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APPAREL

The Essential Women’s T-Shirt Size and Fit Guide

Imri Merritt

October 3, 2022

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Women’s apparel is notorious for having inconsistent fit and sizing issues across different brands and styles, which even applies to women’s t-shirts.

This is because of the variety of cuts and styles available. While you might be a medium in one product, you might find that small fits you better in another.

Getting the right fit is important. Fitting great is looking great. Looking great is feeling great. And we want you to feel great. So we put together this quick and essential guide to women’s t-shirt fit and sizes.

 


What’s your size?

Traditionally, sizing for ladies’ clothing is based on measuring the circumference of the bust, waist, and hips. But we all know that trying something on is the best way to determine if it fits well. When shopping online, that’s obviously not an option.

If your head gets stuck, it might be too small.

In the t-shirt world, there’s a much simpler way to find the right size. No full body scan is required. All you need is your current favorite shirt.


How to measure a t-shirt for size

Lay your best-fitting t-shirt flat on a table, grab a ruler or tape measure, and take the following measurements. Write the numbers down and use them to compare to the various size charts.

  • Body length: Measure from the center of the back neckline seam to the bottom of the front hem.
  • Body width: Measure the garment directly across the chest area, approximately 1” below the armhole.
  • Neck-to-sleeve length: Measure from the center back neck to the outer edge of the shoulder seam.
  • Sleeve length: Measure from the outer edge of the shoulder (seam) to the very end of the sleeve.

How to measure a T-shirt

Note: Some garments use the measurement of neck-to-sleeve length. Others use the sleeve length. It’s best to measure both and have those numbers handy.

 


Common sizing features for women’s tees

How should a t-shirt fit a woman? Generally speaking, ladies’ tees fit tighter than men’s. But there’s no single answer to how a women’s t-shirt should fit, considering all the different styles and cuts. Much of it comes down to your own preference and comfort.

Compared to men’s and unisex, most fitted women’s shirts will have the following characteristics:

  1. Larger neck opening (especially scoop neck and deep V).
  2. Smaller shoulders (narrower width).
  3. Shorter, tighter sleeves.
  4. Wider bustline.
  5. Tapered waistline.
  6. Flared at the hips.
  7. Longer overall length.

How a women's T-shirt should fit: 7 common characteristics

 


Women’s t-shirt fit categories

A true “fitted” t-shirt would require a tailor, but many women’s t-shirts are called “fitted” because the cut contours the female body. Certain styles are more fitted than others.

We organize our product catalog into three categories of t-shirt fits:

Women's T-shirt fit categories

Semi-fitted

This category includes the most form-fitting ladies’ t-shirts, with various brands using terms like “fashion fit,” “slim fit,” and simply “fitted.” Typically side-seamed. Ideal for a slim to regular body type.

Standard fit

This category refers to most regular ladies’ T-shirts, with various brands also using terms like “classic fit” or “regular fit.” The cut is boxier and tends not to have side-seams.  Ideal for a regular to curvy body type.

Relaxed fit

This category includes all the T-shirt styles not fitted or standard, with various brands using different terms like loose fit, slouchy fit, casual fit, and oversize fit. Ideal for curvy to plus-size body types.

 


Women’s fit examples

Semi-fitted: Next Level Apparel Ladies’ Boyfriend T-Shirt

Semi-fitted example: Next Level Ladies' Boyfriend T-shirt

Despite the name, the Ladies’ Boyfriend T-Shirt by Next Level is cut for women, contouring the body without being tight. This tee is soft, has a smooth surface for printing, and is stylish enough to make our most discerning customers happy, with plenty of colors and sizes to choose from.

Example Semi-Fitted women’s t-shirt measurement chart

N3900 Next Level Apparel Ladies' Boyfriend T-shirt measurement chart
N3900 Next Level Apparel Ladies’ Boyfriend T-shirt measurement chart

Example Semi-Fitted women’s t-shirt size chart

N3900 Next Level Apparel Ladies' Boyfriend T-shirt size chart
N3900 Next Level Apparel Ladies’ Boyfriend T-shirt size chart

 


Standard Fit: Gildan Ladies’ Ultra Cotton® T-Shirt

Standard fit example: Gildan Ladies' Ultra Cotton T-shirt

One of our top sellers, the Ladies’ Ultra Cotton T-shirt by Gildan is a reliable choice for accommodating a range of body types. This classic-style T-shirt is heavyweight cotton, available in various colors and sizes, and features double-stitching throughout for durable construction.

Example Standard Fit women’s t-shirt measurement chart

G200L Gildan Ladies' Ultra Cotton® T-shirt measurement chart
G200L Gildan Ladies’ Ultra Cotton® T-shirt measurement chart

Example Standard Fit women’s t-shirt size chart

G200L Gildan Ladies' Ultra Cotton® T-shirt size chart
G200L Gildan Ladies’ Ultra Cotton® T-shirt size chart

 


Relaxed fit: Bella + Canvas Ladies’ Relaxed Jersey V-Neck T-shirt

Relaxed fit example: Bella+Canvas Relaxed Jersey V-neck

A favorite among our staff and customers, the Relaxed Jersey V-neck T-shirt by Bella+Canvas is soft, comfortable, looks great, and its smooth, ring-spun surface is perfect for customizing. It’s among the most fitted in the Relaxed Fit category but roomier than Semi-fitted.

Example Relaxed Fit women’s t-shirt measurement chart

6405 Bella + Canvas Ladies' Relaxed Jersey V-Neck T-shirt measurement chart
6405 Bella + Canvas Ladies’ Relaxed Jersey V-Neck T-shirt measurement chart

Example Relaxed Fit women’s t-shirt size chart

6405 Bella + Canvas Ladies' Relaxed Jersey V-Neck T-shirt size chart
6405 Bella + Canvas Ladies’ Relaxed Jersey V-Neck T-shirt size chart

 


Women’s-to-men’s t-shirt size conversion chart

Ordering your size in men’s or unisex instead of women’s is a simple formula: go one size down in men’s. For example, if you are normally a ladies’ large, you would be a men’s medium. And so on.

 


Summary

Choosing the right sizes of women’s T-shirts is easy if you follow these steps:

  1. Understand the differences in fit categories.
  2. Measure your best-fitting t-shirt.
  3. Browse our catalog, click on a product and click on the “Sizing Details.”
  4. Compare your measurements to the size charts of each garment.

That’s all there is to it. When you’re ready to customize your chosen tee and place an order, jump into our Design Studio and let your creativity do the rest.

 

 

Imri Merritt

About the Author

A graduate of the Multimedia program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Imri Merritt is an industry veteran with over 20 years of graphic design and color separations experience in the screen printing industry.