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Size Matters: Shopping in Japan

By 2 min read 3

For a lot of women, finding clothes and shoes outside of the big Western chain shops can be a time consuming process. Last week I posted a few sites that ship to Japan, that also have cute stuff you’ll want to wear. (This quip is prompted by looking in an advice section of a Japan resource guide, and finding Coldwater Creek as a primary shopping destination. I wanted to slap my monitor.). We can all shop online for whatever, but if you do actually enjoy shopping in the retail wonderlands of Tokyo, here are a few links, your sizes in Japan, and a few helpful phrases.

Clothing

US

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

UK

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

22

EURO

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

JAPAN

7

9

11

13

15

17

19

21

23

Helpful Phrases

May I try this on? – Shichaku shitemo ii desu ka?

I’m not sure what size I am. – Watashi no nihon no saizu ga wakarimasen.

diana_shoes2-711050

Shoes

US

6

6.5

7

7.5

8

8.5

9

9.5

10

UK

4.5

5

5.5

6

6.5

7

7.5

8

8.5

ITALY

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

JAPAN

23

23.5

24

24.5

25

25.5

26

26.5

27

JAPAN

SMALL

MEDIUM

LARGE

LL

?

In my research I’ve found that sizes in Japanese shoes vary drastically, even within the same label. Most of the cute, inexpensive shoes I’ve shopped only go up to about a 24.5. One upshot is that if you find something close, shoes that are juuuuust a tiny bit tight, some shops will send them to be stretched for you at no charge. I’m usually a 25 in Japan (normally an 8.5 in US, go figure), and I’m waiting to get a pair of sick suede platform pumps from being stretched the shop. Hopefully they work out. Some shops and department stores will special order for you too, but they tend to be higher end (i.e. Isetan, Diana).

Washington Shoes carries up to size 27 in basic styles (nothing super trendy or cool—work shoes, basically). The have 70 locations all over Japan, and a web shop here.

Bonus Tip: If you have friends in the military here, Zappos will ship to APO/FPO addresses at no charge.

Now. Let’s talk about boobs. You go up a cup size in Japan.

Bra

INT’L

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

US/UK

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

FRANCE

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

115

120

Bra Cup

US

AA

A

B

C

D

JAPAN

A

B

C

D

DD

If you wear a smaller/average size, you’re in major luck. Japan rocks for cute sets. No doubt you’ve seen Amo’s Style shops all over the place, but if you haven’t, you can shop here. I didn’t know this, but Wacoal is a Japanese label and they stock a variety of sizes, and have an online shop. And apparently, they even have a bra vending machines. Oh Japan.

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  • エジプト人 says:

    Okay curious question. What if I am smaller than these charts? I already have a hard time finding my size especially in shoes in my home, since I’m 2 sizes smaller than anything they have.

  • zoomingjapan says:

    I’ve been in Japan for 6 years now. I’m female and my shoe size is 27.
    I don’t live in Tokyo or near a big city. I’ve given up on finding cute(!) shoes in my size.
    Female shoes in my size usually don’t even exist and the male shoes are too wide for my slim feet.

    Luckily I’m a girl who doesn’t care so much about shoes, but now I only have 2 pairs that aren’t broken. It’s time to go back home for a vacation and pick up some new shoes. *sigh*

    • Cynthia Popper says:

      It’s a drag, right? Make friends with someone in the military so you can shop Zappos. 🙂