What Is the Difference in Sizing Between Junior's & Women's Clothing?

Because "Glee" star Lea Michele is petite and slender, she likely shops in the juniors' department.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Shopping for clothes is utterly exhausting, especially for women. First, you need to know your height and should evaluate your body type. Then, you have to figure out where to start your hunt for the ideal outfit. You might belong in the juniors' department, the misses' department, or the women's department. Finally, once you get to the right department, you have to find your numerical size. Of course, your numerical size may vary according to brand, which means a lot of trips to and from the fitting room. That's a lot of work, but all of that labor is worth it when you find that perfect pair of jeans or killer jacket.

The Most Obvious Differences

Some differences between clothing designed for juniors and clothing designed for women can be seen easily with the naked eye. According to Argonne National Laboratory's information for students visiting the U.S., clothing designed for juniors has a smaller waist and a higher bust-line. Height is also a factor. Clothing for juniors is tailored to a person with a height between 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches. Clothing for women is tailored to fit a person with a height between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches.

Misses Sizes

Clothing isn't just designed for either women or juniors. There is a size in between known as a misses size. Misses sizes are tailored to women who are between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 7 inches, according to Argonne's Educational Program, and are proportioned with a larger hip size than bust size.

Numerical Differences

Stacy London, from the television show "What Not to Wear," told "RealSimple" magazine that junior's sizes are typically odd numbers. A junior's size will be a number between 1 and 15. Misses and women's sizes are even numbers between 2 and 20. According to EduPass, a junior size can be converted to a misses size by subtracting three. For example, if you wear a size 11 in juniors, you would likely wear a size 8 in misses.

Inconsistent Sizing

In an article on MSNBC.com, Dan Butler of the National Retail Federation warns that the government has never created a mandatory sizing chart. Therefore, every brand is able to fudge the sizing to generate more sales. By decreasing the size listed on the tag, a label can boost women's self-esteem. The downside is that most women find their sizes vary widely between brands.

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