two large men facing each other wearing T-shirts

If you’re shopping online or for someone else, choosing clothing in the correct size can be challenging.

Some clothing labels, such as 4X and 4XL, look very similar, and it’s difficult to tell the difference between them.

However, 4X and 4XL are two distinct sizes, and learning the sizing of each can help you pick clothes that fit much better.

size 4x vs 4xl infographic

4X vs. 4XL

The main difference between 4X and 4XL clothing is the length. The L in 4XL stands for “long,” which means that the size is designed to either hang longer or fit a longer torso. This size often works well for taller people.

The sleeve length on 4XL shirts, sweaters, jackets, or dresses is usually longer. Some clothing marked as 4XL also has broader shoulders than regular 4X clothing.

Although 4X and 4XL are usually used to label top pieces of clothing, such as shirts or occasionally dresses, you might sometimes find pants or skirts labeled with these sizes.

These items will hang longer, have longer legs, or have longer inseam measurements.

man wearing a large button up shirt

4XT and 4X-Big

Although 4XL is the most common way to describe a 4X piece of clothing that’s longer than usual, you might sometimes see clothing labeled as 4XT or 4X-Big.

The T in the first label stands for “tall,” and both 4XT and 4X-Big mean the same thing as 4XL. They are about as roomy as a 4X, but the length and sleeves of the clothing will be a bit longer, and the shoulders might be slightly wider.

The main difference between 4X and 4XL clothing is the length.


Most of the time, clothing is labeled as either 4X or 4XL, but once in a while, a clothing company might label clothing as XXXXL. Clothing labeled with only letters is about half a size smaller than clothing labeled with a number, like 4X.

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In addition, the L at the end of XXXXL doesn’t mean long in this case but only means large, so the clothing will probably be about the same length and have sleeves of the same length as a 4X.

Check out: 3X vs 4XL: Clothing sizes compared

big and tall clothing sign

Choosing the Correct Size

Although sizing is usually consistent within a single brand, sizing isn’t standardized, and it can vary significantly from brand to brand. Different countries also size things differently.

If you know you fit into a specific size with one brand, it’s safe to assume you’ll fit into that size with the brand’s other clothing items.

However, the same size may be too big or small when you try on clothing from another brand.

To choose clothing that fits well, the best options are to either try on clothing from that brand to get a feel for their sizing or take measurements and use a sizing chart.

Sizing charts are generally provided by brands when you’re shopping online, and they’ll often give detailed measurements so you can choose the size that fits you best.

man with oversized large pants

Women’s Sizes

Women’s sizing is labeled differently than men’s sizing. Labels like 4X and 4XL are more common on men’s clothing, although you’ll sometimes see them on women’s clothing.

Women’s clothing, on the other hand, is most frequently labeled with numbers. These numbers are even for adult women’s clothing and odd for junior sizing.

A 4X in women’s number sizes usually runs between 26 and 28. The waist is usually around 50.5 to 56 inches, while the bust is between 56.5 and 62 inches.

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Because 4X and 4XL are almost the exact sizes except for the length, they both correlate to the same number size.

You might also occasionally see women’s clothing labeled with a W. For example, some clothing is labeled as 26W or 28W. The W stands for “women’s,” and it is used to indicate plus-size clothing.

Clothing marked with a W will usually be a bit roomier or more stretchy than clothing without a W. Clothing with a W, however, is the same length as clothing without the W.

Hence, it’s a good way for short or people of average height to find roomier clothing that offers the correct length. Taller people may want to look for numbered clothing with a W and either an L or T that marks the clothing as long.

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