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Is a Size 16W Skirt Suit the Same as a Size 18? or 16W vs 18

Updated on March 19, 2012
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Glendon and his wife have led church ministries, conducted empowerment seminars, and travelled to faraway places on business and vacation.


Yet a 16W suit may fit a size 18 customer. As she examines the fit she may choose to do some minor alterations in order to feel comfortable in the clothes.

I will say it early and I will say it again; sizes vary from designer to designer.

Many of us believe that the W stands for Wide. No again! The letter W beside the number on the tag stands for Women’s. Sounds rather lame, tame and redundant but it’s the truth.  And if, like me, you feel that the clothing is for the feminine body anyway so why use a descriptor as ambigious as 'women's' then just think 'plus-size'.

Junior sizes for young people, misses for young adults, and women’s or plus sizes for the fuller mature figure, and is cut with room for moving those larger limbs. You may also discover that plus-size fashion is likely to be designed with the “easy care" fabrics such as polyester, polyester cotton blends, and stretch polyester.

Suit on sale at Amazon.
Suit on sale at Amazon.

Wear Your Size

So back to the 16W vs. 18.  I still say “16 Wide” out of habit.  HSN, an online retailer gives chart sizes as 43, 36, 45 ½ for size 18; and 43 ½, 37, and 45 ½ for 16W. 

Know your size and wear your size.  If you are a mature full figures woman you should be in the 16W to 26W range.   Size 18 is a regular size which does not fit comfortable enough on the larger bust, hip, and arms of the 16W customer.  This I learned on the job.

Those Successful Full Figure Women

Personally I have found that successful women in the Caribbean tend to range between 14, 16, 16W, 18, 18W, and 20.  And the women who really have money to spend on clothing are not the skinny anorexic model type but the moderately overweight successful midlife achiever who is struggling to bring down her size 20W to 18W, with better years spent at 16W.

I said it earlier and I will say it again, sizes vary from designer to designer so you would do well to know your measurements or when possible fit the clothing.  Stick to the designer you know when shopping online or find out their sizing charts.


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    • profile image

      jp 6 years ago

      the only real differnce in in the size width of the arms and sometimes the legs.

    • glendoncaba profile image

      glendoncaba 7 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

      @K9: Happy you found it helpful.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      This is the best online shopping advice ever! Thank you for giving us successful midlife moderately overweight gals some insider information!