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General Clothing Size Information

General Clothing Size Information

Sizes for gloves, socks, and stockings are the same in both the US and Europe. Sock sizes correspond to the length of your foot.

Clothing sometimes uses approximate size measures, such as XS (Extra Small), S (Small), M (Medium), L (Large), and XL (Extra Large). These letters are especially common on T-shirts. Each letter may represent a range of two or three numbered sizes. International students from Asia should expect their large to correspond to a medium in the United States. But it is best to try on the clothing for fit, because there is little consistency among manufacturers.

Men's shirt and pants sizes are more consistent than women's clothing sizes because they reflect the actual size of their dimensions in inches. Men's shirt sizes measures the circumference of the neck and are mostly consistent. If a second number is listed, it is usually the sleeve length, and runs from 32 to 36 inches. Men's pants are sized using the waist measurement and the inseam measurement. The inseam is the distance from crotch to hem. Men's coats are measured according to chest size, measuring under the arms.

Dress sizes depend on both height and figure type. A junior size corresponds to a height between 5'2" and 5'5" with a slender figure. A misses size corresponds to a height between 5'5" and 5'7" with a well proportioned figure. A women's size corresponds to a height between 5'5" and 5'8" and a fuller and rounder figure. The women's sizes do not correspond to bust measurements. A half size is somewhat shorter than a misses size and a bit fuller and rounder. A petite size is somewhat shorter than a misses size, with heights running from 4'8" to 5'4". The more expensive the dress, the more likely the manufacturer is to label the dress with a size or two smaller than its true size.

Brassiere sizes consist of the band size (a number) and the cup size (a letter). The band size is found by measuring around the rib cage just below the bust line, adding 5, and rounding up to the nearest even number. The cup size is found by measuring along the fullest part of the bust and subtracting the band size. The letters correspond to the result as follows: A (1"), B (2"), C (3"), D (4"), DD (5"), and DDD (6").

Men's hat sizes measure the diameter of the hat if it were deformed into a perfect circle. To obtain your measurements, measure the circumference of your head across the forehead and just below the curve of the skull in back and divide the result by Pi (3.14159). Women's hat sizes measure the circumference directly.

In the US, each whole shoe size differs by 1/3 of an inch. In Europe, whole shoe sizes differ by 2/3 of a centimeter (about 1/4 of an inch). This makes the correspondences between US and European shoe sizes only approximate. European shoe sizes are the same for men and women. In the US a woman's shoe is about 1 to 1-1/2 sizes greater than the same length men's shoe. Infant shoe sizes run from 0 (4 inches) to 13 (8-1/4 inches). These correspond to European sizes 15 to 31. Boy's shoe sizes run from 1 (8-1/2 inches) to 12 (12-1/4 inches). Girl's shoe sizes run from 1 (8-1/4 inches) to 9-1/2 (11 inches). Add 1 to the boy's size to get the equivalent girl's size. Of course, there's a lot of variability, so it is imperative to try on a shoe before purchasing. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Clothing sizes for babies are a nightmare, with several systems of measurement. The most common systems are the age system and the weight system. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the child's age by two, so that the clothing will fit for more than a month.

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