Before You Shop: Junior Plus Size vs. Woman’s Plus Size

Junior Plus Size vs Woman's Plus Size I get these questions a lot:

What is the difference between Junior Plus and Plus Size clothing?

Why is sizing sooo off in plus size clothing?

With the advent of many online boutiques, retailers, and brands that release fast fashion at prices and styles we love, there are questions, frustrations, and confusions about sizing… With Forever 21, now Wet Seal, H&M, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and various online fast fashion boutiques it is important to know BEFORE you shop, what to expect with their fit and to know the differences.

Junior Plus Size?

Yes. Initially created to bridge the gap of the younger plus size teen who was left without fashionable options, junior plus size fashion also caters to the everyday plus size woman.


Junior Plus Size vs Woman's Plus Size Well, junior plus size is traditionally cut smaller through the hips and bust, however, because of the fast fashion element and the body conscious fit, many of us are drawn to these stores- only to be confused with the fit and sizing.

“WHYYY am I a size 3x in this store?”

 “OMG their sizes are sooo off”

“They need to fix their sizing”

A lot of times (NOT ALL) many of the fast fashion and junior plus size departments fit with a different size chart in comparison to traditional plus size fashion. Now this does NOT mean that all fashion forward items are cut in junior plus, just that there is a newer fit emerging that is causing a bit of confusion and frustration…

Let Me Break it DOWN even more…


Forever 21 Plus Size City Swim Look BookFor starters, junior plus sizing is labeled like traditional plus sizes, like 1X, 2X, 3X. In numbered charts, sometimes you will see odd numbered sizes starting at 15 or 17. Because of the changes in fit and sizing, junior plus sizes tend to run one to two sizes smaller- sometimes even more! For example, a size 3x dress in women’s plus equals a size 24, BUT a 3x dress in junior plus may equal a size 20 or 22. See the confusion?

eBay notes, “A good rule of thumb used to be the trendier the style, the more likely it was sized in junior plus. However, as the plus-size market generally has become more contemporary and trend conscious, this guideline no longer works consistently.”

Now with more women in their 20s and 30s are buying junior plus clothing, it is important to note the difference of the two. As brands are taking note in this buying pattern, there are more retailers like ASOS CURVE, who offer those body conscious fits with the look and feel of a junior plus cut, BUT with traditional plus size sizing.

Comparing Size Charts

I took the size charts from Nordstrom in their plus size and junior plus size, so that you could see the difference in sizing details…


Junior Plus Size vs Woman's Plus Size

So what’s a girl to do?

Pay attention to the size charts, the fits on the models, and the type of store you are shopping. Reference size charts, measure yourself and know your measurements. This will help you navigate through it all… I promise!

So who are these Junior Plus Size Brands?

Think fast fashion. Uber on trend places that always have the latest trends at the lowest prices… There are a few, although I name them all, take this as a guideline as what you can expect from fit… if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments too!

  • Wet Seal
  • Fashion to Figure
  • Forever 21
  • H&M Plus
  • Macy’s Junior Plus
  • Nordstrom Junior Plus

It is key to note that a lot of these online plus size boutiques buy from wholesalers that produce junior plus sizes… please refer to their size chart for a better idea of fit…

I hope this helps a little bit? Let me know!

Junior Plus Size vs Woman's Plus Size

What else have you noticed from junior plus sizes? Have you been shocked about fit? Where else have you noticed a junior plus size cut? Leave a comment and let us talk about it!

Written by Marie Denee

I am the Editor in Chic of The Curvy Fashionista. Often goofy. Forever emo. Always a Virgo. You can find me somewhere grooving to 90s R&B.

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  1. I really needed to read this article. Thank you so much for writing this. I was very confused when I came across a junior plus size website. It’s really hard for me to find trendy clothes ,or clothes that don’t look so grown up, in my size. (BTW I’m 16 and wear a size 24, I’m also 6’0) I always get so excited when I see a contemporary store getting plus sizes, but when I go and try something on, the clothing doesn’t fit. This is really frustrating and disappointing. I was wondering if you know where I could go to find trendy clothes that are actually my size.

  2. This is something I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m 39 but my taste in clothes is more in line with 20-somethings. I’ve recently discovered Torrid and I love their jeans and jeggings, but they’re definitely junior plus. I’m having to buy size 28 jeans at Torrid, when I’ve always worn 24 at LB. It can be really frustrating but I have to remind myself that the number doesn’t matter, as long as I love the fit. I’ve also been really disappointed with the online store Agaci – definitely junior plus. I’ve ordered from them twice and had to return my order twice. Wish these stores would specify whether they are junior plus or women’s plus! Save me lots of headaches.

  3. JCPenney has a BIG difference in Jr. Plus ‘vs’ Women’s plus. My 11 year old is a very heavy girl, and there are some things in the JCPenney Jr’s. That will fit her for shirts but pants, shorts, or dresses? Forget it!! I would love a chart that takes Women’s plus sizes and give ESTIMATED sizes in Jr. Plus that I can reference to. I don’t mean inches, I mean ACTUAL SIZES! Thank you!

  4. I greatly appreciate this. I’m concidered plus size as I am 18/20 ,sometimes a 16 depending on the brand, and being 30 years old im not ready to dress like my mom just because I’m a larger size. I’m not sure that I want to wear all jrs clothes but it would be a nice option to be able to pick something a little more trendy once in a while.

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