Buying shirts from other countries is always tricky. The issue is that different countries follow different sizing standards. What might be a large shirt here in the US could be XL or even XXL in other countries like Japan. Today, I’ll compare US and Japanese shirt sizes to give you an idea of how their sizing standards differ.
Japanese Shirt Size Chart
|S||81 to 87 cm||33 to 34.5 cm||78 to 81 cm||77/82|
|M||88 to 94 cm||35.5 to 37 cm||81 to 84 cm||87/91|
|L||96 to 102 cm||38 to 39.5 cm||84 to 86 cm||97/102|
|LL||104 to 110 cm||40.5 to 42 cm||86 to 89 cm||112/117|
|LLL||111 to 117 cm||43 to 44.5 cm||89 to 91 cm||122/127|
|4L||119 to 125 cm||45.5 to 47 cm||91 to 94 cm||132/137|
|5L||127 to 132 cm||48 to 49.5 cm||94 to 97 cm||142/147|
How to Measure a Japanese Shirt
This guide will help you get the precise measurements of a shirt. After recording your measurements, compare them to the size chart above to see what Japanese shirt size to get.
- Chest—Measure the circumference of your chest starting from roughly 1 inch below your armpits.
- Neck—The diameter of your neck starting just below the Adam’s apple without adding slack.
- Arm—The distance from the shoulder to the wrist.
- Collar—The smaller figure refers to the bottom circumference of the collar—i.e., where the collar connects to the shirt. The larger figure refers to the top circumference of the collar.
There are other measurements you might want to record for a form-fitting shirt, which are as follows:
- Waist—The circumference around your waist starting roughly 10 inches below the armpit.
- Shoulder inseam—The distance between each shoulder part of both sleeves.
- Back—The distance between the center of the bottom circumference of the collar and the bottom of the shirt. This measure can also refer to the distance between the meeting point between the collar and the shirt and the bottom of the shirt.
Japanese Shirt to US Shirt Size Chart
If you thought that picking up an XL shirt in the US would be the same as getting an XL shirt in Japan, you are sorely mistaken. The following chart will show you how to convert Japanese shirt number sizes to US shirt number sizes and vice versa.
|7||2 to 4|
|9||4 to 6|
As you can see, to get Japanese equivalents of US shirts for women’s sizes, all you have to do is add 3 (starting from size 8 shirts). Conversely, you will need to subtract 3 from the Japanese shirt size to get the US equivalent (from size 11 and larger).
Men’s sizes are a bit different. In general, for every 1 size increase starting from 36, you need to add 0.5 to the US size for men’s shirts (starting from 14).
Why Do Countries Use Different Clothes Measuring Systems?
The short and sweet answer to this question is that there is no standardized method of sizing clothes. So, Japanese and US clothes sizes will vary significantly from each other, as you can see from the charts provided above.
However, you won’t just find differences in sizes between countries. Even brands in the same country may measure clothes using completely different sizing standards. As a very rough example, brand A might make size XL shirts that measure 31 inches long and 25 inches wide at their longest and widest points. Brand B might make XL shirts measuring 36 inches long and 27 inches wide, even though they are both based in the same country.
The only true way to figure out what size clothes to get is to record your measurements and see where you fall in a country or brand’s size chart.
Asiatic Fit vs. American Fit
Something else worth knowing is that people in Japan and US may consider have different perceptions of what form-fitting clothes are.
In Japan and many Asian countries, the Asiatic fit refers to clothing that is a lot more form-fitting. They are slimmer around the bust and waist and slightly shorter from the shoulder to the bottom hem.
In America, t-shirts and other articles of casual attire are generally more loose-fitting. Most Americans may choose to wear form-fitting clothing during formal events or at the office, where loose clothing may be considered sloppy.
Japanese vs. US Size Charts
Now, let’s compare the size differences between Japan and US based on other articles of clothing.
Simply add 5 to the Japanese dress size to get the US equivalent.
|70 cm||28 in.|
|74 cm||29 in.|
|76 cm||30 in.|
|78 cm||31 in,|
|81 cm||32 in.|
|83 cm||33 in.|
Most Japanese pants are measured in centimeters (length, waist, etc.). So, you would have to know the inches equivalents to get the US size. If you come across a size that isn’t on this chart (for example, 71 centimeters), you can round to the nearest inch size (in this case, 28 inches).
|S||34 to 36|
|M||38 to 40|
|L||42 to 44|
|XL||44 to 46|
It’s important to note that Japanese suits have slightly shorter legs than their American-made counterparts.
|155 to 165 cm||61 to 65 in.|
|165 to 175 cm||65 to 69 in.|
|175 to 185 cm||69 to 73 in.|
|185 to 195 cm||73 to 76 in.|