• Japan Tips

Clothes Shopping in Japan: – Japan Sizes to US Clothing Sizes (and EU plus UK sizes too!)

a clothes shop in Ginza

It’s well-known that Japanese people have their own distinct style. You’ll see extremely colourful outfits full of frills and inspired by kawaii culture, but you’ll also see the smart, preppy style heavily influenced by US collegiate clothing. There’s a little bit of everything.


However, foreigners often find that clothes shopping in Japan can feel daunting due to the Japan sizes to US clothing discrepancy, with many common US sizes considered ‘plus size’ in Japan. Because of this, it can be much harder to find clothing that suits westerners.


In this guide, we’ll help you to understand Japanese clothes sizes and how they match up to UK and US sizing. We’ll include Japanese clothing size charts, as well as Japan sizes to US size clothing comparisons so you can make more accurate decisions when buying clothes in Japan. And, we’ve even put together a section on popular Japanese clothing stores and brands for you to keep an eye out for.


a rail of white shirts


Japanese clothes sizes


The first shock many foreigners experience when clothes shopping in Japan is the small size of Japanese clothes sizes. Compared to the West, the average height for men and women in Japan is lower, influencing the smaller clothing sizes.


Given the average height of a Japanese man is 171 cm (5′ 7″) and average height for women in Japan is 158 cm (5′ 2″), this size difference is more pronounced. This explains why Japanese sizing to US often feels more snug, catering to the local demographic.


This is why you’ll find that clothes sizes in Japan are slightly smaller than you’re used to, and rightly so – you have to stock clothes that fit the majority of the population. However, if you are visiting Japan and are slightly smaller than average height in Europe or the US, you’ll find yourself right at home when clothes shopping in Japan.


Those needing larger sizes might find it challenging to locate suitable Japan mens clothes or women’s clothing. Fortunately, specialty stores in Japan do cater to larger sizes, offering a ranges of plus size clothing in Japan.


If you need a hand translating Japanese sizes to US clothing sizes (along with UK and EU sizes), then read the section below to find our Japan size chart for men and women.


Japan men’s size chart & Japan to US size clothing tips


Here we’ll look at the differences in size between various types of men’s clothing. We’ll also compare the Japanese sizes to US size clothing so you can see the differences more clearly.


Men’s shirts


For men’s shirt and collar sizes, the US and UK use the same measurements. However, in Japan, for each US or UK half-size, the Japanese size goes up by one. So, for example, a US or UK shirt size 15 is a Japanese size 38.


Measurement (Neck cm)Japanese SizeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
42-43LL (L)LL43
44-453L (XL)XLXL45
46-474L (XXL)XXLXXL47


Men’s coat and suit sizes


Following a similar sizing pattern to men’s shirts, men’s coats and suit jackets are generally a size smaller in Japan than they are in most other countries. A Japanese size medium, for example, is the equivalent of an international size small, around 84-90cm in the chest.


Measurement (Chest in)Japanese SizeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
46-48LL (L)LL56
50-523L (XL)XLXL60
54-564L (XXL)XXLXXL64


Men’s trousers


If you’re a man looking to buy trousers in Japan, we recommend following these guidelines:


Measurement (Waist in)Japanese SizeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
40-42LL (L)LL56
44-463L (XL)XLXL60
48-504L (XXL)XXLXXL64


Men’s shoe sizing in Japan


In Japan, men’s shoes are measured in centimetres, just like waist size. Unfortunately, if you’re a UK size 9.5 (US size 10) or larger, you won’t have much luck finding your size in most conventional Japanese shoe stores. You’ll probably have to visit a specialist store or shop online for your size.


Japanese Size (cm)US Men’s SizeUK Men’s SizeEU Size


You can also read our separate blog post about shopping for and buying shoes in Japan.


a rail of colourful women's clothing


Japan women’s size chart & Japan size to US size women’s clothing


Now it’s time to look at women’s clothing and how they size up in Japan compared to the US and the rest of the world. You’ll find that the differences in Japanese and US and European sizes for men are similar for women. It’s usually a case of choosing something slightly larger in Japanese women’s clothing than you normally would. Let’s get into more detail.


Women’s clothing sizes in Japan


Women’s clothing, including dresses, jackets, shirts, and t-shirts are a lot smaller in Japan. If you’re used to US sizing, Japanese clothing is normally five sizes larger. For example, if you’re a size 4 in US women’s clothing, you’re most likely a size 9 in Japan.


Measurement (Bust/Waist in)Japanese SizeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
32/257XXS (2)432
34/279XS (4)634
36/2911S (6)836
38/3113M (8)1038
40/3315L (10)1240
42/3517XL (12)1442


More familiar with UK clothing sizing? The jump in sizes isn’t quite as great as with US women’s clothing. We recommend going just one size up from your usual UK size when shopping for women’s clothes in Japan. If you’re a size 8, then a size 9 in Japan should fit best.


As with all of our advice, these are only guidelines. Different brands will fit differently and therefore might not fit our formula – trying clothes on when possible is always your best bet!

Japanese women’s trousers sizes


Westerners are used to seeing trousers labelled with waist measurements in inches. However, in Japan, they use centimetres so you might have to get used to calculating what this is in inches. Some brands might include the measurements in inches though, so always look out for that.


Measurement (Waist/Hip in)Japanese SizeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
25/357XXS (2)432
27/379XS (4)634
29/3911S (6)836
31/4113M (8)1038
33/4315L (10)1240
35/4517XL (12)1442


Alternatively, you might see trousers labelled as small, medium and large. In this case, we would recommend going at least one size up in Japan.

Japanese bra sizes


Bras in Japan are measured in the same way as most countries – by cup and by band (underbust). Despite using the same measurements as Western countries, Japanese bra sizes do also come up smaller than in the US and the UK.


Because of this, we’d recommend going a size or two up from what you’d usually wear. If you’d usually wear a US B cup, you’d be better off going for a Japanese C cup.


Japanese Cup SizeUS Cup SizeUK Cup SizeEU Cup Size


For bra band sizes, it’s similar to how they measure your waist for trousers in Japan – they use centimetres instead of inches. US and UK bra sizes go up in increments of two, but Japanese bra sizes go up in multiples of five. A Japanese 65 is the equivalent of a US and UK 30, a 70 is the same as a 32, and so on.


a roll of fabric with clothes sizes on


Plus size clothing in Japan


The availability of plus size in Japan has improved, reflecting a broader acceptance and catering to a more diverse size range. Japanese plus size fashion doesn’t exactly mirror Western definitions, typically starting at XL. Stores like Uniqlo, as well as international brands such as H&M and GAP, now offer more Japan mens clothes and women’s clothing in plus sizes, making clothes shopping in Japan more inclusive.


Time to shop, shop, shop!


Now you’ve got a better idea of how different Japanese clothes size up compared to how they do in the UK and the US, it’s time to go out and get shopping. Use our guidance to help you choose clothes in the right size for you. It might involve some trial and error at first, but we’re confident you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

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