The Essential Women’s T-Shirt Size Chart and Fit Guide

By Rebekah Carter|Posted on 24 May 2023
The Essential Women’s T-Shirt Size Chart and Fit Guide

Everyone loves a great women’s t-shirt. The shirt is a classic staple of any wardrobe for good reason. Not only is it extremely comfortable and versatile, but shirts can be designed in a range of styles to suit various needs.

Unfortunately, many women encounter issues when it comes to choosing the right size for their new shirts. Finding the right fit is often difficult because each style of shirt comes with its own unique components and characteristics to consider. The shirt size you’ll choose when selecting products from a collection of “slim fit” products might not be the same size you need when you’re looking for looser-fitting short-sleeve shirts or polos.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to try on every shirt before you bought it, to ensure your product is as flattering and comfortable as possible.

Unfortunately, in today’s age of online shopping, it’s not always possible to try a garment before you buy it. Fortunately, there are still some steps you can take to boost your chances of making the right purchase.

Here’s your complete guide to common sizing options for women’s shirts.

Finding your Fit: How to Measure a T-Shirt

One of the easiest ways to make sure you get the right size of t-shirt when shopping online, is to measure the core components of one of your favorite existing shirts. The sizes chosen for women’s shirts are based on a selection of measurements, looking at the chest or bust circumference of the customer, their waistline, body length, and desired sleeve fit.

Before you start purchasing products from a new fashion brand, it’s worth comparing your own measurements, to the size guides provided on the store’s website. The most important measurements you’ll need include:

  • Body length: Shirts can be designed for both taller and shorter body types, depending on the manufacturer. To ensure your shirt falls naturally down to your hips, measure along the back of your shirt, from the neckline seam to the bottom of the hem.
  • Body width: The ideal width for a women’s shirt will depend on your waistline and chest circumference. To get the width right, measure one of your favorite shirts (in a similar cut or style), across the chest area. It’s best to start measuring about an inch below the arm hole or sleeve, so you get a better insight into the chest width.
  • Sleeve length: To ensure you’re choosing the right sleeve length, measure the outer edge of your favorite shirt’s sleeve. Start on the very outer edge of the shoulder, on the seam that connects the sleeve to the shirt, down to the end of the sleeve hem.
How to Measure a T-Shirt

Keep in mind, different kinds of material may influence your sizing options too. Some clothing, such as stretch athletic shirts, are intended to expand to suit the needs of your body. Other options, such as boxy shirts, may be intended to be a little looser around the sleeves and chest.

Common Women’s T-Shirt Fit Types

One important factor to keep in mind when searching for the ideal shirt size, is that different styles of shirt are designed to accommodate specific “fits”. For instance, some shirts are intended to have a tighter, more tailored appearance, while others may be intended to be loose fitting and airy.

Here’s a useful guide to some of the most common fit types used in the women’s shirt industry, and how their sizing options can vary.

Standard Fit

Standard Fit

The “Standard fit” shirt is the most common form of women’s shirt. It’s also referred to as a “classic” or “regular” fit shirt. Typically, standard fit shirts are designed to have a boxer, looser cut. They’re ideal for those with curvier figures, as they provide plenty of room, and they’re usually among the most comfortable garment options for those in search of an airy, lightweight experience.

Notably, standard fit shirts can also feature different styles, such as V-neck shirts, or shirts with longer backs than front sections. Some designers can also create “standard fit” crop-tops, which are intended to fall just below the chest, to the waist area.

Standard Fit Standard Fit

Keep in mind, standard fit shirts usually have the same boxy appearance across all styles, but they can feature either shorter, or longer lengths depending on your needs. Additionally, it’s possible to find standard size shirts with a variety of sleeve length options.

Slim Fit

Slim Fit

Otherwise known as “tailored” or “fashion fit” shirts, slim fit t-shirts are more form-fitting. They’re intended to hug the curves, while still flattering the waist and providing a comfortable wearing experience. These shirts are more common in the fashion industry, among women who want to show off their body type. Similar to standard fit shirts, slim fit t-shirts can come in a variety of styles, including long and short-sleeved tees, tank tops, and shirts which are looser around the waist, and tighter around the chest.

Oversized or Baggy Fit

Oversized or Baggy Fit

Ideal for customers in search of comfort, baggy and oversized fit t-shirts are a lot looser than standard or fitted shirts. They’re great for creating a more casual, “slouchy” aesthetic, and are often paired with tight leggings, skirts, shorts, and jeans.

While oversized and baggy fit shirts can appeal to a wide range of consumers, including those in search of a more “boyfriend-style” t-shirt, they’re particularly popular for women with curvy and plus-sized body types. These shirts are often airy, and spacious, and can include both long and shorter sleeves, depending on your preference.

Finding the Right Size for your Women’s T-Shirt

Though finding the right fit for your new shirt can seem like a complicated process, most fashion business owners will include sizing guides and charts on their website to help you get the perfect product. If you’re creating your own t-shirts in the fashion-on-demand landscape, your production partner can help you navigate their sizing charts too.

Here at NovaTomato, we offer access to a wide range of different styles of custom women’s t-shirt, with various fit options to choose from. All of our clothing options include size guides, so you can provide your customers with all the information they need to choose the right clothing.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can expand the collection for your new shop with sizing options to suit every style of customer.

T-Shirt Design Ideas: Inspiration for Gorgeous Garments


Still unsure about women’s sizing?

Here are some of the most common questions we hear at NovaTomato about women’s sizing and fit options:

How do women's T-shirt sizes work?

Women’s T-shirt sizes can be variable for a range of different reasons. The exact sizing strategy used for each garment can vary according to both the style of the t-shirt, and the country or region you’re producing your clothing in. For instance, in the US, sizes like 2, 4, 6, and 8 are common, while in European countries, it’s more common to see sizes like 34, 36, or 38.

What is regular fit vs relaxed fit?

Regular or standard fitting T-shirts, and relaxed or loose-fitting t-shirts are both designed to be airy and easy to wear. These t-shirt styles offer comfort and versatility, but the relaxed fit t-shirt will often offer a much looser experience than a standard-fit shirt.

Relaxed fit shirts are excellent if you’re layering your shirt with other garments underneath, or you want to create a casual, laid-back aesthetic.

How should a T-shirt fit a woman?

There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to choosing the right shirt size. The ideal size and fit for you will depend on the vibe you want to create, and how much of your body you want to show off. Generally speaking, most ladies tees will be a little tighter than the alternative options created for men. You may also find women’s shirts feature:

  • Larger neck openings with scoop and V-neck options
  • Smaller shoulders with a narrower overall width
  • Shorter, tighter sleeves
  • A wider bustline or chest area
  • Tapered waistlines for a more tailored look
  • Extra flaring around the hem for the hips
  • A slightly longer overall length