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International Size Conversions: Clothes and Shoes with PDF Chart

Knowing the differences between U.S. and European sizing for women’s clothing and shoes can save you time and money, especially if you’re shopping online. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the differences.

Takeaways

  • Convert European sizes to U.S. sizes informally by subtracting 30.
  • Always refer to the specific brand’s size chart for the most accurate conversion.
  • Especially for shoes, if you’re between sizes, go with the larger size.

You’ll also find a downloadable PDF below that provides quick access to size conversions. Pro tip: Keep it in your phone so you always have it handy.

Women’s clothing sizes 101

U.S. sizes for women’s clothing are low numbers, starting in the single digits (e.g., 4, 6, 8). European sizes are a series of double-digit numbers (e.g., 36, 38, 40).

While size conversion charts can help you translate from U.S. to European sizes and vice versa, the translations aren’t 100% reliable. Different sizing standards and measurements are the culprits here. Always consider size translations guides rather than hard-and-fast rules.

How to convert clothing sizes without a chart

To convert from U.S. to European clothing sizes informally, add 30 to the American size. For example, a U.S. size 4 generally corresponds to a European size 34.

However, this conversion can vary by brand and by type of clothing. In other words, a U.S. size 6 could range from a European size 36 to 38.

Another factor is that European sizes tend to run smaller than their U.S. counterparts. Therefore, it’s helpful to make a habit of checking specific sizing guides provided by the brand or retailer.

Size conversion chart

international size conversion 2

International clothing size conversions (text version)

On some devices, these two text charts may be easier to read.

S/M/LXSXSSSMMLLXLXL
AMERICAN024681012141820
FRENCH30323436384042444850
UK2/4488/101012/141416/1820/2222/24
JAPANESE 3579111315172124
ITALIAN34363840424446485254

Women’s shoe size conversions

Shoe sizing also differs between the U.S. and Europe. U.S. women’s shoe sizes are typically measured in whole and half sizes (e.g., 6, 6.5, 7), while European sizes stick to whole numbers (e.g., 37, 38, 39).

The conversion math for women’s shoes is more straightforward. You can usually convert U.S. women’s shoe sizes to European by adding 30 or 31 to the U.S. size. For example, a U.S. size 7 in women’s shoes is roughly a European size 37 or 38. However, like clothing, this can vary by shoe type and brand.

International shoe size conversions (text version)

AMERICAN66.577.588.599.51010.511
EUROPEAN3636.53737.53838.5/3939.5/4040.54141.542
UK3.544.555.566.577.588/8.5

Know your numbers and return policies

You may want to measure your body and your feet if you expect to shop internationally. That way, you can use sizing charts on the fly. For the most precision, measure your hips, bust, and waist in centimeters. Then do the same for the length and width of your feet. Jot down those numbers on a card and stash it in your wallet.   

The other habit to practice is reviewing return policies before you buy. If you can’t return a garment or pair of shoes affordably and you’re not sure about the sizing, don’t make the purchase. It’s too risky.

Convert like a pro for fewer returns

Knowing how to convert size quickly without a chart, keeping your measurements on hand, and reading return policies before you buy can help you shop internationally with confidence. Follow those practices and you’ll enjoy better fitting clothes and fewer returns.

FAQs about international size conversion

What is U.S. women’s size zero in France?

Size 0 ladies: Try a 30 or 32 when you’re shopping in France.

What is the American size equivalent to Italy’s size 38?

Italian size 38 (and 40) are usually “smalls” in America, or women’s size 4 or 6.

What’s the American equivalent to size 40 French?

French size 40 is usually an American medium or American size 10.

What’s the U.K. equivalent to size 34 French?

A size 34 in France should be an 8 in the U.K.

What is the American equivalent to size 36 in France?

A French size 36 should be an American size 6 or a small.

What is the American equivalent to size 38 in France?

A French size 38 should be close to an American size 8 or a medium.

How do I convert size 40 French to U.S. sizing?

A French size 40 is similar to a U.S. size 10.

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