Although XXL and 2X seem like they should measure a size that’s about the same, these two sizes are actually quite different. To find the right fit, it’s a good idea to take all of the differences into consideration and think about what size will suit you.

XXL vs 2X - What Are The Differences?

Size Difference

Since there are two XX marks on an XXL shirt or sweater, many people mistakenly believe that it’s equivalent to 2X. However, these are two distinct sizes.

An item of clothing that’s an XXL is usually about a half size larger than an XL. A 2X is generally a half size larger than an XXL, which means that it’s a full size larger than an XL.

This doesn’t mean, however, that all XXL and 2X clothing items are a universal size. Although most clothing brands try to stick to general sizes, there are no guidelines for how big a shirt that’s a small, medium, large, XL, XXL, or 2X should be.

For example, the exact measurements of a 2X shirt can be very different between brands. You might find that an XXL fits you in one brand, but a 2X works better in another brand. The style of clothing can also change its fit.

  • XXL – 1/2 size larger than XL
  • 2X – 1/2 size larger than XXL
  • 2X – Full size larger than XL

Larger Midsection

Aside from a fit that’s about a half size larger than an XXL, 2X shirts, sweaters, jackets, pants, or other clothing items usually have a slightly different cut. This cut is a bit roomier. It’s often larger around the midsection, but it can also be bigger around the shoulders, arms, and waist.

extra large jeans around waist

Longer Length

A 2X size is often used in clothing labeled as ‘big and tall.’ For this reason, many 2X shirts or sweaters are longer, proportionally, than other shirts. This is a big help for tall people or people with longer torsos.

Sometimes, 2X shirts might be marked with a T to denote a longer length. Shirts in other sizes, including XXL, can also be marked with a T. This means that they’re longer than average shirts, but they don’t have the larger, roomier cut that 2X shirts have.

long white pullover shirt

X Sizes in Women’s Clothing

Women often buy clothing, especially pants and dresses, using numbered sizes. Sometimes, XXL and 2X sizes can be translated into numbered sizes, which can help you get a better feel for the clothing’s more exact size specifications. In general, 2X and XXL clothes range from a size 20 to 22 on the numbered scale, but this can fluctuate depending on the brand.

Some women’s clothing companies also use Women’s Sizes, which are designated by a number followed by a W. These sizes are designed to be looser, much like a 2X men’s shirt would be, and they often have a different cut. A 2X is usually equivalent to an 18W or 20W size.

Some women’s brands also have plus sizes lines, but sizing can vary with these as well. Many women’s plus size lines start at sizes as small as 14. These sizes might not provide the roominess of a 2X or W size, either. Conversely, they might be much roomier, providing a fit that’s too loose for people who would normally choose an XXL.

If they do use XXL and 2X sizes, most women’s brands use either size, but not both. There is much less of a difference between XXL and 2X in women’s clothing, so it makes sense for clothing manufacturers to pick only one.

How to Get the Right Fit

Because there can be so much variance in sizes across brands, it can often be difficult to choose clothing you know will fit well. Whenever possible, it’s best to try on both 2X and XXL sizes.

This helps you make sure that the clothing doesn’t constrict or bind in any areas, but also lets you check that it isn’t too big or loose, either.

If you can’t try on the clothing, your next best option is to know your measurements or the clothing measurements you prefer. Check the sizing on the tag or website description to make sure that it fits within your measurements.

XXL Size Tag isolated on white background

Most companies post bust, shoulder, and length measurement information for shirts and dresses. Men’s jeans and pants often give a waist and inseam measurement.

You can also read the description to get a better feel for the cut and fit of the piece. If the description says that it’s roomy, has a relaxed feel, or is oversized, it most likely has a feel closer to a 2X. You can also check for W or T markers, which will tell you that the piece is wider or taller than other, average clothing items.

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