2XL Vs XXL: Is XXL The Same As 2X?

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2XL vs XXL

You would think that knowing your clothing size would make it easier to choose clothing, whether you’re in your local department store or shopping for big & tall or plus size clothing online.

It is supposed to make it easier, but it really doesn’t. Especially when there are sizes that are suspiciously similar, like 2XL vs XXL.

So, is XXL the same as 2X?

No, XXL is not the same as 2X. While sizing varies depending on the manufacturer, generally, 2X is around half a size bigger than XXL. Additionally, XXL is considered more traditional sizing for men and women, whereas 2XL is considered plus sizing for women or big and tall sizing for men. 

Below, we’ll dive a little deeper into what the difference is between 2XL vs XXL clothing for men and women. I’ll also answer some related questions about clothing sizes and provide examples of how being XXL is different sizing than 2XL clothing.

Is XXL The Same As 2X?

XXL is not the same size as 2X or 2XL, regardless of whether we are talking about men’s or women’s clothing. Typically, 2XL clothing is used by manufacturers who make plus sizes or big & tall sizes. By contrast, manufacturers of “regular” size clothing would refer to their plus sizes using XXL and even XXXL in some cases.

Even though the sizes look similar, there is actually about half a size difference between XXL and 2X, with 2X being the larger of the sizes and XXL being the smaller of the sizes. You are most likely to see these sizes with shirts and other garments for the top half of your body, but there are some exceptions.

Examples Of 2XL Vs XXL Sizing For Women

Below, we’ll check out two different women’s shirts on Amazon. The first shirt from Romwe is available in size XXL and the second shirt is available in size 2X.

Bust Length

Size XXL Top



Size 2X Top 51”



As you can see, the top available in 2X is about three inches bigger than the other one. Additionally, there is also some extra length. The added length is pretty common for plus size clothing manufacturers because larger breasts and bellies cause a shirt to rise a little at the bottom, so the extra length really stops your belly from poking out.

Examples Of 2XL Vs XXL Sizing For Men

Sometimes, 2XL and XXL sizing even come in the same brand, like is the case with this Amazon Essentials polo shirt. Here’s a look at their size chart for these two sizes.

Chest Waist
Size XXL Shirt 50-52”


Size 2XL Shirt 50-52”


While the chest size is the same for these, the waist area (or the hem of the shirt) has a little extra. This is really advantageous for guys who carry their weight in their belly like my husband does because it stops the belly of the shirt from being too tight. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for plus sizes to have a little more length for the same reason.

Even though the chest is the same, that’s something that you want for men. You see, men don’t carry as much weight in their chest as they do in their belly, in most cases. So, a shirt that is too loose here is going to be sloppy and unflattering, whereas something looser in the belly and tight in the chest still fits the body well.

Is 2XL Or XXL Smaller?

Generally, XXL is smaller than 2X or 2XL clothing by about half a size or less. You are most likely to see this type of sizing on garments designed for the top half of your body, like elbow sleeve tops for women or polo shirts for men.

In most cases, plus sizing or big and tall sizing refers to their sizes using 2X or 2XL, whereas it’s more common for companies offering standard sizes in bigger sizes to use XXL to describe their clothing. Of course, this is something that may not be true for every clothing manufacturer.

By contrast, clothing designed for the bottom half of your body like men’s jeans use actual waist measurements, with size 46, for example, meaning a waist size of 46″.

For women, bottom garments have a numeral like dress sizes. For example, you might find a pair of elastic waist jeans that are size 20 has a waist of 46″.

There is one exception to this, though. More casual wear like sweatpants may also be labeled as 2X, 3X, etc.

Is XL Or 2XL Bigger?

For regular clothing sizes, clothing starts as small as XXS and goes up to XXL or even bigger in some cases. So, the order is XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL.

For plus sizes, some start all the way at 0X, though others start at XL or XXL. So, it would be 0X (if it exists for that manufacturer), XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X, and so on, depending on how big the sizes go.

So, XL is smaller than 2XL.

Is XL Or 1X Bigger?

Like 2X or 2XL is bigger than a size XXL, 1X is bigger than size XL. It is a difference of about half a size. Generally, XL sizes are just larger regular size clothing, whereas plus sizes for ladies or big sizes for men come in a size 1X, 2X, 3X, etc. You are most likely to see these sizes when buying shirts and other garments for the top half of your body, though more casual bottoms like sweatpants or leggings may come with this type of sizing, too.

Do I Need A Size XXL Or 2X?

There is no simple answer to this question because sizing is something that varies depending on who you are buying your clothes from.

There are times when I’ve shopped for plus size clothing on Shein, for example, and needed to buy a size that was 2-3 sizes larger than I’d typically wear just for the clothing to fit. There are times when Shein runs small, but because there is more than one manufacturer, the size you need changes depending on which clothing item you are talking about. And, when I forget to do that, I end up with clothes sometimes that are not even close to the size that I was expecting.

By contrast, sizing from Torrid does away with the X sizes altogether, and numbers their sizes from 00 to size 6 for tops and sizes 10 through 30 for their pants. However, they cater especially to the plus size woman which is the reason that some of Torrid’s clothing is expensive.

The best thing to do when shopping for any clothes online is to refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart, especially when you’re shopping somewhere like Amazon, Walmart, or Shein which offers clothing from a wide variety of clothing manufacturers.

Generally, the sizes that are going to matter most for the top half of your body are your bust and waist size, though some tops are longer and will settle somewhere around your hips.

Getting the right measurements can be a little confusing if you don’t know what you are doing and instead of trying to explain it, I’m going to add this video on how to measure yourself as a plus-size woman.

And, so the guys aren’t left out, here’s a video on how to get your measurements as a bigger guy.

Why Plus Size Is Sometimes Better Than Big “Regular” Sizes

Something else to keep in mind is that in many cases, XXL.clothing isn’t necessarily designed for the plus size body. That does not mean that it won’t fit, depending on your specific proportions, but it is something to keep in mind.

What I mean by this is that curvy or plus size clothing is made with a fuller, rounder figure in mind. This means that it’s more likely to flatter your curves.

Some manufacturers who make smaller clothing do offer inclusive sizes. However, they sometimes take the same dimensions that they use on smaller sizes and just blow them up. This can result in a garment that is lackluster, unflattering, or even just ugly.

For this reason, I prefer to buy from brands that have clothing lines, especially for plus size women. This isn’t the case all the time, but it has helped me find clothing that flatters my shape more.

According to my husband, this is something you’ll notice with plus size men’s clothing, too. Buying something, especially for bigger bodies is often more flattering, and you don’t end up with clothes that are tight in areas you don’t want them to be tight in.

Final Word

So, when it comes to 2XL vs XXL, are they the same size? No. XXL is slightly smaller than 2XL, as you can see from the tables and examples above.

There is about a half-size difference between the two clothing sizes, though this can vary depending on the manufacturer. Since every manufacturer uses different sizing, it’s generally best to be aware of your measurements and use size charts whenever they are available.

When it comes to clothes flattering your body, the best place to start is choosing clothes that fit your body well. Hopefully, this has cleared up some confusion so that you can get the size you need!

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