Understanding Sizing Based on Chest Measurements
When it comes to finding the right Gildan youth size, one of the most important measurements to take into account is your child’s chest size. Unlike general S/M/L sizing, which can vary quite a bit between brands, measuring the chest provides a more standardized sizing metric to find the best fit.
Start by having your child stand straight with arms down. Wrap a soft measuring tape around the fullest part of the chest, under the armpits and shoulder blades. For boys, make sure the tape is horizontal; for girls, the tape should be run just under the bust. Record this measurement in inches.
Once you have the chest measurement, compare it against Gildan’s size chart, which provides recommended chest sizes for each youth size. Keep in mind this may vary slightly between Gildan t-shirt styles, as a heavier cotton or blended fabric may have a little more give. Make sure to reference the chart for the specific item you are considering purchasing.
For example, if your child has a chest measurement of 28 inches, according to Gildan’s size chart, that falls right in the middle of the Medium size range. A size Medium youth t-shirt would likely provide the best slim but not too tight fit. However, if you wanted a bit more room for layering, you may consider sizing up to a Large.
Having an accurate chest measurement makes it much easier to determine what Gildan youth size will give you the right amount of comfort and room to grow. So be sure to pull out that measuring tape, and you’ll take the guesswork out of picking the perfect size for your kid.
Comparing Gildan’s Size Charts for Youth, Juniors, and Kids
When looking at sizing for Gildan youth apparel, it’s important to understand the differences between their size charts for youth, juniors, and kids. While the age ranges may seem similar, there can be considerable differences in the actual measurements and fit. Here’s an overview of how Gildan breaks down their sizing:
Gildan Youth Sizes: These are sized based on chest size and body measurements, rather than age. The youth sizes offered are XS (28-30” chest), S (30-32”), M (34-36”), L (38-40”), XL (42-44”). This is a good unisex sizing chart for younger kids, pre-teens, and teenagers.
Gildan Juniors Sizes: The junior sizing is geared more specifically towards teen girls, with cup/band sizing for shirts and numbered sizing for pants. Shirt sizes range from XS-XL, pant sizes 00-15. The cut and proportions are designed for an emerging woman’s figure.
Gildan Kids Sizes: For younger elementary school-aged children, Gildan uses more traditional S/M/L kids sizing. This sizing is based on a child’s weight and height rather than chest size. The kids size chart is separated into size groups for 4-5, 5-6, 6-8, 8-10, 10-12, 12-14 years. Sizing goes up to Kids XL, generally appropriate for ages 10-12.
When determining what Gildan youth size chart is best for your needs, consider the child’s age, stage of development, and whether you want a more fitted or loose-fitting garment. It’s a good idea to take actual body measurements as well rather than relying solely on age. Keep in mind that children grow rapidly, so allow for a little extra room if buying several months in advance. Taking the time to consult Gildan’s detailed size charts will help ensure the best fit.
S/M/L Youth Sizing May Not Align with Age
When shopping for Gildan youth clothing, it’s important not to assume that standard S/M/L sizing will directly correspond to your child’s age. While this sizing method is common, there can be considerable variability between brands that means the fit may not be accurate based on age alone.
For example, a size medium youth shirt from Gildan is intended for chest sizes around 34-36″. This could potentially fit children ranging from around 8 years old up to young teenagers, depending on their build and stage of development. Similarly, a Gildan youth large sweatshirt designed for chest sizes around 38-40″ could fit many pre-teens through young adult age ranges.
Rather than going by the typical age guidance often provided for S/M/L youth sizing, it’s best to consult Gildan’s specific measurement charts for a more precise fit. Their youth sizes are based on chest circumference and body measurements, which can vary greatly between children of the same age. A petite 8 year old may need a Gildan small, while a larger framed child of the same age could wear a large or even XL.
There are also unisex/boys and girls specific size charts to take into account body shape differences. Trying sample sizes in person can help determine the right fit if possible. Going beyond the S/M/L age assumptions and using actual measurements ensures your child gets the ideal size Gildan t-shirt, sweatshirt, or other apparel for their current build.
