Archive for the 'Size Conversions' Category

How To Take Your Size Measurements

Most women have a good idea what their measurements are, but rather than assume you know, get an accurate measurement. Going to a tailor will give you more accurate measurements, but you can certainly get a close approximation handling the measuring tape yourself. The measurements that you definitely need are your chest, waist, hips, and inseam. You may also want to take your thigh and upper arm measurements.

When taking these measurements, use a cloth tape measure, not a metal one. Make sure that, when you circle your chest, waist, or hips, the tape is level and neither too tight nor too loose. Also measure yourself on your bare skin, not over clothes. And this may sound silly, but don’t trust your memory — be sure to write the measurements down!

Place the tape measure at these locations to get accurate measurements.
  • Chest: Measure the circumference of your chest. Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust, wrap it around (under your armpits, around your shoulder blades, and back to the front) to get the measurement.
  • Waist: Measure the circumference of your waist. Use the tape to circle your waist (sort of like a belt would) at your natural waistline, which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage. (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline.) Don’t suck in your stomach, or you’ll get a false measurement. If you generally wear your clothes below your waist, take that measurement as well.
  • Hips: Measure the circumference of your hips. Start at one hip and wrap the tape measure around your rear, around the other hip, and back to where you started. Make sure the tape is over the largest part of your buttocks. Because making sure the tape is level back there can be hard, try to do it in front of a mirror.
  • Inseam:This is the distance from the uppermost inner part of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. You can measure your inseam in two ways.
    • With help: While you’re wearing a pair of pants, have a friend stretch the tape from your crotch to the bottom of your ankle.
    • Without help: If you have a pair of pants that fit you perfectly (and they shouldn’t be too loose around the waist), measure the inseam of the pants, again from the crotch to the hem.The proper inseam on a pair of pants you’re going to purchase will depend on the height of the heel you’ll be wearing with them.
  • Thigh: Measure the circumference of the fullest part of your thigh. Wrap the tape measure around your thigh from front to back and then around to the front. You may be tempted to cheat by lowering the tape measure a few inches, but then you won’t get an accurate measurement.
  • Upper arm: Measure the circumference of your arm. Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your upper arm from front to back and around to the start point.
  • Sleeve length: Get help for this one because it’s hard to do yourself. Place your hand at your waist (your elbow should be bent at a 90-degree angle). Then start at the middle of the back of your neck and measure to your shoulder, down your arm to the elbow, and then on to the wrist.

You may need a family member or friend to assist you with the measurements. If you have a garment that fits perfectly, measuring the garment rather than your body can be a good substitute.

Ring Size Conversion

How to determine your ring size

  1. Wrap a piece of string or a strip of paper around your finger.
  2. Mark the point where the two ends meet.
  3. Measure the string or paper against a ruler to get the circumference of your finger.
  4. Divide that by 3.14 to get the diameter of your finger.
  5. Look up your ring size using the form above

Women’s Shoe Size Conversion

Because of the many discrepancies between sizing systems and the differences between manufacturers, it is never a good idea to buy shoes based solely on these conversions. Sellers should measure the inside of the shoe heel to toe and list in centimeters and inches, and buyers should request this information to compare to their own shoes.

Before buying clothes online check the sellers return policy, as there is a good chance you will end up with a size that does not fit perfectly.

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.

European Clothing Standard

EN 13402

EN 13402 is a European standard for labeling clothes sizes. It is based on body dimensions, measured in centimetres. It aims to replace many older national dress-size systems, starting in the year 2006.

There are three approaches for size-labeling of clothes:

  • body dimensions: The product label states for which range of body dimensions the product was designed. (Example: bike helmet labeled “head girth: 56–60 cm”, shoe labeled “foot length: 28 cm”)
  • product dimensions: The label states characteristic measures of the product. (Example: jeans labeled with their inner-leg length in centimeters or inches, i.e. not the – several centimeters longer – inner leg length of the intended wearer)
  • ad-hoc size: The label provides a size number or code with no obvious relationship to any measurement. (Example: Size 12, XL)

Traditionally, clothes have been labeled using many different ad-hoc size systems. This approach has led to a number of problems:

  • Country-specific or even vendor-specific labels create additional costs.
  • Ad-hoc sizes have changed with time, often due to “vanity labeling”, an inflation in body dimensions associated with a size, to avoid confronting aging customers with uncomfortable anthropometric truths.
  • Mail-order purchasing requires accurate methods for predicting the best-fitting size.
  • Many garments need to be selected based on two or three body dimensions to fit adequately, and not a single scalar.
  • Scalar ad-hoc sizes based on 1950s anthropometric studies are no longer adequate, as changes in nutrition and life styles have shifted the distribution of body dimensions.

