Updated on July 7th, 2023 at 07:47 pm

image of tshirt on hanging rack - Extra Large LivingWhile shopping for clothes is simple and fun for regular-sized individuals, it’s anything but for big and tall and plus-sized individuals. Aside from keeping up with fashion trends, you need to learn new sizing vocabulary.

The fact that there are subtle distinctions between XL vs. 1X makes it all the more confusing.

Whether you are shopping for men’s or women’s clothing, XL and 1X sizes are not the same. XL refers to standard sizing for men, and misses’ sizing for women.

While 1X refers to women’s plus size clothing; made with curvy women in mind.

Generally, 1X is the smallest size in plus-size clothing, while XL is one of the largest sizes in standard men’s and women’s clothing.

Remember, clothing sizes that are perfect for your body dimensions will vary with each brand and material. As such, your best guide to which size is perfect depends on how it fits your body.

What is 1x size?

Though exact body measurements vary, 1X is a size 14/16, and these sizes are commonly marked with a “W” 14W/16W. Plus-size clothing is wider and has more room in the seat, waist, arms, hips, and thighs. Plus sizes are available in children’s, junior’s, misses, women’s, and tall categories.

What is xl size?

XL clothes are made for women (missies’ sizes), and they fit sizes 16/18. Misses are sizes for women with more curves than women who fit in junior clothing. Aside from the extra curves, missy size is even instead of odd.

Differences between XL and 1x

Sizing rules

We can draw general differences between XL and 1X from the general differences between misses and plus-size clothing. They include:

  • Plus size clothing is made with extra room in the hips, waist, and bottom than misses clothing.
  • The bust difference between misses and plus size clothing items is that misses size garments are smaller than in plus-size clothing. However, the exact difference between the two vary between manufacturers.
  • Plus size pants and jeans in women have a taller rise than their misses counterparts.
  • There’s a 1-inch waist measurement difference between 1X and XL sizes whereas there’s a 2″ to 4″ jump between sizes.

Note: Extra fabric is often used to accommodate larger size curves and create perfect body proportions. Other areas on your clothes are often the same between these sizes. For example, a size XXL blouse may have three extra inches on the torso and remain the same length on the sleeves.


Women’s clothing

XL clothing measurements for women clothing on a size chart are as follows:

  • Size 16 – Bust 42.5″, Waist 35″, Hip 44.5″
  • Size 18 – Bust 44″, Waist 36.5″, Hip 46″
  • Size 20 – Bust 45.5″, Waist 38″, Hip 47.5″

On the other hand, 1X women clothing is as described below:

  • Size 12W – Bust 42″, Waist 36″, Hip 45″
  • Size 14W – Bust 44″, Waist 38″, Hip 47″
  • Size 16W – Bust 46″, Waist 40″, Hip 49″

If your hip and waist measurements correspond to two different sizes, your correct size is the size your hip measurement indicates.

Men’s clothing

Like women’s clothing, 1X and XL sizes are different in men’s clothing. However, the difference between these sizes isn’t as pronounced in men’s clothing as in women’s clothing. In this regard, men often have a harder time than women finding the perfect fit.

  • XL – Chest size 46″ -48″, waist size 42″ -44″, neck size 17″ – 17.5″
  • 1X – Chest size 48″, waist size 46″, neck size 17″ – 18″

Frequently asked questions about extra large sizes

Is 0xl the same as xl?

Some plus-size brands have confusing size of 0XL size, making choosing the right size even more difficult. At first, the 0XL might seem the same size as the XL, but it isn’t. On the contrary, 0XL is smaller than XL sizes. 0XL and 1XL use plus-size scales, while XL falls under the misses scale. So, while they may sound equivalent, they are different women’s sizes.

Below is how XL compares to 0XL.

  • 0XL – Waist 31.5”, Hip 36.6”
  • XL – Waist 31-33”, Hip 36-37”

Difference between xl and xlt

XL means Extra Large, and XLT is Extra Large-Plus Tall. Despite this, XL and XLT shirts also differ in length. On average, the arm length of a tall dress shirt is approximately 1.5″ longer than a regular shirt. While measuring sleeve length is tricky and needs help from a friend, it makes a big difference in how the shirt fits.

To wear tall clothes, you should be between 6’3″ and 6’7″ tall. On the other hand, Extra Tall men’s shirts are ideal for men between 6’8″ and 7’1″ tall. This rule has some exceptions, but this is a good starting point. It’s recommended to pick your tall size depending on your build and then find the correct length.

Difference between 2xl and xxl

The difference between 2XL and XXL is that 2XL is part of a the big and tall or plus size system. Whereas XXL refers to regular sizing. However, just because 2XL is on the plus-size scale doesn’t mean it’s always a larger size to XXL.

Is 14w the same as a 16?

Numerical size is often represented as 14W, 16W, or 18W. The ‘W’ in size refers to women and is an alternative way of representing plus-size. Size options with the ‘W’ are designed specifically for plus-size women, while sizes 14, 16, and 18 in the same brand are more likely to be straight size fits.

Quick tip: Although these can be confusing sizes, it’s easier to differentiate these strange sizes by remembering that sizes with numbers in front of them are plus size.

Adding petite and tall

Plus-size women come in different heights, and clothing manufacturers create clothes to accommodate this difference. Because of this, you’ll come across tall and petite sizes in plus-size charts.

Tall sizes are made for women taller than 5’8″. They have longer sleeves, torsos, inseams, and the waist is often lower. On the other hand, petite sizes fit women under 5’4″ and have shorter sleeves, torsos, and inseams.

A tall size item has a Tall or T following the size number. For instance, you might come across 2XT or 18W Tall, and Petite sizes are labeled with Short, Petite, or P.

How ‘ease’ changes a clothing’s fit

Some women’s clothing is a little more fitting than others despite having the same size label. This is because some plus size cuts are designed with extra room (ease) to make a more modest and comfortable garment.

If the clothing is described with any of the following phrases, it’s probably a loose fit of the specific size:

  • Comfort fit
  • Relaxed fit
  • Loose
  • Oversize

Closing remarks

Everything may sound similar and confusing if you’ve recently started living extra large. Exact measurements will vary with different materials, and size clothing manufacturers do not help the situation.

However, once you grasp the difference between plus-sizes vs. misses sizes, understanding 1X and XL sizes gets easier.

Generally, the 1X size is for you if you are plus size. But if you are a standard size, then an XL would be ideal for your needs.

How clothing fits your body should guide you in determining your size on subsequent picks.

Be sure to check out our recent post on Youth extra large vs mens small which you can find here.