Women's UK clothing size conversions--help!

So I am in the market for a winter coat and have decided on this one. Unfortunately, the sizing is giving me a lot of pause for thought.

I am a female from the US currently living in Europe. In the US, as far as shirts, jackets, and coats go, I am usually on the large end of small or the small end of medium. I have a very narrow waist and substantial bust and hips, and overall a very small bone structure and average height. I don’t know my number size in the US.

In Germany, as confirmed by several trial runs at the department store today, I am about a 38 for a coat size. 38 might be a tiny bit large, but as I’m going to be wearing my potential coat with things like suits under it, I don’t mind a little extra space.

The coat in the above link is from a British company. I am honestly stumped on how British sizes relate to US and German sizes. Measurements for this coat are given in centimeters, but my shoulders and bust are somewhat out of these given proportions (as they are for every other technical definition for clothing sizes I’ve looked up).

I’ve tried several different websites that claim to convert between European, US, and UK sizes, and I’ve received every answer from an 8 to a 12. Does anyone know what size I actually am?

Er, I forgot the link, if it helps.


That’s a very nice coat in your link.

Is there any reason why you will not go to the various stores and just try stuff on?

Well, as you said, that’s a very nice coat. :smiley:

But really, because this company has a good reputation for ethical treatment of its employees and good quality clothing (as recommended by a friend) and because I was specifically looking for a coat with a cotton lining, which I think feels better than a synthetic one, and all the coats in the regular department stores have synthetic lining. And being in Germany, I can’t really go and try on a coat from a UK-based company.

Is the company John Lewis? Otherwise you are going to have to throw the UK Dopers a clue!

Hell, Ducktail, you are in frigging Germany - there’s a world of warm coats there. :slight_smile:

Huh? The company is the one running the website, Amana–it’s a fairly small fair-trade company.

And don’t question my rationale :p–I’ve got my heart set on this coat. I dreamed about this coat last night. This coat is all I desire in the world (except, y’know, peace on earth and maybe a nice pair of boots).

All I really need is a reliable ballpark estimate of what someone who wears a small/medium in the US or a 38 in Europe would be in UK sizing.

According to this :- http://www.brightonarea.co.uk/ebay/conversion.html A European 38 equals a size 10 in the UK.

This probably won’t be helpful, but it sounds like you may be in between a 10 and 12. Just like in the US, sizes vary here according to the manufacturer. On the one hand I would say order the 10 as it is just on the small size of medium according to Amana’s size chart. But on the other hand it says it’s slim fitting so you may want to get the 12 for the sweater to go under it. But if in doubt, order according to your bust rather than waist.

Do you have a tape measure? They give you the measurements of each size right in the link you provided, so a tape measure would be far more accurate than guesses we offer you. I don’t know about where you are, but in the US any way, any store with a sewing department ought to have one for a dollar or two, max.

This looks like a not bad converter:


I found this through a handy internet based service called Google.

Any chart that lists “European” sizes is a bit problematic because even on the mainland there are at least three related but different systems (“French”, “Italian” and “German”.) A “normal” size is half your bust in centimeters rounded to an even value minus a constant that differs from country to country. Furthermore even for a given bust measure each country makes slightly different assumptions about your proportions. Wikipedia has a chart that distinguishes between those:

The “correct” answer is a size 10.

However, UK women’s sizes are more of a rough guide than a standard. Some labels are known for being rather generous and others come up small. As Kellner has noted variation in “European” sizes make this more difficult – I’ve sound clothing from places like Morgan (French) or Zara (Spanish) tend to come up smaller than “normal”

In terms of US sizes, based on personal experience, they are one or two sizes adrift (so an American 10 would be a UK 12 or 14).

From your description of your body shape, I would agree with Blue Mood. UK 10 sizes don’t always allow for substantial bust and hips, 12 allows for the hourglass shape you’re describing.

I am basing this on a quick mental review of my friends, who vary in size, you seem to have described a similar shape to my friend who is a 12.

Could you return it by post? Or would that be too much hassle?