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 Dresses and Blouses|
|US General||US / UK||Europe|
|US / UK||Europe|
|5 3/4||5 3/4||54|
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.