Therefore, the European standards body CEN started in 1996 the process of designing a new modern system of labeling clothes sizes, resulting in the standard EN 13402 “Size designation of clothes”.

It is based on

  • body-dimensions
  • the metric system
  • data from new anthropometric studies of the European population performed in the late 1990s
  • similar existing international standards (ISO 3635, etc.)

EN 13402-1: Terms, definitions and body measurement procedure

The first part of the standard defines the list of body dimensions to be used for designating clothes sizes, together with an anatomical explanation and measurement guidelines:

head girth
maximum horizontal girth of the head measured above the ears
neck girth
girth of the neck measured with the tape measure passed 2 cm below the Adam’s apple and at the level of the 7th cervical vertebra
chest girth
maximum horizontal girth measured during normal breathing with the subject standing erect and the tape-measure passed over the shoulder blades (scapulae), under the armpits (axillae), and across the chest
bust girth
maximum horizontal girth measured during normal breathing with the subject standing erect and the tape-measure passed horizontally, under the armpits (axillae), and across the bust prominence (preferably measured with moderate tension over a brassiere that shall not deform the breast in an unnatural way and shall not displace its volume)
underbust girth
horizontal girth of the body measured just below the breasts
waist girth
girth of the natural waistline between the top of the hip bones (iliac crests) and the lower ribs, measured with the subject breathing normally and standing erect with the abdomen relaxed
hip girth
horizontal girth measured round the buttocks at the level of maximum circumference
height
vertical distance between the crown of the head and the soles of the feet, measured with the subject standing erect without shoes and with the feet together (for infants not yet able to stand upright: length of the body measured in a straight line from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet)
inside leg length
distance between the crotch and the soles of the feet, measured in a straight vertical line with the subject erect, feet slightly apart, and the weight of the body equally distributed on both legs
arm length
distance, measured using the tape-measure, from the armscye/shoulder line intersection (acromion), over the elbow, to the far end of the prominent wrist bone (ulna), with the subject’s right fist clenched and placed on the hip, and with the arm bent at 90°
hand girth
maximum girth measured over the knuckles (metacarpals) of the open right hand, fingers together and thumb excluded
foot length
horizontal distance between perpendiculars in contact with the end of the most prominent toe and the most prominent part of the heel, measured with the subject standing barefoot and the weight of the body equally distributed on both feet
body mass
measured with a suitable balance in kilograms

These dimensions are meant to be measured preferably without or as few as possible clothes.

All body dimensions are measured in centimeters, except for the body mass.

The standard also defines a pictogram that can be used in language-neutral labels to indicate one or several of the above body dimensions.

EN 13402-2: Primary and secondary dimensions

The second part of the standard defines for each type of garment one “primary dimension”. This is the body measure according to which the product must be labelled.

For some types of garment, a single measure may not be sufficient to select the right product. In these cases, one or two “secondary dimensions” can be added to the label.

The following table shows the primary and secondary dimensions listed in the standard. Secondary dimensions are shown in parenthesis.

