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Does Gildan run big or small?

When it comes to buying clothes, one of the most frustrating things is when the sizing runs differently than expected. You may pick up a medium t-shirt from one brand that fits perfectly, while a medium from another brand is too tight or too loose.

This inconsistency applies to t-shirt brand Gildan as well. Gildan t-shirts tend to run a little large overall, but the exact sizing can vary depending on the specific item.

Gildan Sizing Charts

One of the best ways to determine if Gildan runs big or small is to consult their sizing charts. Gildan provides detailed sizing guides for all of their apparel items, including t-shirts, hoodies, pants, and more. Here are some of their general sizing charts for reference:

Gildan Men’s T-Shirts Chest Size
Small 34-36 inches
Medium 38-40 inches
Large 42-44 inches
XL 46-48 inches
2XL 50-52 inches
Gildan Women’s T-Shirts Chest Size
Small 30-32 inches
Medium 34-36 inches
Large 38-40 inches
XL 42-44 inches

As you can see, Gildan’s sizing is pretty generous overall. A men’s small has a 34-36 inch chest, which would be equivalent to a slim medium or regular small at many other brands. The women’s sizing runs large as well.

Factors That Affect Fit

While the sizing charts provide a general guideline, there are a few factors that can affect how Gildan shirts fit in real life:

  • Fabric – Some Gildan t-shirt fabrics have more stretch than others. A softstyle cotton/spandex blend will fit differently than a heavyweight 100% cotton tee.
  • Style – The cut and style of the shirt impacts fit as well. A slim fit shirt may run closer to true to size than a classic or loose fit.
  • Shrinkage – Gildan heavyweight cotton shirts often shrink substantially if dried using high heat. This can impact sizing after washing.
  • Personal preference – Body type, build, and personal preference on fit will determine what size feels best for each individual.

Men’s Sizing

For men’s Gildan t-shirts, most customers recommend sizing down for a classic fit:

Gildan Size Recommended Size for Classic Fit
Small Small or XS
Medium Small or Medium
Large Medium or Large
XL Large or XL
2XL XL or 2XL

So if you normally wear a medium t-shirt, you’ll probably want to size down to a Gildan small for a comparable fit. Those who prefer a looser or oversized look can stick with Gildan’s size chart.

Women’s Sizing

For women’s cuts, Gildan’s sizes tend to run pretty true to size:

Gildan Size Recommended Size for Classic Fit
Small Small
Medium Medium
Large Large

Some women report sizing up for a very loose fit. But in general, most are happy going with their normal t-shirt size in Gildan women’s styles.

Common Styles

Here is a look at how some of Gildan’s most popular t-shirt styles tend to fit:

Gildan T-Shirt Style Fit & Sizing
Softstyle Cotton/Spandex Runs slightly large, with good stretch
Heavy Cotton Runs very large, will shrink after washing
DryBlend Fits true to size with slight stretch
Softstyle Ring Spun Runs slightly large
Performance Fits true to size with slight stretch

Gildan’s softstyle and heavy cotton tees tend to run the largest and have the most variance in fit. While performance, dryblend, and ringspun styles have a more true to size fit overall.

Tips for Achieving the Right Fit

Here are some tips to get the perfect fit when buying Gildan clothing:

  • Check the size chart and identify your chest measurement
  • Size down from your normal tee brand for a classic Gildan fit
  • Size up for a roomy or oversized silhouette
  • Take fabric, stretch, and potential shrinkage into account
  • Order 1 size up and 1 size down to determine ideal fit
  • Wash in cold water and air dry to reduce shrinkage

With soft cotton styles, sizing down is likely your best bet for a tailored look. While performance and specialty blends can often be worn at your normal t-shirt size.

Men’s Sizing by Height

Height is another factor that can impact how Gildan shirts fit. Here is a general Gildan size chart for men based on height:

Height Recommended Gildan Size
5’2″ – 5’5″ Small
5’6″ – 5’8″ Medium
5’9″ – 5’11” Large
6′ – 6’2″ XL
6’2″ and over 2XL

These are general recommendations, as build and fit preference will vary. But this chart can help guide you if you are between sizes.

Women’s Sizing by Height

For women, height is less of a determining factor for size selection. Here is a rough size chart for women’s Gildan shirts based on height:

Height Recommended Gildan Size
Under 5’2″ Small
5’3″ – 5’7″ Medium
5’8″ and over Large or XL

Since women’s sizing is not as directly tied to height, chest size and personal fit preference will be a better indicator of size selection.

Size Charts by Item

In addition to general sizing charts, Gildan provides detailed size guides for specific items like hoodies, long sleeves, polos and more. Here are some links to their specific sizing charts:

Be sure to consult the size chart for your specific clothing item, rather than relying solely on the general sizing info, to get the most accurate idea of fit.

Size Up or Size Down?

In summary, Gildan apparel tends to run large overall. Many customers recommend sizing down from your normal tee shirt size in soft cotton styles for a tailored look.

Performance and specialty fabric blends may fit closer to true to size. While sizing up can be done if you prefer an oversized or baggy fit.

Checking the item-specific size charts, taking fabric and shrinkage into account, and ordering 1 size up and down to compare is the best way to dial in the perfect size.

Gildan’s generous cut allows good flexibility to size up or down depending on your desired silhouette and fit. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different sizes to land on the one that suits you best.


Determining clothing sizes can be frustrating, but Gildan provides helpful size charts to take the guesswork out of achieving the right fit. While their products tend to run large overall, taking fabric, shrinkage, and personal preference into account when selecting your size will help you zero in on the perfect Gildan t-shirt or hoodie for your needs.