March 20, 2019

Kids' Clothing Fit Chart: Which Children's Clothing Brands Run Big, Which Run Small, and How to Find Your Kid's Best Fit

Almost every kids brand in existence has been shipped out in one of our nearly-new kids clothing boxes. So, we can tell you firsthand that a girls’ 3T shirt from Carter’s can be a totally different fit from a 3T girls’ shirt from Old Navy. A boys’ six-month onesie from Gerber has a good chance of being way smaller than a six-month onesie from OshKosh B’Gosh. When it comes to children’s clothing, fit can vary wildly across sizes and brands. We sort through thousands of kids clothing items each month and see all variety of brands, so when it comes to how different kids clothes fit, we like to think we’re experts and authorities!

Finding Clothes that Fit Your Kid

Just like when shopping for your own clothes, you have to keep your kiddo’s shape in mind. Some brands are known to be cut more tall and slim while others have the short and stockier market cornered. And to make matters more complicated, as a lot of us moms know, kids often alternate, growing tall, then wide…. then tall, then wide again. For example, Carter’s is one brand that is consistently designed for long, narrow babies, while Gymboree (which just went out of business in 2019) always had some room for the roly poly phases.

shopping for kids clothing

Here are four tips we swear by when it comes to finding the best-fitting kids’ clothes for your littles:

1. Check the size chart: Children’s clothes in the U.S. are conveniently sized by age, and it’s tempting to want to buy that way. But it’s always good to consult a brand’s size chart before buying anything new. Compare your kiddo’s measurements against the brand’s height/weight guidelines for the best fit.

2. Think of baby sizes as “up to”: When you’re looking at clothing that sizes by month, it’s best to see it as topping out at that month. For example, a “3 months” onesie will fit up to a three-month-old baby, and a “9 months” tee may fit your six or seven-month-old.

3. Know the difference between 24 months and 2T: This is a case of a baby versus a toddler. Is your babe more chunky baby (complete with a diaper), or active toddler who might already be in undies? The 24-month-old clothes are designed for rounder baby shapes, while 2T will be more slim and streamlined.

4. Some styles are more forgiving: Dresses are easier to fit since they tend to be less form-fitting. Jeans and pants can be more challenging. Elastic waists and adjustable-waist pants are definitely a mom’s best friend, especially if you have a tall and skinny kid! Pay attention to the style when you’re shopping; some brands offer slim and husky styles in their bigger kid sizes.

Baby Clothes: Fit by Brand

BabyGap logo BabyGap runs a little big, shrinks a bit
Carter's logo Carter's baby clothing, which includes labels like Child of Mine, Simple Joys by Carter's, Precious Firsts, and Carter's Just One You, runs true to size or on the smaller side. Carter's clothing often seems to be best suited for long and skinny babies. Some items (onesies) tend to shrink a little.
The Children's Place logo The Children's Place baby clothing runs small, particularly their pants.
Garanimals logo Garanimals baby clothing runs small and tends to be shaped short and wide.
Gerber logo Gerber baby clothes run very small – as much as a whole size – and are also known to shrink significantly.
Gymboree logo Gymboree baby clothing runs big and tends to be shaped wide.
Kate Quinn Organics logo Kate Quinn Organics baby clothing runs long and slim, and is best for slender babies.
KicKee Pants logo KicKee Pants run long and slim.
OshKosh B'Gosh logo OshKosh B'Gosh baby clothing runs true to size generally. OshKosh B'Gosh tops can be on the wider side.

Toddler Clothes: Fit by Brand

BabyGap logo BabyGap toddler clothing runs true to size, but is known to shrink (particularly their denim).
Cat & Jack logo Cat & Jack toddler clothing runs true to size, with a slimmer fit.
Carter's logo Carter's toddler clothing fits true to size.
The Children's Place logo The Children's Place toddler clothing runs small.
Garanimals logo Garanimals clothing for toddlers often runs large and wide, but it can be inconsistent.
Gerber logo Gerber Childrenswear toddler clothing runs small and often shrinks.
Gymboree logo Gymboree toddler clothing runs big.
H&M Kids logo H&M Kids' toddler clothing runs true to size or a little big.
Jumping Beans logo Jumping Beans toddler clothing runs a little small
Old Navy logo Old Navy toddler clothes run small and often shrink.
OshKosh, Genuine Kids from OshKosh logo OshKosh B'Gosh and Genuine Kids from OshKosh toddler clothes fit true to size, generally. The website notes that "dual sizes (like 4-5) are sized generously for a comfortable fit, with room to grow."
Tea Collection logo Tea Collection toddler clothing runs true to size in the shirts and dresses categories, but Tea Collection pants and leggings run a little small. It also tends to shrink.
Wonder Nation logo Wonder Nation toddler clothing runs true to size.

Kids Clothing: Fit by Brand

Abercrombie Kids logo Abercrombie Kids runs on the smaller side and is often best suited for slim kids.
Calvin Klein Kids logo Calvin Klein Kids clothing fits true to size.
Cat & Jack logo Cat & Jack kids' clothing runs true to size, if a little slim.
Faded Glory logo Faded Glory kids' clothing runs big.
GapKids logo GapKids clothing runs true to size.
Hanna Andersson logo Hanna Andersson kids' clothing runs on the large side of true to size. Hanna uses centimeter sizing based on height, so you'll see sizes like 80/85 and 140. They say: "No need to size up, designed with room to grow. " We say: they run big, be sure to follow their height and weight charts on their site, and expect their clothes to be roomy in the waist.
H&M Kids logo H&M Kids clothing runs big and seems best designed for tall, slim kids.
Jumping Beans logo Jumping Beans kids' clothing runs a little big and wide, especially their pants.
Justice logo Justice kids' clothing runs small.
Lands' End Kids logo Lands' End Kids clothes fit like this: their pants run big, but their shirts fit true to size.
Old Navy logo Old Navy kids' clothing runs big and wide in the regular fit; try the slim fit if your child is slight. They also offer husky sizes.
OshKosh, Genuine Kids from OshKosh logo OshKosh B'Gosh kids' clothing runs true to size, generally.
Tea Collection logo Tea Collection kids' clothing dresses run big, but their leggings run short and narrow. Tea Collection clothing often shrinks in the dryer.
Wonder Nation logo Wonder Nation kids' clothes run true to size.

P.S. If you don’t even know where to start, you should definitely consider buying pre-loved children’s clothes and saving yourself a TON of money on kids’ clothes -– like 70-90% off retail. Plus, with Kids on 45th clothing bundles you’re sure to discover some brands you didn’t know about before that just might offer the perfect fit for your kid!