Check Shirt Length and Sleeve Size for Best Fit
When sizing Gildan youth shirts and sweatshirts, it’s important to look beyond just the chest size and consider the overall length and sleeve length as well. The length of the shirt and arms can greatly affect the comfort and mobility, so be sure to check Gildan’s size charts for these measurements.
For t-shirts, the youth size charts provide the overall shirt length as well as the sleeve length for each size. A size medium youth t-shirt from Gildan is typically 25” long with 20” sleeve length. Compare this to the large size, which is 26” long with a 21” sleeve. Even just that 1-2 inch difference in length can impact fit, especially if your child is all legs or particularly long-armed.
For sweatshirts, consider the desired amount of arm coverage as sweater arms tend to be a bit longer. A Gildan youth large sweatshirt has a 23” sleeve length, while an XL goes up to 24”. Keep your child’s activity level in mind too – a long sleeve can bunch up and feel restricting if not the right proportions.
When buying ahead for future growth spurts, consider sizing up not just for a roomier chest fit but the overall shirt and sleeve length as well. Try sample sizes on when possible and have your child move around to test freedom of movement. Dialing in the precise sleeve and shirt lengths by cross-checking Gildan’s size charts ensures your youth clothing purchase will keep fitting comfortably as your child grows.
Understanding Differences Between Gildan Cotton Styles
When consulting Gildan’s youth size charts, it’s important to understand that not all of their cotton t-shirts are sized the same. Factors like fabric blend, weight, and amount of stretch can affect the fit, so be sure to reference the chart for the specific style you are considering.
Some examples of Gildan’s most popular youth cotton styles:
- Ultra Cotton – 100% cotton, midweight, minimal stretch
- Heavy Cotton – 100% cotton, heavier 7oz weight, boxier fit
- Softstyle – 60/40 cotton/polyester, lightweight jersey, more fitted
- DryBlend – 50/50 cotton/polyester, moisture-wicking, athletic cut
A size large Gildan youth t-shirt could potentially fit differently across these fabric types. The Ultra Cotton provides a traditional, casual fit. The Softstyle has stretch for added movement. The DryBlend is cut slimmer through the body and arms for activewear.
Consider the intended use for the shirt and your child’s build. Athletic kids may prefer the Softstyle or DryBlend for the flexibility during sports. The Heavy Cotton provides a looser, boxy fit if desiring more room. Cross-check the size chart for each specific Gildan style for a dialed-in fit.
Sizing Up for Comfort and Room to Layer
When using Gildan’s youth size charts, keep in mind that you may want to size up if you prefer a looser, roomier fit or need space for layering clothes underneath. As children reach tween and teen years, they often like a more relaxed silhouette or the ability to wear hoodies or flannels under t-shirts.
For example, if your child’s chest measurement indicates they are between a Gildan youth medium and large per the size chart, consider opting for the large. This allows more ease through the body and arms, rather than a fitted look. For girls beginning to develop curves, sizing up accommodates changing figures.
Layering is another reason to size up in Gildan youth tops. If your child will be wearing a t-shirt over a long sleeve tee or under a sweater, go up a size to ensure the layers aren’t restrictive. For cold climates, having room for a hoodie under a Gildan zip-up fleece is key.
Keep in mind that Gildan’s cotton styles with stretch offer more flexibility for movement and layering. The Ultra Cotton or Heavy Cotton have less give than Softstyle or DryBlend. Try sample sizes on with various layers to assess roominess. Going a size up provides extra space for growing kids to stay stylish and comfortable.
Accounting for Fabric Blend and Stretch
When using Gildan’s youth size charts, it’s important to take the fabric blend and stretch into account, as this can significantly affect the fit. A cotton/polyester blend t-shirt will fit differently than a 100% cotton style. Fabrics with stretch woven in provide more flexibility of movement.