Garment Men Women Boys Girls
Jackets chest girth
(height, waist girth)
bust girth
(height, hip girth)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Suits chest girth, waist girth
(height, inside leg length)
bust girth
(height, hip girth)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Overcoats chest girth
(height)
bust girth
(height)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Trousers/shorts waist girth
(height, inside leg length)
waist girth
(height, hip girth, inside leg length)
height
(waist girth)
height
(waist girth)
Skirts waist girth
(height, hip girth)
height
(waist girth)
Dresses bust girth
(height, hip girth, waist girth)
height
(bust girth)
Knits: cardigans, sweaters, T-shirts chest girth
(height)
bust girth
(height)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Shirts neck girth
(height, arm length)
height
(neck girth)
Blouses bust girth
(height)
height
(bust girth)
Underpants waist girth
(height)
waist girth
(height, hip girth)
height
(waist girth)
height
(waist girth)
Vest chest girth
(height)
bust girth
(height)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Pyjamas
Ladies’ nightdresses
chest girth
(height, waist girth)
bust girth
(height, waist girth, hip girth)
height
(chest girth)
height
(bust girth)
Swim-suits/wear and bodies waist girth
(height, chest girth)
bust girth
(height, hip girth, underbust girth)
height
(chest girth, waist girth)
height
(underbust girth, bust girth)
Bras underbust girth, bust girth
(cup size)
underbust girth, bust girth
(cup size)
Corsetry/upper and full body underbust girth, bust girth
(height, hip girth, waist girth)
Corsetry/lower body waist girth, hip girth
(height)
Pantyhose height
(waist girth, weight)
height height
Stockings foot length
Socks foot length
Gloves hand girth
Head wear head girth

EN 13402-3: Measurements and intervals

The third part of the standard defines preferred numbers of primary and secondary body dimensions.

The product should not be labeled with the average body dimension for which the garment was designed (i.e., not “height: 176”). Instead, the label should show the range of body dimensions from half the step size below to half the step size above the design size (e.g., “height: 172-180”).

For heights, for example, the standard recommends generally to use the following design dimensions, with a step size of 8 cm:

Height 160 168 176 184 192 200
Range 156-164 164-172 172-180 180-188 188-196 196-204

For trousers, the recommended step size for height is 4 cm:

Height 156 160 164 168 172 176
Range 154-158 158-162 162-166 166-170 170-174 174-178
Height 180 184 188 192 196 200
Range 178-182 182-186 186-190 190-194 194-198 198-202

The standard defines similar tables for other dimensions and garments, only some of which are shown here.

Men

The standard sizes and ranges for chest and waist girth are:

Chest girth 84 88 92 96 100 104 108 112
Range 82-86 86-90 90-94 94-98 98-102 102-106 106-110 110-114
Waist girth 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100
Range 70-74 74-78 78-82 82-86 86-90 90-94 94-98 98-102
Chest girth 116 120 126 132 138 144
Range 114-118 118-123 123-129 129-135 135-141 141-147
Waist girth 104 108 114 120 126 132
Range 102-106 106-111 111-117 117-123 123-129 129-135

The above table is for drop = -12 cm, where

drop = waist girthchest girth.

Example: While manufacturers will typically design clothes for chest girth = 100 cm such that it fits waist girth = 88 cm, they may also want to combine that chest girth with neighboring waist girth step sizes 84 cm or 92 cm, to cover these drop types (-16 cm and -8 cm) as well.

The standard also suggests that neck girth can be associated with chest girth according to this table:

Neck girth 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
Range 36.5-37.5 37.5-38.5 38.5-39.5 39.5-40.5 40.5-41.5 41.5-42.5 42.5-43.5 43.5-44.5
Chest girth 88 92 96 100 104 108 112 116
Neck girth 45 46.5 48 49.5 51
Range 44.5-45.8 45.8-47.3 47.3-48.8 48.8-50.3 50.3-51.1
Chest girth 120 126 132 138 144

The standard further suggests that arm length can be associated with height according to this table:

Height 156 160 164 168 172 176 180 184 188 192 196 200
Arm length 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Range 59-60 60-61 61-62 62-63 63-64 64-65 65-66 66-67 67-68 68-69 69-70 70-71

Women

Dress sizes

The standard sizes and ranges for bust, waist and hip girth are:

Bust girth 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 104 110
Range 74-78 78-82 82-86 86-90 90-94 94-98 98-102 102-107 107-113
Waist girth 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 94
Range 58-62 62-66 66-70 70-74 74-78 78-82 82-86 86-91 91-97
Hip girth 84 88 92 96 100 104 108 112 117
Range 82-86 86-90 90-94 94-98 98-102 102-106 106-110 110-115 115-120
Bust girth 116 122 128 134 140 146 152
Range 113-119 119-125 125-131 131-137 137-143 143-149 149-155
Waist girth 100 106 112 118 124 130 136
Range 97-103 103-109 109-115 115-121 121-127 127-133 133-139
Hip girth 122 127 132 137 142 147 152
Range 120-125 125-130 130-135 135-140 140-145 145-150 150-155

