SIZE CONVERTIONS

European brands offer the finest styles. But how to find the right size in the jungle of different clothing size scales in Europe? European Clothing & Shoe Size Conversion is not easy. With these EU clothing size charts, you can easily convert your US size into European, UK, French, German or Italian sizes. 

Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Calculate sizes

  3. Rules of thumb

  4. Understanding size conventions

  5. At a glance

  6. Tables

    Woman’s Jeans sizes
    Woman’s Fashion sizes
    Woman’s Shirt and sweater sizes
    Woman’s Pant sizes

Introduction to size systems

Clothes sizes in the USA are different from those in other countries. If you are visiting Europe, it is helpful to know the differences in dress and apparel sizes. This page is set up as a helpful support to convert European sizes to approximate US sizes and vice versa. But please note: The size conversion charts below can only be indications. Clothing sizes vary between manufacturers and also between different styles from the same manufacturer. Unfortunately, the producers of the different brands follow their own guidelines and there are no European wide standards available. We try to keep the tables as accurate as possible, but we cannot guarantee that everything is 100% accurate.  You should only use this information as a guide.

For your information: German sizes are also used in Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway). French sizes are also valid for Spain, Portugal and Belgium.  Australia and New Zealand use the UK size system

How to calculate European Sizes

At present, the sizes are usually indicated according to the following formula: Clothing size = chest circumference divided by 2 centimeters. For women, 6 is deducted from this value.

Example calculation: For men with a chest circumference of 88 cm: 88 cm / 2 cm = clothing size 44 (men). For women: 88 cm / 2 cm – 6 = 44 – 6 = size 38 (women). However, as this specification is not binding, the clothing sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Rules of thumb for clothing size conversion

The arms are too short and the crotch sits nowhere. When shopping on holiday, you are usually faced with the challenge of finding the right size. And the right brand for your figure.

In Germany, the size 38 sweater fits perfectly. In Italy, the top in size 38 looks like you are squeezed in. Three numbers have to be deducted from tourists in order to convert the Italian sizes into German ones. In France, it’s only one size difference. The same goes for gentlemen: A German 48 would be 54 in Italy and 50 in France.

Converting English and American sizes is difficult, as visitors have to memorize a different starting value instead of the principle “minus three sizes” or “minus two”. In the USA the German 32 is a 4, the 34 a 6, the 36 an 8 – and so on. In the UK, this conversion has to be increased by 2. The 32 is a 6, the 34 an 8.

Men’s sizes in the USA and Great Britain are again different. For pullovers and jackets, the rule is: minus ten. For example, the German 48 would be a 38 in the USA and Great Britain, and the numbers for shirts are different again: A German 36 would be 14 in the UK and USA, a 37 would be 14.5, a 38 would be 15 and so on.

If you are overwhelmed with conversion, you should look for International standard sizes from XS to XXXL. Many manufacturers already place these standard sizes next to the domestic ones. In spite of converters and supposed standard sizes, tourists have to be aware of one thing: They cannot rely on size designations. It is still only indicative.

Understanding European size tables and clothing sizing systems

The mirrors of Italian dressing rooms often reflect horrified faces. Then, for example, when holidaymakers suddenly no longer fit into the size they are used to. This is often because the sizing systems are very different in the European countries. The European standardization, despite some initiatives, has so far stopped before the garment sizes. Whether France, Great Britain or Spain – each country has its own clothing size system.

As early as 1994, standard European clothing sizes were to be introduced. The result: the non-compulsory EN 13402 standard. However, this standard created quite some resistance in important fashion countries such as Italy, France or Great Britain.

In the USA, clothing sizes are also marked differently. There one counts upwards from Small (S), over Medium (M) to Large (L). The system can be extended upwards and downwards with extras (X’ s) – from XXS to XXL. The dress sizes for women are given in even numbers from 0 to 26, while 0 is small and 26 are very large. For men’s clothing sizes in North America, factor 10 must be deducted from the European equivalent. For example, a 52 corresponds to 42.

The basis for European sizes is always the chest circumference. Measurement of hips, waist, chest/breast, inner seam and arm length: In Germany, the measured value is halved for men in terms of size, while in women, half of the figure is reduced by a further six centimeters. Example: A bust circumference of 96 centimeters results in a size of 48 for men and 42 for women. For women, an average body height of 164 to 170 centimeters is assumed for all sizes. Women who fall out of the grid tend to find what they are looking for in the long or short sizes.

The usual sizes for normal sizes in Germany – 32 to 54 for women and 40 to 62 for men – also apply in Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Internationally and especially in the sports sector, the Unisex sizes with the designation S, M and L (plus additional Xs for “extra large” or “extra small” sizes) have been established. As a rule, the above figure of 48 corresponds to size M for men and size XL for women, although the underlying dimensions can be very different. An Asian M is therefore often much smaller than in Europe!

(A comprehensive guide to Asian clothing sizes is available here.)

