What, exactly, is plus sized? Size 12, 14, 18, 20?


I’ll be honest.  I always thought that to be considered plus-sized, you needed to be wearing a size 18;  when you pretty much need to be shopping in the plus-sized section of the store or on plus size clothing websites.

I have found out, however, that what constitutes “plus sized” is quite subjective, depending on whom you talk to.

According to plusmodelmag.comThe term ‘Plus Size’ is an industry standard that applies to any women who is  over a size 12. To be even more specific, the fashion industry identifies plus size as sizes 12-24, super size as sizes 4X-6X and extended size as 7X and up.

Over a Size 12?  Are you freaking kidding me?  Isn’t that the average size of the American Woman?

According to Susan Barone, owner of the plus size site,, Plus sizes are sizes 14W – 24W. Super sizes and extended sizes are used
interchangeably for sizes 26W and above. Sometimes the size 26W is included in  plus size.” 
The letter “W” indicates that this is a Woman’s Size versus a Junior’s size, which is quite different in cut.

The best answer I saw was in It is important to recognize that plus size is not synonymous with overweight,  but instead may also refer to garments that are well fitting for especially   curvaceous women, who might otherwise not enjoy a figure flattering fit with  other clothes. The same holds true for wearers who are taller than average and
need a specialty cut for well fitting clothes.

According to ezine, a size 14 is generally considered to be the beginning of the plus sized section, although this is MERELY AN ARBITRAY OFFICIAL LISTING.

Different clothing lines size their clothing differently, which is why you need to take into account their sizing charts for each store.

When you get into the 1X,2X, 3X, etc. kind of sizing, this proves different in every online and bricks and mortar store. I know that when I shop at Target versus at Saks, the 1X system is very different.  The Target 1X is quite a bit “tighter” on me.

The reason that this question resonates with me is because I’ve been using my own biased impression of what constitues plus sized. Maybe I need to be expanding my blogs to begin showing clothing in a size 12. I’ve just never in my life considered a size 12 to be plus sized.

So…I throw the question out to you:  At what size is a woman considered Plus-Sized?