Bra sizes

The standard sizes for brassiere are:

Underbust girth 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95
Range 58-62 63-67 68-72 73-77 78-82 83-88 88-92 93-98
Underbust girth 100 105 110 115 120 125
Range 98-102 103-108 108-112 113-118 118-122 123-128

The secondary dimension bust size can be expressed in terms of the difference

cup size = bust girthunderbust girth

and can be labeled compactly using a letter code appended to the underbust girth:

Code AA A B C D E F G
Cup size range 10-12 12-14 14-16 16-18 18-20 20-22 22-24 24-26

Example: Bra size 70B is suitable for women with underbust girth 68-72 cm and bust girth 84-86 cm.

Letter codes

For clothes were a larger step size is sufficient, the standard also defines a letter code. This code represents the bust girth for women and the chest girth for men. The standard does not define such a code for children.

Meaning Code Chest girth (men) Bust girth (women)
extra extra small XXS 70-78 66-74
extra small XS 78-86 74-82
small S 86-94 82-90
medium M 94-102 90-98
large L 102-110 98-106
extra large XL 110-118 107-119
extra extra large XXL 118-129 119-131
extra extra extra large 3XL 129-141 131-143

Each range combines two adjacent size steps. The ranges could be extended below XXS or above 3XL if necessary.

EN 13402-4: Coding system

The fourth part of the standard is still under review and is expected to be published in early 2006. It describes a compact coding system for clothes sizes. It is mostly intended for industry to use in databases and as a part of stock-keeping identifiers and catalogue ordering numbers. Writing out all the centimetre figures of all the primary and secondary measures from EN 13402-2 can in some cases require up to 12 digits. The full list of centimeter figures on the pictogram contains a lot of redundancy and the same information can be squeezed into fewer digits with lookup tables. EN 13402-4 defines several such tables. They list all in-use combinations of EN 13402-3 measures and assign a short 2- or 3-digit code to each.

This article is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Original article can be found here.

Shoe Sizing Systems

Shoe size

A shoe size is a numerical indication of the fitting size of a shoe for a person. Several different shoe-size systems are still used today worldwide. In some regions, it is even customary to use different shoe-size systems for different types of shoes (e.g., men’s, women’s, children’s, sport or safety shoes).

Foot length versus shoe length

The length of a foot is commonly defined as the horizontal distance between two parallel lines that are perpendicular to the foot and in contact with the most prominent toe and the most prominent part of the heel. Foot length is measured with the subject standing barefoot and the weight of the body equally distributed on both feet.

The size of the left and right foot is often slightly different for many people. In order to chose a shoe size, both feet should be measured and then the shoe size should be chosen based on the larger foot.

Each shoe is suitable for a small interval of foot lengths. The length of the inner cavity of a shoe must typically be 15–20 mm longer than the length of the foot, but this relation varies between different types of shoes.

There are three characteristic lengths that a shoe-size system can refer to:

  • The average length of foot for which a shoe is suitable. For customers, this measure has the advantage of being directly related to their feet. It applies equally to any type, form, or material of shoe. However, this measure is less popular with manufacturers, as it requires them to test carefully for each new shoe model, for which range of foot sizes it is recommendable. It puts on the manufacturer the burden of ensuring that the shoe will fit a foot of a given length.
  • The length of the inner cavity of the shoe. This measure has the advantage that it can be measured easily on the finished product. However, it will vary with manufacturing tolerances and provides the customer only very crude information about the range of foot sizes for which the shoe is suitable.
  • The length of the “last”, the foot-shaped template over which the shoe is manufactured. This measure is the easiest one for the manufacturer to use, as it identifies only the tool used to produce the shoe. It makes no promise about manufacturing tolerances or for what size of foot the shoe is actually suitable. It leaves all responsibility and risk of chosing the correct size with the customer.

All these measures differ substantially from each other for the same shoe.

