European Clothing Sizes and Size Conversions

Convert a US or UK size to European, Italian, or French sizes

Rack of dresses for sale in store
••• Tim Hall / Getty Images

Planning on shopping for clothes in Europe? It will be important to learn the differences between the U.S. (and Canadian) and European sizes. Size conversion, however, isn't an exact science. The numbers below are general and come from a variety of sources. Note that due to the evolution in "vanity sizing," there is no real standard for sizing women's clothing in the United States. You really have to try clothes on in the store.

Most stores in Europe will have salespeople who can speak enough English to provide assistance about sizing. A good salesperson can look at you and tell you what size you need because they are intimately aware of the sizes they sell. The more expensive the store, the greater likelihood of English fluency. On the other hand, hand signals work fine when shopping for clothes. For sizes that depend on measurements, remember that one inch = 2.54 centimeters (although 2 1/2 is probably close enough to start).

Women's Sizing

Women's Dresses and Blouses
USUKEuropeItalyFrance
45344036
68364238
810384440
1012404642
141644
161846
182048

Note: You may need to add 2 to the UK sizes in the chart above. The "European sizes" shown apply mostly to Germany and the Scandinavian countries, and don't apply to Italy and France

Women's Shoes
USUKEurope
42 1/235
53 1/237
64 1/238
75 1/239
86 1/240
97 1/241

Men's Sizing

Men's Shirts
US GeneralUS / UKEurope
Small3487
Medium3691
 3897
Large40102
X-Large42107
 44112
 46117

 

Men's Suits
US / UKEurope
3242
3444
3646
3848
4050
4252
4454

 

Men's Shoes
USUKEurope
75 1/239
86 1/241
97 1/242
108 1/243
119 1/245
1210 1/246
1311 1/247

 

Men's Hats
USUKEurope
5 3/45 3/454
65 5/855
7656
7757
7 1/4758
7 1/2760

Tips for Shopping for Clothes in Europe

As with any shop, it's best to greet the European shopkeeper with a hearty "good day" (or "good morning" or "good evening" as appropriate) in the local language.

Shopkeepers often consider their shops an extension of their homes and will extend the same hospitality. Polite language and greetings go a long way. You might even catch a break on prices.

A good source of inexpensive clothing is at an open-air market. Weekly markets in smaller towns and daily in larger usually have an increasing number of vendors for clothing. You might be amazed at what you find and prices are usually better than you'll find in the United States.