What Are Youth Sizes?

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Team Kiwi Sizing

Last updated on April 4, 2024

Shopping for children’s clothing is often tough. (What are youth sizes, and how do they work?) Kids also grow up pretty fast, which keeps parents — as well as clothing manufacturers — on their toes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents can spend as much as $233,610 on their child from birth to age 17, 6% of which relates to clothing expenses.

Because so many busy parents shop online these days, it’s imperative that online retailers offer an easy and accurate sizing process. To do so, you must first understand how youth sizes work, the basis behind them, and ways to ensure your customers can find well-fitting clothing for their kids. 

What Are U.S. Youth Sizes?

What are youth sizes?

Unlike adult clothing sizes, youth sizes in America correspond to a child’s age. A child’s age is also combined with other factors to help parents find the most accurate size for their child, whether they wear a youth XS or extra large clothing. With toddlers, sizes are usually based on a child’s weight. As for older kids, clothing sizes use height to determine the proper size. 

Most children fall into their given age categories, although some kids may be above or below the average when it comes to clothing sizes. In general, kids between 18 months and 8 years of age wear sizes ranging from 4 to 7. As for children ages 8 to 14, sizes 7 through 14 typically suffice.  

Children’s sizes can also feature letters, similar to the sizing standard associated with adult clothing. In this case, it helps to know what each letter means in terms of numerical sizing:

  • What size is a youth XS? Size 5 to 6
  • What size is a youth small? Size 6 to 7
  • What size is a youth medium? Size 8 to 10
  • What size is a youth large? Size 12 to 14
  • What size is a youth XL? Size 16 to 18

Keep in mind that some children may fall outside these categories. An older child may require a youth small size, while a younger child might be more comfortable in a youth medium. 

These and similar challenges show how online clothing brands catering to children can benefit from apparel size recommenders, which ensures a more efficient experience for shoppers. A better experience for shoppers means higher sales rates, as well as improving the prospect of repeat business. 

What Age Are Youth Sizes For?

What are the youth sizes?

Youth sizes begin with infants and go all the way up to about 16 years of age. Youth sizes are often broken down into the following age categories:

  • Baby: 0 to 24 months 
  • Toddler: 2 years to 6 years
  • Child/Tween: 7 to 16 years

Some brands also offer extended youth sizing, which accommodates older teens and young adults, usually from age 18 up to age 20. 

There’s also a distinction between toddler apparel and clothing geared towards older children. In many instances, toddler sizes feature a number with a T, which stands for “toddler.” In this case, size 2T would be much smaller than a child’s size 2. 

Additionally, infant and toddler clothing can be roughly the same size but not offer the same fit. That’s because baby apparel tends to be wider, whereas toddler clothing tends to be narrower. 

Youth Sizing Made Easy

Kiwi Sizing offers helpful tools for online clothing brands, including customizable size charts to help parents seeking youth sizes find exactly what they’re looking for. Please contact us today for more information on our digital size charts and recommenders. 

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