Women come in all shapes and sizes, but finding a dress to match the body is not as difficult as it might seem. Clothing designers and manufacturers are constantly creating new fashions to flatter any woman. Finding the perfect fit requires trying on the dress, but there are common designations that can help narrow the search.
Junior dresses are designed for adolescents and young women. Their lines are typically straighter and cuts are tighter. Sizes range from zero to 20 for Misses in the United States, but it is common for a junior size label to be an odd number such as one, three, five or seven. Waist measurements in junior sizes are in the 20- to 30-inch range, while hip and bust measurements are in the 30-inch range.
Misses-sized dresses are designed for the average woman's measurements. Sized from 0 to 20, Misses size labels are an even number. Bust and hip measurements run in the 30-40 inch range while waist measurements run from 23 to 32 inches.
Plus-sized dresses are for larger-framed women and typically range from 14W to 24W. Some manufacturers use an X in their sizing, such as 1X to 5X. Bust and hip measurements in women's plus sizes range in the 40- to 50-inch range while waist sizes are 35 to 49 inches.
Petite dresses are designed for women who are less than 5 foot 3 inches tall. Sleeves, waistlines and hems are all shorter to accommodate the smaller frame. Size labels run from 0P to 14P. Bust, waist and hip measurements are comparable to Missy sizes, the difference being in the length of the dress.