Gildan offers several different cotton-based blends and knits for their youth apparel, including:
- Ultra Cotton – 100% midweight cotton with minimal stretch
- Softstyle – 60/40 cotton/polyester blend with jersey knit stretch
- DryBlend – 50/50 cotton/poly blend, moisture-wicking with stretch
- Heavy Cotton – 100% heavy 7oz cotton, loose boxier fit
The fabric blend impacts the amount of stretch, breathability, and overall drape and silhouette. For example, the heavier 100% Ultra Cotton has a boxier, traditional t-shirt fit. The Softstyle with polyester blended in has more stretch for flexibility during activity.
Consider your child’s needs – the DryBlend is great for athletics given the moisture-wicking fabric and stretch. The Softstyle works for an active casual look. Size according to the measurements for the specific Gildan item, and the fabric blend will give you the right amount of stretch and breathability.
Finding the Right Sweatshirt or Hoodie Size
When sizing Gildan youth sweatshirts and hoodies, following the specific size chart is very important to get the right fit. Sweatshirts and hoodies have a roomier, bulkier silhouette than t-shirts, so sizing up is often recommended for the desired comfort and coverage.
Gildan uses separate size charts for their youth sweatshirts versus hoodies, as the hoodie tends to run slightly larger in the same size. For example, a size medium youth sweatshirt has a chest size of 34-36”, while a medium youth hoodie’s chest size is 36-38” – two inches more.
Consider how you want the sweatshirt or hoodie to fit – more fitted through the body or oversized for a slouchy, cozy look. Athletic kids who prefer a performance fit may want to consult the size chart and go for their exact chest measurement. Kids who like room to grow can size up for a more relaxed silhouette.
Think about arm and body length for full coverage as well – youth hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts ride up more than t-shirts when reaching or being active. Check the size chart for sleeve length to ensure a good fit at the wrist opening. Going up a size typically adds an extra inch or more of length. Trying sizes on in person is recommended to get the hoodie or sweatshirt length and roominess just right for your child.
Considering Unisex Sizing for Girls
When sizing Gildan youth apparel for girls, the unisex size charts can provide a good fit as well. While Gildan does have separate girls and junior size charts, the unisex youth sizing is often preferable for the pre-teen and young teen age range.
Around ages 6-14, girls can usually wear the same sizes as boys if going by the chest and body measurement size charts. The unisex youth sizes are looser and boxier than the girls/juniors sizes, allowing for comfort even as bodies change during puberty. They also accommodate broader shoulders or athletic builds better than girls sizes.
Consider your daughter’s figure and preferences – some girls like the oversized, casual look of unisex tops. Active girls find the looser fit provides better range of motion. Girls with curvier figures may still want to consult the female size charts for a more tailored waist and hips.
Try both the unisex and girls size chart for the same chest measurement to assess the difference in roominess. Provide your daughter with both options to determine what level of fit she likes best. For many tween girls, Gildan’s youth unisex sizing can be an ideal compromise before sizing up to the junior styles.
Sizing Charts for Pants, Leggings and Socks
In addition to tops, Gildan offers youth pants, leggings and socks. Make sure to consult the specific size charts for these items as well, as the sizing differs from their shirts and sweatshirts.
For pants, Gildan uses waist and inseam measurements rather than the S/M/L sizing used for tops. Their youth pants come in even waist sizes from 22” through 42” and regular or long inseams. Measure your child’s waist at the navel and inseam from crotch to desired length.
Leggings utilize numeric girls sizes from XS-XL based on weight ranges. Consider the desired compression – if very fitted, size down; for a looser look, size up. Leggings with cotton blends have more stretch than polyester/spandex options.
You’ll also want to check Gildan’s size chart for socks, as kids sock sizes differ from those made for older kids and adults. Size by shoe size for the best fit. Also consider the sock height – crew, ankle, low cut. Reference Gildan’s charts specifically for youth pants, leggings and socks for the right fit.
Shopping Big and Tall or Extended Sizes
If your child falls outside the typical size ranges on Gildan’s standard youth size chart, they offer extended and big & tall sizes to accommodate larger or taller body types.
Gildan’s big youth sizes include XL and XXL, designed for chest sizes up to 56″. The XXL equates to about an adult Medium. For taller youth, they offer Tall sizes (LT and XLT) in Medium through XXL, adding 2-3 inches of length.
