Clothing Sizes

Updated on March 22, 2011
J.R. asks from Portland, OR
16 answers

How long did your toddler stay in a T size? I've been under the assumption that it's one T per year i.e. - My daughter is a 2T at two years old, 3T at three. Is that a good ballpark or am I way off? The big consignment sales are coming up and I want to get the right clothes. Thanks!

Note- she is on the tall and slender side. Although she's tall enough for a 2T, some pants fall off because the waist is too big

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answers from Washington DC on

Look for waists with the elastic adjuster hidden inside. That way you can get the length without the gap/falling down.

Generally my daughter has been a T per year in shirts, but it does vary with the brand, shrinkage, etc. Just yesterday she wore a shirt to bed that I was startled to realize was 4T (she's 2.5). She's just now getting into 2T pants so we still have 2 and 3 T in the closet.

I'm a big fan of leggings, too. Girls don't know how to play without flashing sometimes and leggings can get used a long time.

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answers from Tampa on

My daughter is 5 y/o and in pants waist wise she can still wear a 3-4T but length wise needs a 5T or 6/SX.

My daughter is also slender and will most likely stay that way. They need to start making a slender sizing like they do for the 'huskies'

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answers from Portland on

I think it depends on the style of clothes and the child. My daughter is almost 5 and still fits into some 2t and 3t t-shirts. And we have been using her old 3t stretch pants for leggings/capris under skirts. The crotch and waist still fit fine, they are just shorter on her now. But I am really practical about saving things until I absolutely cannot use them. My daughter is also short in stature, so I think that is why I have been able to use the clothes for so long. But my daughter also fits well in 4t, but 5t is still too long/big on her. My friend has a child the same age that can't even fit into 4t anymore because she is so tall now, as well as gaining girth. Everybody has a different body type, so I think the sizes for toddler clothes are an estimate, because they do start losing their toddler figures around 3 years old.

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answers from New York on

That is the general rule but some kids are thicker, some thinner and some shorter and some taller! If your daughter has been pretty true to size she will continue to be. BUT all brands (even styles within a brand) but differenty. Plus, if its used, it may have shrunk. I think you can tell by looking at them. BTW, my son is taller and more slender and The Gap fits him the best.

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answers from Seattle on

I think it all depends on your kid.....My daughter is 4 and of average height/weight for her age, leaning toward taller and slender. She wears a 5T, or 4/5 and sometimes a 6 in most shirts, but a 4T in pants. But I have some 3T shirts and 2T pants that still fit her too. It is hard and crazy. I have gotten some 5T pants which are perfect length but too big, so we do leggings more than jeans. I really think it depends on the brand too. Gymboree seems to run right on size 2years=2T, or a little big. Target Cherokee brand runs small. I think you just have to guess at times, stick with name brands that you are familiar with at consignment sales and I often side on the larger size with clothing because they keep on growing.



answers from Seattle on

basically, yes...once past the 3T stage, I think that you will be able to use almost anything you buy that is long sleeve/pants (either in fall or spring)...



answers from Portland on

I'm having the same problem with my son who is 20 months and is wearing clothes from 18months -2T right now. So unfortunately I'm still trying to figure out sizing too. However, I do know that if you're shopping consignment sales, always buy a little big because all the used clothes are going to be preshrunk. Good luck shopping!


answers from Kansas City on

My son was in a 2T from 18 months until 3 years. And he went right from a 2T to a size 4. Not a 4T, which is smaller than a 4.

My 21 month old is just getting into 24 months, 2T is way too long in pants, and the sleeves are too long too. However she is wearing 2T dresses because of her long torso, it just depends on how your daughter is built.



answers from Medford on

My 5 year old is still in the T sizes for some brands, mostly at Old Navy because they carry both a 5T and a "big girl" 5. She mostly wears an XS in the "big girl" department (XS=4/5) at Target and a 5 at The Children's Place. I have to try size 5s on her before I'm comfortable laying out the cash because like your daughter, mine is also tall and skinny. We were able to use the one size per year guideline for the most part, but I still try to look for skinny style pants, like jeggings, or buy bottoms that are her "year" size, but have the adjustable elastics in the back. Hope that helps!



answers from Seattle on

I agree with some of the comments. If she's tall and thin, buy leggings in one size up. They shouldn't fall down, and you'll get the extra length.



answers from Youngstown on

I think it depends on how your child grows. My daughter was always in the size for her age until she hit 3 1/2 and a huge growth spurt so by age 4 she was wearing a 5t and by 4 1/2 I had to go to a regular 5 for her. She is now 5 1/2 and wearing a size 6. I am planning on buying 7's for her for the fall since that seems to be her pattern. My son has always been big for his age and is 3 1/2 and he growing quickly now too. He he usually wears a 3t on bottom and a 4t on top but now his pants are all too short. I am glad it is going to be warm soon so I don't have to buy him new pants for just a few weeks.


answers from Houston on

I asked that question at a Gymboree store once and the lady said the only real difference between a 4 and a 4T is there's extra room in the seat of the (T) sizes to accommodate a diaper.
My son is that size right now. He's almost three, but very tall for his age. In some brands I'll even buy a 5T if it looks like it runs small or looks like it will shrink a lot. In boys sizes, he's a 4. I have to do a lot of altering, though (thankfully, I can do them myself). I have to hem stacks of pants every winter and shorts for the summer.



answers from Detroit on

I think it just depends on your child. My daughter has always been tall for her age and wears the clothes that are the next size up - she is 3.5 but most of her stuff is size 4 or 4T (the exception is jeans - those are 3T because she seems longer in the torso than the legs and she is slender, though not really skinney). Sometimes it depends on the company - she has some 4T sweaters from Children's Place that are too short on her and don't cover her tummy all the way!

On a side note, I really like the clothes from Hanna Andersson - not only are they well made and wicked cute, but their sizing system is based on the child's height, rather than their age. The clothes can be pricey, but you can pick up nice stuff on sale at the end of a season for the following year and they seem to last a long time.


answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter was in 24months pants (still pretty much is except for a couple pair but they are a tad too big) and 2T shirts b/c 24 months was not long enough and would show the bottom of her stomach. I get comments that she is tall for her age and she is on the slender side as well except for a little baby belly. When I see other 2 yr olds next to her, she is a bit tall for her age.
I buy 2T and if it's a bit too big (pant=belt) then she can always grow in it.



answers from Seattle on

My kiddo has been off the charts for height since he was a baby - he's almost 3.5, 42", and fits 4T perfectly right now. He's slender - so although most shirts/pants are "roomy", the sleeve length and leg lengths are right. I'm also careful to buy the pants that have the "elastic and buttons" built into the waistline (like some pregnancy pants) so I can cinch the waist in to keep them up.


answers from Chicago on

My son has been in "big kid" clothes starting at 3 ... he is quite tall and not overweight but not super skinny either somewhere in the middle. However my son fit into newborn clothes for about a month and then was on to 3-6 and was always a size or two higher than the "suggested size" we started to use these charts for clothing sizes ... check it out

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