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How to Convert European Pants Sizes

If you're planning a vacation to Europe but aren't sure what size trousers to buy at the trendy boutiques, there are several ways to approximate a conversion from U.S. to European sizing. You may be surprised to find that you have to go up to a larger number to achieve the same fit.

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  1. Add 10, if you're a man. A good general rule for converting men's trousers sizes to European sizing is to add 10 to your waist size. So if you wear a 32 trousers in the U.S., you will wear a 42 in Europe. Remember, because sizing varies by brand, this is a general guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule.

  2. Add 28 if you're a woman. Converting European trousers sizes for women is a little less straightforward than it is for men, but in general, a size 8 in the U.S. will likely be about a size 36 in Europe.

  3. Make room for American curves, if you're a woman. European designers tend to cut clothing for a slimmer figure.

  4. Measure your waist and hips, and take the measurements along on your trip. Because sizing varies among brands, some shops label sizing based on measurements in addition to traditional sizing units.

  5. Remember that sizing in Europe can vary among countries. Clothes are often tagged with French, German, Spanish and Italian sizing.

  6. Tip

    British sizing for trousers differs from both U.S. and European sizing. Women who want to convert their U.S. trousers size to a British trousers size should add two. So a U.S. size 8 would be a U.K. size 10.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cloth tape measure

About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.

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