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Getting the Right Fit When Buying Women's Clothes Abroad

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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When you’re holidaying or travelling abroad, the chances are that you may have looked at shops or clothing stores, if only casually. Sometimes there are great deals to be had on buying clothes abroad, but before you hand over your cash or credit card, you need to check that you’re getting the right fit.

One of the biggest issues with buying clothes abroad, whether for women, men or children is whether they will really fit when you put them on. In some countries, such as the US, it’s easy to fail to realise that clothing sizes are anything but different from the UK as they use a similar numbering system.

However, the actual fit of clothing garments do differ considerably. This is because the clothes sizing systems are made up of slightly different measurements than in the UK. In general, US sizes are one size bigger than in the UK, so a US size eight is equivalent to a UK size 10, or a US size 16 is the same as a UK size 18. The differences can be a pain when you don’t realise they exist and end up accidentally buying the wrong sized clothing – although you do gain the benefit of pretending to be a smaller size than you really are!

Buying Clothes in Europe

The US isn’t the only country where women’s clothing sizes differ from the UK – there are also big differences when buying clothes in Europe. Compared to the clothing size system used in the UK, most areas of Europe work in inches.

What can be rather confusing is that is one standard system that is generally used in Scandinavian countries and in Germany, but there are even more variations used in France and Italy. These differences may well stem from the cultural differences in body shape and diet.

Knowing exactly which system is in place in the part of Europe you’re in can be confusing, so in order to get the right fit, the best bet is to resort to specific and individual clothing measurements. If you’ve got a small tape measure handy, then keep it in your handbag for times like this and you can use it to quickly measure the item you’re interested in buying. Of course, if you have the opportunity, trying the item on gives the best indication of whether it will actually fit your body shape or not.

Clothing Size Conversion Chart

The typical clothing sizes for women’s dresses, trousers and tops are as follows:

  • UK size 6 = US size 4 = European size 34 = Italy size 40 = France size 36
  • UK size 8 = US size 6 = European size 36 = Italy size 42 = France size 38
  • UK size 10 = US size 8 = European size 38 = Italy size 44 = France size 40
  • UK size 12 = US size 10= European size 40 = Italy size 46 = France size 42
  • UK size 14 = US size 12 = European size 42 = Italy size 48 = France size 44
  • UK size 16 = US size 14 = European size 44 = Italy size 50 = France size 46
  • UK size 18 = US size 16 = European size 46 = Italy size 52 = France size 48
  • UK size 20 = US size 18 = European size 48 = Italy size 54 = France size 50

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