.5-33

33.5-34

34.5-35

35.5-36

36-36.5

36.5-37

37.5-38

38.5-39

 

Men’s Bottoms (in inches)

XS

Small

Medium

Large

XL

XXL

3XL

4XL

Waist

27-28

29-31

32-34

36-38

40-42

44-48

50-52

53-56

Inseam

29-30

30-31

31

32-33

33-34

33-34

33-34

33-34

 

Boys Dress Shirts (in inches – Brooks Brothers averages)

Size

XS

(4-6)

Small

(8)

Medium

(10-12)

Large

(14-16)

XL

(18)

XL

(20)

Height

40.5-45.5

47-50

53-57

60-63

65.5

67.5

Waist

21-22

23-24

24.5-25.5

26.5-27.5

28.5

29.5

Neck

10.5-11.5

11.5-12

12-13

13-14

14

15

Chest

22-24

26-27

29-31

33-35

36.5

38

Sleeve Length

18.75-21.25

22.75-23.75

25.25-27.25

28.75-30.25

31.25

32.25

 

Boys Bottoms (in inches – Old Navy averages)

 Size

XS

(5)

Small

(6-7)

Medium

(8)

Large

(10-12)

XL

(14-16)

XXL

(18)

Height

42-45

45-51

51-54

54-60

60-65

65-67

Waist

22.5

23-23.5

24

25-26

27-28

29

Inseam

19.5

21-22.5

24

25.5-27

28.5-30

31

U.S. Shoe Size Conversions
(General rule of thumb: subtract two from the women’s size to get the men’s size;
add two to the boy’s size to get the women’s size.)

Men’s

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Women’s

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Boys

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

-

 

 

Anita Dolce Vita

Fashion and culture blogger featured in Newsweek's Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Curve, Autostraddle, MTV/LOGO's AfterEllen, SF Weekly, Globe & Mail, DIVA, GO Mag, Beijing Review, and Bosnia's Manjine.BA. Education/Credentials: University of New Mexico (B.A., magna cum laude); New York University (MPA, top marks); SUNY Downstate Medical Center (BSN, cum laude); NYS RN.

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