Number Sizing to Letter Sizing for Clothing: A Quick Guide

Do you have questions about number sizing to letter sizing? Kiwi Sizing answers this and other questions to ensure the success of your online clothing brand.
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Team Kiwi Sizing

Last updated on May 9, 2024

To ensure that your online clothing shop is a resounding success, you must carefully weigh all aspects of your e-commerce store. In addition to the type of apparel to offer customers and how to best market your products, you must consider converting number sizing to letter sizing for your customers. 

Both sizing options offer benefits to online retailers. Both options ensure consumers can find their clothing size when shopping for apparel online. Understanding these two types of sizing improves the customer experience. 

What Are U.S. Letter Sizes in Numbers?

How to convert number sizing to letter sizing

Clothing brands can use alpha and numeric sizing. Alpha refers to letters such as S, M, and L, while numeric refers to number sizes. While there is some correlation between alpha and numeric sizes, letter sizes typically include a range of numeric sizes. 

U.S. sizes differ from other parts of the world, which can make converting number sizing to letter sizing important. For instance, a U.S. woman’s size 1 would be a size 4 in the U.K. and a size 32 in Europe. As for men’s clothing, a small in the U.K. equals a chest circumference between 36 and 38 inches in the U.S.

Alpha vs. Numeric Sizes: Which Is Better?

Alpha sizing is becoming more common among clothing brands thanks to its accessibility. Not every person knows their numerical size. Sometimes, numeric sizes might be a better fit for your brand. Consider the following:

  • Type of Clothing – The right fit is crucial for certain types of clothing, so you may choose numeric sizing. This is often true of athletic wear, for which fit can impact comfort and performance. 
  • Preferences of Consumers – Some customers prefer numeric sizes. This is typically the case with higher-end brands. 
  • Size Standards for Clothing – Numeric sizes vary widely between brands. As a result, customers may experience confusion when looking for their size. 

The best option for your business is one that offers a seamless shopping experience to customers, which is why many retailers provide a conversion of number sizing to letter sizing.

Is a Size 0 an XS?

What numeric size is an XS?

Clothing retailers must accommodate customers of all sizes. Offering a wide range of sizes is the right thing to do from an ethical perspective, but it also widens your customer base, benefiting you and consumers. 

Regarding smaller sizes, it’s a common misconception that a size 0 is the same as an extra small (XS). XS sizes include sizes 0 through 2, and other alpha sizes examples also cover a range of numeric sizes:

  • Small (S) – sizes 4 through 6
  • Medium (M) – sizes 8 through 10
  • Large (L) – sizes 10 through 12
  • Extra Large (XL) – sizes 12 through 14
  • Extra-Extra Large (XXL) – sizes 14 through 16

Many online clothing brands use helpful size charts that show the conversion from number sizing to letter sizing to ensure customers can easily select the right apparel size. These charts enhance the shopping experience and also benefit clothing businesses. 

Watch Out for Vanity Sizing

Vanity sizing entails labeling clothing a smaller size to appeal to customers. The logic stipulates that shoppers will be happier with smaller sizes, so brands that use vanity sizing will be more attractive to consumers in general. 

Clothing manufacturers must be wary of vanity sizing, which can hurt their businesses. Vanity sizing makes it even more difficult for online shoppers to find the right size for their needs, which can cause them to turn away from brands that use the sizing technique. 

Vanity sizing is generally frowned upon by people who prioritize body positivity. Accordingly, online clothing stores are better off striving for accuracy. 

Why Online Retailers Must Navigate Sizing Correctly

Unlike physical clothing stores, customers cannot try on clothing before they buy it. If a customer chooses the wrong size, they must return the item. This process can frustrate consumers and have negative consequences for online retailers. Offering the conversion from number sizing to letter sizing can help customers choose the right size the first time more easily.

As reported by CNN, processing returns is exceedingly difficult for clothing companies. A lack of resources can make it impossible to handle returned items properly. Additionally, many find it hard to resell returned items for the original purchase price. 

These issues can negatively affect your business’s bottom line, particularly if you experience a large volume of returns. That’s why all clothing retailers should have a solid plan to ensure sizing is as easy as possible online.

How To Make Sizing Simpler for Your Customers

letter sizing to number sizing

Consider creating brand-specific size charts if your shop features clothing from various brands. That way, your customers can more effectively zero in on their specific size. 

Never discount the power of customer feedback. You must understand how effective and impactful your sizing methods are, including converting number sizing to letter sizing. Your customers can provide this information by sharing their specific experiences. Encourage customers to share their thoughts and opinions with you, and don’t hesitate to implement changes to your sizing process based on customer feedback. 

How Kiwi Sizing Can Help Online Clothing Retailers

Kiwi Sizing provides apparel size recommenders to ensure customers can find the perfect size when shopping online. We also offer other tools to help you better understand how customers shop on your site. 

For example, our size recommenders come with helpful analytic features that provide easy access to shoppers’ data. This includes an in-app metric that shows precisely how shoppers are using sizing tools. You can also easily transfer information from our analytics app to Google for an even deeper dive into data.  

Keep in mind that our tools benefit a wide range of online businesses. Whether you sell clothing, shoes, jewelry, or intimate apparel, you will be impressed by what our plugins offer. And with the analytics app, you can gain valuable insights simultaneously. 

Access the Tools You Need To Achieve Success

Digital tools greatly benefit online clothing retailers when it comes to sizing challenges like converting number sizing to letter sizing. To this end, Kiwi Sizing offers essential sizing tools and charts to support your business and customers. Contact us for more information on our plugins and their benefits.

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