Is "grow out of clothes" used only for "kids who grow bigger and can't fit in their earlier clothes"? Or can it be used for anyone who has put on some weight(like adults).

Like a lady says:

I can't wear this dress anymore. I've grown out of it.(I have grown fatter)

So is this use natural as well?

2 Answers 2


I think this phrase is only (or at least normally) used to describe children, as you suggest. If an adult said "I've grown out of my dress" after she gained weight, I would know what she meant, but I'd assume she was making fun of herself, as though she wanted the audience to humor her and pretend she was a child growing taller, rather than an adult growing fatter.

  • ,what would you use for adults to "imply that the clothes won't fit "? Apr 9, 2019 at 5:38
  • And is "outgrow" used only for kids? Apr 9, 2019 at 10:12
  • I can’t think of a verb to describe no longer fitting into clothes due to weight gain. You’d probably just say “This dress no longer fits me” or “I’ve gotten too big for this dress”. In any case, it should also be noted that to outgrow is equivalent to to grow out of.
    – Mixolydian
    Apr 9, 2019 at 22:47

It can be used to referring to anyone, not only children:

From Merrian-Webster:

grow out of:

2 : to become too large for (a certain size of clothing)

  • He quickly grew out of his clothes.
  • 1
    It can also be used of a mental or emotional growing up: I grew out of those games.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 8, 2019 at 19:12
  • @ColinFine - yes, other meanings can be found in the above link.
    – user29952
    Apr 8, 2019 at 19:14
  • So @Cloin Fine, would you use "grow out of clothes" for adults as well???? And "outgrow"????? Apr 9, 2019 at 10:13

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