4T vs 4 Kids’ Clothes: What’s the Difference? (Explained)

Keeping your kids well-dressed can be quite a challenge. They grow so quickly, and the clothes you bought them last season are likely to be too small by the time the weather allows for them to wear it again. So, you’ll often find yourself refreshing their wardrobe. While sizing is usually straightforward, it gets a little tricky once your child reaches around 4 years old. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between 4T and size 4 clothes for kids, dive into toddler vs youth sizing, and provide you with specific examples to help you navigate the shopping experience.

What is 4T? Understanding Toddler Clothes Sizing

Once your baby outgrows their baby clothes (usually measured in months, like 24M), they’ll be ready for toddler sizes. Toddler sizing is meant to align closely with your child’s age, making it relatively simple. The size numbers are followed by a “T,” indicating that they are meant for toddlers. For example, a 2T pair of pants should fit most 2-year-olds, while a 3T should fit most 3-year-olds. When it comes to 4T clothing, it is designed for toddlers who are around 4 years old. However, it’s essential to remember that the exact sizing may vary depending on the brand or store. Additionally, individual children may vary in size, so you may need to consider going up or down a size based on your child’s measurements.

Understanding Size 4: Exploring Kids Clothes Sizing

As your child begins to outgrow their 3Ts, you enter a grey area of clothing sizes. They are ready to move into 4Ts and beyond, and they might also be ready for “big kid” or youth sizes. Kid clothing sizes typically start at size 4 and go up to sizes like 14-18 at most stores. While these sizes generally correspond to a child’s age (4 for 4-year-olds, 10 for 10-year-olds, etc.), children grow at different rates, so you’ll often find yourself moving up or down the size chart. Size 4 is considered an extra small size, meant for the smallest of big kids. Interestingly, it bears a striking resemblance to a size 4T, which is designed for older toddlers. This overlap between the toddler and kid’s size charts can cause confusion, especially for petite individuals who may fit into large youth clothes or small adult clothes, depending on the exact sizing and fit of each clothing item.

Specific Examples: Comparing 4T and Size 4

In most stores, 4T and size 4 are very similar in size, fitting average-sized 4-year-olds comfortably. To provide a clearer comparison, let’s look at the specific measurements of both sizes at popular children’s stores.

4T vs 4 at Carter’s

Carter’s is a popular choice for parents, offering a wide range of clothing options. According to Carter’s official size charts, 4T clothing is designed to fit toddlers between 39-41.5″ tall and weighing 34-37.5 pounds. On the other hand, size 4 in kids or youth is intended for kids between 40-42.5″ tall and weighing 34-38.5 pounds. Based on these numbers, a size 4 is slightly longer and slightly larger than a 4T at Carter’s.

4T vs 4 at Children’s Place

Children’s Place provides extremely precise measurements on their official website. According to their size charts, a size 4T at Children’s Place is meant for a child around 4 years old, between 38-41″ tall, and weighing between 35-39 pounds. Interestingly, a size 4 at Children’s Place accommodates children of the same age and size range as 4T. The chest and waist measurements are the same on both 4T and 4 clothes at Children’s Place, while the inseam is also identical. This suggests that, according to Children’s Place’s official size charts, there is no difference between a 4T and a 4 in terms of sizing.

4T vs XS (4-5) at Gap Kids

Gap Kids does not have a size 4, but most 4-5-year-olds can wear an XS here. According to Gap’s size charts, 4-year-old clothes will fit kids weighing between 36-40 pounds and standing 39-42″ tall. XS clothes, on the other hand, fit kids weighing between 33-48 pounds and standing 39-45″ tall. Most 4-year-olds should be able to wear XS at Gap. The main difference here is that XS will provide a little more room for growth compared to wearing 4T.

Understanding Toddler vs Kid Sizes

The difference between 4T and size 4 is the most common sizing issue when shopping for toddlers. However, you may encounter other options like 3 vs 3T, 5 vs 5T, 1T vs 12 months, and more. As a general rule, toddler vs kid or youth sizes come down to very minute differences. These differences depend on the store and brand, but you can typically expect toddler sizes (indicated by a “T”) to be slightly shorter. Toddler sizes may also have bulkier pants to accommodate a diaper. Kid sizes, on the other hand, are generally a bit longer to fit taller children. It’s always a good idea to try clothes on your child to ensure the best fit. Many stores have minimal differences between sizes, such as 4 vs 4T or 3 vs 3T.

Wrapping Up

The difference between size 4 and 4T is so small that it’s almost negligible. At some stores, the sizing is exactly the same. However, in most cases, a size 4 will provide a little more room for growth compared to a 4T. The pants will often be 1-2 inches longer, and the waist/chest measurements may also be slightly larger to accommodate a growing child. It’s always recommended to try on specific outfits before making a purchase to ensure the best fit. With that said, happy shopping, and best of luck in finding the perfect clothes for your little ones!

For more sizing comparisons, check out: 5 vs 5T

Good luck, parents!

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