Conversion for Clothing Sizes

Updated April 17, 2017

When abroad, it can be a shock the first time you attempt to find your size at a department store or boutique. Different sizing is used in the UK, Europe, Japan and the U.S. Some conversions are easier than others, but getting a general idea of how sizing works will help your clothes shopping adventures go much more smoothly.


The U.S. sizing for women is from a size 0 to a 12 or 14 in most stores and 16 to 20 or higher in some. To convert a size 6 garment from the U.S. to the appropriate U.K. size, simply add two -- a size 6 U.S. is a size 8 U.K. If travelling in Japan, add three. A size 6 in the U.S. is a size 9 in Japan. European sizing ranges from 30 to 50, increasing by two for each size, therefore a size 30 is a size 0 in the U.S. and a size 50 is a size 20 in the U.S.A size 6 in the U.S. would be a 36 in European sizing.


Men's suits and shirts in the U.S. range from size 32 to 48 and higher, increasing by two for each size. The U.K. has the same sizing. Japan ranges from S to M, L and LL. A U.S. 32 to 36 is an S in Japan, U.S. 38 is M, 40 to 42 is L and 44 to 48 is LL. Men's dress shirts in the U.S. range from 14 to 17 1/2, increasing by single digits. The U.K. uses the same sizing. Japan's sizing ranges from 87 to 122: 87, 91 ,97, 102, 107, 112, 117 and 122. A U.S. size 16 equals a Japanese size 107. Men's trousers are measured in centimetres abroad and inches in the U.S.


For children abroad, the measurements for weight and length are used in sizing, measured in centimetres and kilograms. Simply convert the child's height from inches to centimetres and weight from pounds to kilograms to find the correct size.


Newborns and infant sizing in the U.S. and abroad is done in monthly increments, length and weight. The weight and length abroad is measured in centimetres and kilograms. Convert the weight and size from inches and pounds to centimetres and kilograms or shop by the infant's age.

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About the Author

Veronica Maier has been an active online writer since 2010. She has been a contributing writer to eHow and Answerbag. Maier holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history and visual culture with an emphasis on the American modern from the University of California, Santa Cruz.