What is an XL

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Last year I did a post called Let’s Talk Sizing it was right after packet pick-up for an all women’s triathlon. This year that same race, instead of having a tri top, did what I think is a technical shirt. I’ll be honest I’m not 100% sure, its like a combo of a technical t-shirt and a cycling jersey. Maybe its a cycling t-shirt?? I dunno. Really not sure when/how to wear it. Totes weird considering it is a shirt.

2016 on left, 2015 on right

Last year I ordered an XL cause that’s what I normally wear. This year, being wiser, I ordered a 2XL. I know vanity sizing and what not but it still makes me feel like I don’t fit in this sport. I think this might be one of those barriers for women. No one wants to look fat while exercising, or racing. Then you see all these brands with their tiny tops and these tiny women talking about “feeling fat” when they are the “target demographic” for most companies. Then here you are over here saying “I want to get heathy and feel good and look good” but you can’t find things that look flattering.

2015 tri top on the 2016 shirt

I mean I know it is a different style and everything but that’s a significant difference between XL and 2XL. Last year I layered the tri top on what I was wearing on race day which was a Coeur kit and still a decent difference in XL sizes.

I dunno about you ladies but I like some coverage. So before writing this post I tried on last years tri top. I mean I’ve lost 20lbs since then so I figured I stood a chance. That was a BIG N-O. I couldn’t even zip it up. I was going to post a photo but honestly, it wasn’t pretty. For your reference I am 5’5″ and 180lbs (and declining hopefully).

So I figured it was time to take a look at the difference in sizing. Since hopefully, next year I will need a new kit cause I’ve lost weight.

All the charts I pulled are based on triathlon tops, I’ve provided links in case you want a larger look. Here we go…

We will start with the brand above MuMu apparel. After the above top I don’t plan on shopping here, ever.

MuMu Apparel tri top size chart

If you can’t manage to see the MuMu Size chart the XL says Bust 37″-39″ waist 31″-33″ 

We can also look at Wattie Ink. I’ve never worn them but I love Heather Jackson so let’s take see

So – Wattie only goes up to a XL for women but the sizing is Chest – 38″ – 41″ so it has some decent lady coverage. Sadly, I couldn’t find any info on waist coverage which is what I look at. That would be a deterrent for my purchasing, cause I don’t like the love handles showing.

One brand that I love but still have reservations about their tri gear mainly because their midsection seems too tight is Betty Designs.

Betty now has a 2XL which is exciting. Their XL is listed as Chest 40″-42″ Waist 30″-32″ I do however appreciate they are one brand that says “These pieces run very tight and you may want to go up a size”

Then we move into some of the brands that claim to be more “average” women friendly!

Now Coeur goes up to 2XL (or size 14-16). They list their XL as bust 38″ – 40″ and Waist 34.5″-38″ so close to the Wattie Ink top but larger than the MuMu top.

A brand I hope to try this year is Smashfest Queen. They do a number of larger runs but they also go to a 2XL size. They also produce longer shorts which helps with the thigh burn factor.

They list their XL as chest – 40″ – 42″ waist 34″-36″ which leaves the most room in the chest than and of the others. However, a little less room in the waist than the Coeur top.

Finally there is the Soas Racing tri top. Now they also only go up to an XL but I’ve heard from wearers that they have a little more “give” They also seem to be more consistent on their sizing across the board.

They list XL as Bust 38″ – 41″ waist 31″-34″ so bust is pretty comparable to the the other 2 but the waist is kinda the same as Betty Designs. Not very love handle friendly.

I almost forgot about Tri-Fe or the Swim, Bike, Mom Tri gear. Let’s be honest Meredith totally gets it cause she has been there. Which I really appreciate. I love some of her more simplistic designs. So, she uses Zoca gear for her kits. Their gear is great. I used it when I worked with Team Challenge tri and those kits are soft and giving. Now, Zoca is a custom retailer so they don’t make their own stuff. Tri-Fe goes from XS – 4XL (woot woot).

They list their XL as chest 41″-43″ and waist as 35″-37″ These sizes are on-par with Coeur and Smashfest with the exception of you can order up to a 4XL. Not a special order of a 4XL like a I go onto the page an purchase like any other size. Which is A-mazing!! Thanks Meredith!


Now I know there are a lot of triathlon brands that I could look at and compare. Maybe in the future I’ll pull a whole bunch of them. However, I figured I would just look at some of the more popular brands and those that are geared specifically for women. Based on this I’d say you’d want to go with Coeur Sports if you want more room in the tummy area, Smashfest Queen if you need more room for the ladies, or Tri-Fe if you are looking for a kit about 2XL! However, all are good choices if you are needing larger sizes! And when you get right down to it really it is about how you are built. These are just the 2 areas I tend to look when I’m shopping around.

Hope this helps as most people move into the off season and people start considering their kits for next year!

#clothing #trikits #Triathlon