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Is a 28 inch waist small for women and men?

Is a 28 inch waist small for women and men?

As you can see on our waist circumference chart, having a 28 inch waist is an indicator that your stomach is much slimmer than average. And that’s for both men and women.

With this in mind, the following guide will explain just how small a 28 inch waistline is for males and females. You can also see how your waist stacks up by checking out our other measurement articles.

Is a 28 inch waist small for a woman?

A female showing how a 28 inch waist is small for a woman

Is a 28 inch waist small for a woman? Yes, a 28 inch waist is definitely small for a woman. In fact, a female 28″ waist is 11 inches smaller than average and is a strong indicator that your body is in good health. [1]

Some women naturally have slimmer waistlines than others due to their genetics, which means that they have an easier time sculpting and then maintaining their 28 in waist.

On the other hand, some ladies, especially those with larger builds, may never be able to get a 28 inch waist due to their large bone structure.

Still, a 28 inch stomach is definitely small for a woman, and you can greatly increase your chances of slimming your waist by maintaining a healthy BMI and exercising regularly.

Is a 28 inch waist small for a man?

A male showing how his 28 inch waist is small for a man

Is a 28 inch waist small for a man? Yes, a 28 inch waist is very small for a man. Just how small? A 28″ waist is tiny because such a measurement is more than 12 inches smaller than average and may even be an indicator that a man is underweight.

Of course, many slim adolescents naturally have a 28 in waist and then gain extra abdominal muscle and fat as they get older, which makes their waistline thicker.

On the other hand, a minority of natural bodybuilders and physique athletes can sculpt a 28 inch waist if they cut down to a low body fat level.

This is simply because when your body weight and body fat percentage both decrease, you’re very likely to lose some size from your stomach, which gives you a slimmer waist and a better v-taper.

What does a 28 inch waist look like?

A woman showing what her 28 inch waist looks like

A 28 inch waist looks small on just about any kind of body but will look smaller or larger depending on your height and build.

If a tall person and a short person both have a 28″ waist, for example, the tall person’s waist will likely look slimmer. This is because a 28 inch waistline represents a much smaller surface area on a long torso than on a short torso.

The biggest factor that determines what your 28 in waist looks like, however, is your body composition.

If you’re short but have a fair amount of body fat, then your waist might still look small, but it might not look especially toned or skinny.

On the other hand, if you have toned abs and a flat stomach, then your waist will look very slim and defined because of your lack of abdominal fat.

How big is a 28.5 inch waist?

A woman measuring her 28.5 inch waist

Even though a 28.5 inch waist may seem a lot bigger than a 28 inch waistline (in your head), the difference is barely detectable to the human eye.

For example, many people with a genuine 28 inch waist size will actually have a 28.5 inch waist (or an even larger size) when their stomach is full.

It’s normal for your waist size to fluctuate slightly throughout the day and, if you’re a woman, throughout the month as well because being on your period can make you gain weight by retaining water. [2]

Some clothing brands also use half-inch sizes, so it can be useful to accurately gauge your waist size so that you can buy clothing that fits you well.

Are there any celebrities with a 28 inch waist?

A woman with a slim 28 inch waist like some celebrities

If you perform a quick internet search, you can find an extensive list of “28 inch waist celebrities”.

So why am I not naming them here?

First off, these lists are auto-generated and not manually curated, so it’s very difficult to know if they’re accurate (some celebs appear on more than one waist size list!).

Additionally, celebrity measurements are often exaggerated so that members of the public are more likely to aspire to certain celebs.

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t certain celebrities who have a 28 inch waist because, as I said, you can find a ton of examples online.

I’m just making the point that many of these measurements are inaccurate and may cause you to believe that your waist is overly large when, in reality, it’s perfectly normal and healthy.

What is a good hip size for a 28 inch waist?

A woman showing that her 28 inch waist isn't very big

Your waist-to-hip ratio can impact how attractive you are to certain members of the opposite sex.

The “ideal ratio” differs across cultures, but it’s commonly said that in Western nations, a ratio of 0.7 is considered to be most attractive. [3]

With that in mind, this section takes some requested waist and hip sizes and calculates your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). If your proportions aren’t listed here, then you can easily get your WHR by dividing your waist size by your hip size.

28 inch waist 36 inch hips

If you have a 28 inch waist and 36 inch hips, then you have a WHR of 0.78. This is an indicator that your body is in good health. As such, unless you’re overweight (which is highly unlikely if you have a 28″ waist), you don’t need to lower this value.

28 inch waist 38 inch hips

Having a 28 inch waist and 38 inch hips gives you a curvy 0.74 WHR. This low WHR—when looked at in isolation—means that you have a low risk for conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. [4]

28 inch waist 40 inch hip

If you have 40 inch hips and a 28 inch waist, then you have what many scientists and researchers would call the ideal WHR. [5]

Of course, considering that many models have this ratio, not every woman has the genetics to get these proportions, and that’s perfectly okay because you can still look great with a considerably different WHR.

28 inch waist 42 inch hips

Having a 28 inch waist and 42 inch hips gives you an hourglass figure and a 0.67 WHR. The vast majority of women won’t be able to attain these proportions because of the striking difference in size between the waist and the hips.

Of course, if you build your glutes with strength training while maintaining a slim waist, then you can still get an hourglass figure even if you don’t naturally have one.

Conclusion: Is a 28 inch waist big or not?

A woman measuring her small 28 in waist

Is a 28 inch waist big for an adult? No, a 28 inch waist isn’t big for an adult man or woman. In fact, the opposite is true; a 28 inch stomach is small for both men and women.

Having a 28 inch waistline is only bad if it’s indicative of other health problems such as you being underweight.

On the other hand, some people have naturally slim waists and can maintain a perfectly healthy BMI while having a firm, slim stomach.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2021, August 27). Excess Pounds and Heart Disease: How to Calculate Your Risk.
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2022, January 21). Water retention: Relieve this premenstrual symptom.
  3. Streeter, S. (2003). Waist–hip ratio and attractiveness New evidence and a critique of “a critical test”. Evolution and Human Behavior, 24(2), 88–98.
  4. WebMD. (2021, April 7). What Is Waist to Hip Ratio?
  5. Kościński, K. (2013b). Attractiveness of women’s body: body mass index, waist–hip ratio, and their relative importance. Behavioral Ecology, 24(4), 914–925.