The Skinz high visibility safety line from Gildan goes up to XXXLT pants and 4XL shirts to fit larger frames. Their Ecome fleece line includes Plus sizes with increased chest and waist room for bigger kids.
Consult each specific style’s size chart to compare standard versus extended sizing ranges. Provide both chest and height measurements to determine if sizing up, or going to a designated Big & Tall size, is needed to allow proper room for growth. Having extended size options ensures kids of all body types can access comfortable, quality Gildan youth apparel.
Trying Samples On for the Best Fit
One of the best ways to dial in the perfect Gildan youth size is to have your child try sample sizes on in person. While the size charts provide helpful measurement guidelines, nothing beats seeing how the shirt or pants actually fit on your kid’s frame.
Many retailers who carry Gildan products have sample sizes on hand, or complete sample kits covering the full size range. Athletic teams and youth organizations may have samples for uniform fittings. Trying two adjacent sizes, like a Medium and Large, allows you to see which provides the ideal roominess.
Assess areas like chest, shoulder, and sleeve room and length. Have them move around and lift their arms to gauge mobility. For pants, verify the waistband comfort and inseam length when walking and sitting.
Keep growth in mind too – you may want to go to the next size up if the current season’s size is borderline tight, to allow for a few more months of wear. Getting the proper Gildan sample size on your actual child provides the bestgauge for current and future comfort.
Allowing Room for Growth When Buying Ahead
When using Gildan’s youth size charts to shop well in advance of a coming season, make sure to allow some extra room for growth. Kids can sprout up quickly, so sizing up provides insurance that apparel bought ahead will still fit down the road.
As a rule of thumb, size up one for items needed 3-6 months away, and go up two sizes if buying 6-12 months in advance. Even if a shirt or hoodie fits perfectly now according to the current size chart, your child will likely gain inches and pounds as the seasons change.
Consider where they are developmentally too – kids about to hit a growth spurt need more room built in than those who tend to grow slowly at steady increments. Ask your pediatrician if they foresee any major changes on the horizon based on age and stage.
Leaving breathing room in the chest, length, and sleeves will help Gildan clothing bought ahead still be wearable for your growing child. Use the size chart as a starting point, but bump up for some extra security that your youth apparel purchase will fit comfortably well into the future.
Getting Input from Coaches and Parents
When selecting Gildan youth sizes, get input from parents, caregivers, coaches and teachers who are familiar with your child and their fit preferences. Those regularly around your kid can provide helpful perspective.
Ask coaches what size they recommend for uniform jerseys to allow full range of motion – they may suggest sizing up for a looser fit. Teachers see students daily in the classroom and recess and can note if shirts become too small or short.
Input from parents who do regular laundry can help too – they’ll notice if sleeve and shirt lengths start creeping up as kids grow. Grandparents who see grandchildren more sporadically may notice size changes more dramatically between visits.
Take your child along when possible to try on sample sizes and get their feedback. Consider their personal style and fit opinions too. Combining the objective size chart measurements with subjective perspectives from those around your kid regularly helps finalize the perfect size selection.
Referencing Current Clothing Measurements
One of the best ways to use Gildan’s youth size charts is to cross-reference the measurements of clothes your child already owns and wears regularly. This provides a customized baseline for size selection.
Look at the tag or manufacturer’s website for a favorite t-shirt, hoodie, or pair of pants to note size and key dimensions like chest width, sleeve length, etc. Measure these same dimensions on your child as well. Then you can easily compare to Gildan’s size chart for that item type to find the closest match.
Pull tops from a variety of brands to get a rounded picture – a Medium in one may equate to a Large in another. Take into account your child’s preferences too – do they like fitted or loose clothing? Gather as much data as possible from current wardrobe pieces, then use Gildan’s size chart to translate to the best new size.
Having your own “sizing database” from clothing that already fits eliminates guesswork. Match your child’s measurements alongside their existing size in other brands, and the Gildan size chart will steer you toward that perfect youth apparel fit.