What Size is 3XL? [A Measurement Guide w/ Charts]


Unfortunately, 3XL sizing can be inconsistent. It doesn’t help much to know something is size 3XL if you don’t know what the inch measurements are. This type of XL sizing can confuse customers and make them unsure what size is best. What size is 3XL and what are the typical measurements?

Men’s 3XL Top:

ChestWaistSlvNeck
3XL54 – 57″48 – 51″37 – 38″19 – 20″

Men’s 3XL Bottom:

WaistHipsInseam
3XL48 – 51″50-52″32-35″

Women’s 3XL Top:

US SizeBustWaistHips
3XL20W – 24W50 – 52″43 – 45″52 – 54″

Women’s 3XL Bottom:

WaistHipsInseam
3XL42 – 44″52-54″29-31″

**It’s important to understand that the charts above simply represent a general size range typical to 3XL clothing. The actual sizing can vary significantly by brand.

In this article let’s take a closer look at 3XL sizing for both tops and bottoms so you have a better understanding what to expect. We will also explore some issues that can affect 3XL sizing.


Men’s 3XL Measurements

Men’s sizes are a bit different compared to women’s clothing, considering that most men’s clothes are bigger to start with. Many men’s shirts are also designed to be a roomier fit, but obviously there are exceptions.

As we have mentioned throughout, the exact fit and measurement will vary by brand. These measurements can give you a general idea of what to expect.

3XL Tops

Chest WaistSlvNeck
3XL54 – 57″48 – 51″37 – 38″19 – 20″
  • Sleeve Length – The sleeve length for 3XL men’s shirts will usually be 37-38″. This sleeve length is usually the same for all sizes from 2XL to 6XL. Men may need to consider a customized shirt if they need longer or shorter sleeve length.  
  • Fit – Don’t forget, the fit of a shirt will impact sizing. For example, you can expect a slim fit 3XL to likely come in on the bottom end of the measurement range. A loose, relaxed fit 3XL will be at the top end of the range.
  • Chest – Typically, 3XL shirts will have a chest that falls in the 54-57″ range. Button-up shirts are often the hardest predict, and you will find both bigger and smaller exceptions. In my experience, most big and tall companies will tend to run on the bigger end of this range. For example, my 3XL shirt has a 56″ chest size (28×2):
3xl-measurements
3xl-chest

3XL Bottoms

WaistHipsInseam
3XL48 – 51″50-52″32-35″
  • Waist – Most bottoms that use xl sizing are loungewear, like sweats. It is typical for loungewear to use elastic waistbands, so although the typical sizing range is 48-51″, the elastic waistbands can comfortably conform to a range of waist sizes.
  • Inseam – There can be dramatic variation in the inseam length for 3XL bottoms. The most common inseam range for 3XL bottoms is 32 – 35 inches, and there may be exceptions that exceed this range. The inseam on my 3XL pants is about 32″:
3xl-sizing-bottoms
3xl-inseam

Women’s 3XL Measurements

There are many more variations to women’s clothing than there are to men’s clothing, which can make it difficult to narrow down sizing specifics. The ranges below should be considered a general idea of what to expect, but variations can exist by brand and style.

3XL Tops

US SizeBustWaistHips
3XL20W – 24W50 – 52″43 – 45″52 – 54″
  • Bust – Most typical range is 50-52 inches, but this can vary dramatically. Dress tops can be the most difficult to predict, and some exceptions may have a larger bust that measure up to 54 inches or beyond. You will want to seek out brand specific sizing charts when needed.
  • Sleeve Length – The sleeve length can also vary dramatically based on the style of the top. For full length sleeves, the typical range is 25-27 inches.  

3XL Bottoms

WaistHipsInseam
3XL42 – 44″52-54″29-31″
  • Waist – Most bottoms that use xl sizing are loungewear, like sweats. It is typical for loungewear to use elastic waistbands, so although the typical sizing range is 42-44″, the elastic waistbands can comfortably conform to a range of waist sizes.

Things that Affect 3XL Sizing

Sizing is that mysterious thing that we all wish was more consistent. There are some universal things about sizing but also enough variation that it keeps us on our toes, and not in a good way.

Brand or Store

No matter your price range, it seems that the sizing between different brands and stores never quite matches up. It’s impossible to predict brand sizing, and personal experience with the brand is often needed.

Even some brands will run out generic size charts that don’t match all of their clothes. In my experience, I tend to trust well-known big and tall brands to provide more accurate sizing information.

Human Manufacturing

Have you ever noticed that even within a single brand of clothing, items of similar make and style can fit slightly differently?  The size 14 jeans in a dark wash might fit, while the size 14 jeans in a lighter wash might be a smidge too tight.  

When an article of clothing is made, there is a process that is followed in manufacturing. Often many of the steps in that process are done by people rather than machines, and the margin of error is greater. 

This causes each piece of clothing to be slightly different, and sometimes that slight difference is enough to change the fit of the garment.

For example, one sewer might stitch a curve at a slightly sharper angle than another, or perhaps they sewed the button on slightly closer to the collar, and so on. These are just small errors made by people in the manufacturing process that come together to affect the overall shape and size of a garment.

Fabric

Woven fabrics are the ones that tend to be stiff and inflexible.  These kinds of fabrics are great if you want something structured and smooth, but they also have much less wiggle room for the sizing.  If it doesn’t fit, there’s not much you can do about it.   

Knit fabrics generally are more forgiving and have more stretch.  Some knits have two-directional stretch and some have four-directional stretch, but either way, it gives you much more flexibility within the sizing realm. 


Tips for Buying 3XL Clothes

Know Your Measurements

In this day and age, so much of our shopping happens from the comfort of our homes. We sit with our laptops, tablets or phones sipping a hot drink on our couches, chairs, or even in our beds. This is a beautiful thing.  

It can also be problematic when shopping for big and tall 3XL clothing. Pictures are never a completely accurate representation of a garment. The lighting can distort the colors, the angle can distort the proportions and the shape, and sometimes the model that is wearing the clothing can have a vastly different body type or body size than our own.  

It is important to know your measurements and to compare those measurements to the brand specific 3XL size charts. Almost every clothing store or brand has its own sizing chart with its list of typical measurements for each sizing category and each area of the body. 

Know the Brands that Fit You Well

We all have our favorite places to shop.  They are the places you walk into and you want to buy every outfit from every mannequin and every sweater, blouse, button-down, pants, dress, skirt, and shoe in sight.  They are the places that really speak to your personal sense of style.  

There are so many different stores and brands out there, and with online shopping we have access to them all.  Take some time to really search for a brand that represents your style and also is size-inclusive and consistent in their sizing measurements. 

Be Aware of the Fabric

Make sure you are being conscious of the fabric when shopping for size 3XL. For example, if you are unsure whether or not a 3XL will be large enough, if the garment is 100% cotton, you may want to size up to offset the shrinking of the garment.

Also, is the fabric a stretch fabric? Does it have spandex incorporated into the material? These types of garments can be more forgiving, and may allow for a larger margin of error regarding 3XL sizing.


Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is a lead content creator for Big & Tall Focus. He has a business degree and experience running websites so he can help ensure the website runs smoothly. Being 6’4″, he also understands the frustrations of not being able to find clothes off a rack that fit properly.

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