An absorbent article includes extensible zones. These extensible zones enable the absorbent article to expand and fit a broad size range of users. The extensible zones enable a broad range of adjustment in waist and leg opening dimensions by extension and retraction of the extensible zones. The bodyside liner layer and the outer cover layer preferably comprise spunbonded layers stretched in one direction and correspondingly narrowed in another direction. The extensible zones typically include an elastic layer between, and mounted to extend with, the outer cover layer and the bodyside liner layer. The elastic layer can comprise an elastic film or strands of material. An absorbent core is located between the bodyside liner layer and the outer cover layer. A method for forming an absorbent article is also disclosed which includes the step of forming a base structure by attaching the extensible bodyside liner layer to an extensible outer cover layer and creating at least one extensible zone by incorporating the elastic layer between the outer cover layer and the bodyside liner layer. In another embodiment of the invention, a plurality of extensible zones are formed with plural elastic layer elements. In another embodiment of the invention, the outer cover layer is formed by a nonextensible layer which is gathered and attached to the elastic layer and the bodyside liner layer. In yet another embodiment of the invention, the extensible zones are formed by the outer cover layer and bodyside liner layer with no elastic layer present.