Length unit

The following length units are commonly used today to define shoe-size systems:

  • Millimeter (mm)
  • Centimeter (cm) = 10 mm
  • Paris point = 2/3 cm = 6.67 mm
  • Barleycorn = 1/3 inch = 8.47 mm

Traditional shoe sizes by country

Warning: Most of the shoe-size systems listed in this section are not formally standardized. The exact relationship between a labelled shoe size and the interval of foot lengths for which that shoe is suitable can vary substantially between different manufacturers. The following descriptions may only approximate the exact sizing systems used by individual manufacturers. Discrepancies and variations occur in particular if shoes manufactured according to one shoe-size system are labeled in another system. With this lack of standardisation, shoe sizes can even vary from one manufacturer (or brand) as the manufacturer may use multiple different factires around the world to produce a given style.

Continental Europe

In France, Germany, and most other European countries, the traditional shoe size is the length of the last, measured in Paris points. For shoe types where the last is 20 mm longer than the foot for which the shoe will fit:

shoe size = (foot length + 20 mm) / 6.67 mm

Formal standards

Various national and international standards (ISO 9407) recommend a shoe-size system known as Mondopoint. It is based on the mean foot length for which the shoe is suitable, measured in millimeters. A Mondopoint shoe label can optionally also specify the width of the foot, again in millimeters.

European standard EN 13402 recommends instead that shoes should be labeled with the interval of foot lengths for which they are suitable, measured in centimeters.

Width or girth designators

Some manufacturers offer shoes of different width for the same foot length. Such shoes are then also labelled according to the width or girth of the widest part of the foot (typically measured directly behind the toes with the subject standing on both feet and wearing socks or hose).

In the Mondopoint system, the shoe size label can state in addition to the length also the width of the mean foot for which the shoe is suitable, both measured in millimeters.

A number of other ad-hoc notations for width or girth are also used. Examples include (each starting with the narrowest width):

  • AAAA, AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, EEE, EEEE
  • 4A, 3A, 2A, A, B, C, D, E, 2E, 3E, 4E
  • N, M, W

None of these designations are formally standardized. The exact foot width for which these sizes are suitable can vary significantly between manufacturers. The A-E width indicators used by some US and UK shoe manufacturers are typically based on the width of the foot, and common step sizes are 1/4 inch (6 mm) or 3/16 inch (5 mm).

Myths

The myth that a man’s foot size is correlated to the size of his penis has been discredited in anthropometric studies.

It is a myth that the Foot (unit of length) (304.8 mm) is about the length of the average UK male foot. The average today is less than 270 mm and 90% of the population is within 20 mm of that. So very few men today have feet that are a foot long. Most are over 25 mm (1 in) shorter. In the past, the average length would have been less. If the unit of measurement were named the ‘shoe’ it might be more appropriate. The topic of this article and the conversion chart above show that shoe size varies quite a lot between individuals. Even within an individual, the length of footwear varies depending on the purpose (house slippers, walking boots). However, some people do have shoes that are about 305 mm long.

This article is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Original article can be found here.

Men’s Shoe Size Conversion

Note to online buyers and sellers: Because of the many discrepancies between sizing systems and the differences between manufacturers, it is never a good idea to buy shoes based solely on these conversions. Sellers should measure the inside of the shoe heel to toe and list in centimeters and inches, and buyers should request this information to compare to their own shoes.

Before buying clothes online check the sellers return policy, as there is a good chance you will end up with a size that does not fit perfectly.

Women’s Clothing Conversion

Note to online buyers and sellers: Because of the many discrepancies between sizing systems and the differences between manufacturers, it is never a good idea to buy clothes based solely on these conversions. Sellers should measure the clothes and list in centimeters and inches, and buyers should request this information to compare to their clothes.

Before buying clothes online check the sellers return policy, as there is a good chance you will end up with a size that does not fit perfectly.

Men’s Clothing Conversion

Note to online buyers and sellers: Because of the many discrepancies between sizing systems and the differences between manufacturers, it is never a good idea to buy clothes based solely on these conversions. Sellers should measure the clothes and list in centimeters and inches, and buyers should request this information to compare to their clothes.

Before buying clothes online check the sellers return policy, as there is a good chance you will end up with a size that does not fit perfectly.

Selected a size in your country, the others will change to match.

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