Pants sizes pose a particular problem for many customers, as the ratio of leg length to hip circumference does not always match the standard clothing sizes. This is why some manufacturers offer their pants in different lengths. The most commonly-known case of this can be found in jeans. Here the waistband circumference and the inside leg length (also called “inseam”) are mostly given in inches, the sizes are called inch sizes. For example, size 32/34 for men describes a waistband circumference of 32 inches (~81 centimeters) with a leg length of 34 inches (~86 centimeters). In order to calculate its inch size, divide the calculated centimeter value by 2.54.

Problem: Varying body proportions

Even though you might have converted properly, you can still be surprised in the changing room with short trouser legs or pullover sleeves. This is because clothing sizes are based on different proportions. Arm length, leg length, waist and bust circumference in relation to body height – on average, people in different regions are differently constructed.

The typical woman in Germany is slightly A-shaped: slightly less breasts and more hips. In France and Italy, women are more dainty and stockier, arm and leg lengths are shorter. In the Scandinavian countries, it says:”bigger, wider, longer”. In Great Britain and the USA, the overall dimensions are more generous.

And as if buyers don’t have enough to do with different size designations and proportions, there is another component: the brands. Manufacturers interpret sizes for themselves. Some brands cheat on the sizes and label a 40 as a 38 to make customers feel slimmer.

You may refer to the following sizing guides for jeans and pants to learn more about how measurements of clothing sizes vary per brand.

At a Glance

  • European sizes are usually indicated according to the following formula: Clothing size = chest circumference divided by 2 centimeters. For women, 6 is deducted from this value:
    For example, a man with a chest circumference of 88 cm has clothing size of 44 (88 cm / 2 cm). In women’s size, it is a size 38 (88 cm / 2 cm – 6).
  • How clothing sizes are labeled in Europe can also vary per country. UK, Germany, Italy and France, for example, have their own sizing systems. Therefore, it is very important to refer to the manufacturer’s international size conversion charts to find your corresponding clothing size before buying clothes.
  • The usual sizes for normal sizes in Germany – 32 to 54 for women and 40 to 62 for men – also apply in Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland.

International Jeans Size Charts for Women

Waist (Inch)US Jeans SizeEuroWaist (CM)
2403261
24.523263
25.543465
26.563467
27.583670
28.5103873
30.5124077
31.5144280
33164284
34184486
Waist (Inch)Length (Inch)US / Internat.EuroWaist (CM)Hips (CM)
253225/323261 – 6384 – 87
263226/323464 – 6688 – 91
273227/3234/3666 – 6890 – 93
283228/323667 – 7092 – 95
293229/323871 – 7496 – 98
303230/3238/4073 – 7698 – 99
313231/324075 – 7899 – 101
323232/3240/4277 – 80101 – 102
333233/324279 – 82102 – 104
343234/324483 – 87105 – 108
353235/3244/4686 – 90107 – 110
363236/324688 – 93109 – 112
373237/3246/4891 – 96111 – 114
383238/324894 – 99113 – 116
373239/3248/5097 – 103115 – 118
403240/3250100 – 106117 – 121

European Size Chart for Women

International sizeUS sizeUK sizeGerman sizeFrench sizeItalian size
XS04303236
XS26323438
XS48343640
S610363842
S812384044
M1014404246
M1216424448
L1418444650
L1620464852
XL1822485054
XL2024505256
XXL2226525458
XXL2428545660

Women’s Shirt and Sweater Sizes

US / Internat. SizeUK SizeEuro SizeFrench SizeItalian Size
XS6323438
XS8343640
S10363842
S11373943
M12384044
M13394145
L14404246
L15414347
XL16424448
XL17434549
XXL18444650
XXL19454751
3XL20464852
3XL21474953
4XL22485054
4XL23495155

Women’s Pant Sizes

European pant size conversion chart for women, featuring US, British, Italian, German, French and Standard EURO-Sizes.

US / Internat. SizeUK SizeEuro SizeFrench SizeItalian Size
3XS2283034
XXS4303236
XS6323438
S8343640
M10363842
L12384044
XL14404246
XXL16424448
3XL18444650
4XL20464852
5XL22485054
6XL24505256
7XL26525458
8XL28545660

Women’s British pant sizes

If you want to know which European pair of pants corresponds to the British pant size, you need to do the same as you did with an American pant, that is, add 10. Therefore, a pair of pants with the British size 48 corresponds to a 58 in Europe. In Britain, pants are referred to as trousers. British trouser sizes correspond to US trousers as described above.

Women’s Italian pant sizes

There is no formal difference between Italian and European pant sizes because Italy and Europe work with the same measurement system. When buying a pair of pants, you should remember, however, that pants made by Italian manufacturers are usually a little narrower. French and Italian styles often come in petite cut or skinny fit.

Women’s French pant sizes

French and European pants systems differ. If you want to buy pants in size 40, you must choose a 42 in France. There is thus a difference in assorted lots.