Rather than limiting themselves to one side of the clothing store, many women are finding that they can also find plenty of options in the racks set aside for men. In particular, many women find that men's jeans and pants provide a better fit than the selection in the women's department. While there's no simple rule for converting all men's sizes to women's sizes, as cut and style vary greatly, women can use the following conversions as general guidelines to help find the right fit.
To convert men's pants sizes to women's, subtract 21 inches from the waist measurement of the men's pants. For example, men's pants with a 33-inch waist would be approximately a women's size 12. The inseam, typically the second measurement in men's pants sizes, will remain the same for women.
Because women's shirts are often cut differently from men's, converting shirt sizes is a bit trickier. The most reliable method is to simply measure the chest and waist of the men's shirt and compare those measurements to a women's sizing chart to find the equivalent size.
To convert shoe sizes, simply add 1.5 to the men's size in order to find the equivalent women's shoe size. For example, a men's size 8 shoe is roughly equivalent to a women's size 9.5.
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Men's jeans are not cut as full in the hips as women's, so women may have to go up to a larger men's waist size if they have a fuller figure.
When in doubt, try it on. Clothes vary greatly in cut, style and size, so it's best not to rely on measurements alone.
Hallie Hammack has been a writer and multimedia reporter since 2005. Her work has appeared in publications for the National Guard and the Olympic News Service, among others. Hammack holds a Bachelor of Journalism in media convergence from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.