European Clothing and Shoe Size Charts for Babies and Kids

Pregnant woman shopping for baby clothes
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European fashion is adorable, especially when it comes to clothes for babies and children. The eclectic styling holds appeal for many parents and it's fashion you simply can't find in the United States. It's tempting if you're in a Paris boutique or shopping online from a European-based store to pick up some new duds for your child. 

Whether you're shopping for your own family or planning to send a gift of clothing to the U.S., you need to be aware that finding the right size can be tricky.

Converting standard sizes in clothing from the United Kingdom and European Union is not an easy thing.

Luckily, we have size charts for clothes and shoes to help you out. Also, you might be able to get a partial refund of the VAT tax charged on many European goods if you plan ahead.

Clothes Size Chart 

European sizing for clothes in E.U. countries is based on height, which must be converted from inches to centimeters (cm). In the U.K., they use a size that is similar to the U.S. standards of sizing by a child's age, though there are some subtle differences you'll want to take note of.

When you think about it, basing clothing sizes on height rather than age is the most logical approach. After all, every 3-month-old is not the same height or weight and neither is every 5-year-old. It's a simple fact that children grow at different rates.

Use this chart to discover the size you need when shopping.

You'll also want to keep in mind that buying a larger size is the best approach because kids are constantly growing and that super-cute outfit will likely be a perfect fit before you know it.

Age RangeChild's Height
(in inches)
European Size
(height in cm)
U.K. SizeU.S. Size
PreemieBelow 22Below 56 Preemie
Up to 3 Months22–2456–620–3mNewborn, 0–3m
3–6 Months24–2762–686m3–6m
6–9 Months27–2963–749m6–9m
9–12 Months29–3174–8012m9–12m
12–18 Months31–3480–8612m12–18m
18–24 Months34–3686–9218–24m18–24m
2 Years 36–3892–982–32T
3–4 Years38–4198–1043–43T–4T
4–5 Years41–43104–1104–55
5–6 Years43–46110–1165–66
6–7 Years46–48116–1226–76X–7
7–8 Years48–50122–1287–87–8
8–9 Years50–53128–1348–99–10
9–10 Years53–55134–1409–1010
10–11 Years55–57140–14610–1111
11–12 Years57–60146–15211–1214

Shoe Size Chart

Finding the right shoe size, even in the E.U., is even more difficult, so you will need this sizing chart to help you navigate your purchase. There is no logical way to correspond foot length to E.U. shoe sizes like there is with clothing. However, if you're in the U.K., shoes are typically one-half or one-whole number lower than U.S. shoes.

Foot Length 
(in inches)
Foot Length 
(in cm)
European SizeU.K. SizeU.S. Size
4 3/412214 1/25 or 5 1/2
5 1/813225 1/26
5 1/2142366 1/2 or 7
5 3/414 1/22477 1/2 or 8
6 1/815 1/2257 1/28 or 9
6 1/415 3/4268 1/29 1/2
6 1/216 1/22799 1/2 or 10
6 3/417281010 1/2 or 11
7 1/8182910 1/2 or 1111 1/2 or 12
7 1/418 1/23011 1/212 1/2
7 1/2193112 or 12 1/213 or 13 1/2
7 3/419 1/232131
8 1/820 1/23311 1/2 or 2
8 1/4213422 1/2 or 3

Refunds on the VAT Tax

When you're shopping overseas, you'll also want to know about and consider if your purchases qualify for a refund of the value-added tax (VAT). Many countries in Europe, including those in the E.U., charge this tax on consumer goods.

The good news for travelers is that when you export a good from one of those countries, you can receive a refund of the VAT. There are, of course, conditions and steps you need to take in order to get any money back.

On average, the VAT is between 15 and 25 percent of the purchase price. That's a considerable amount of money, so the paperwork may be worth it, depending on how much you spend.

According to a USA Today article that explains this process in great detail, you will need to ensure that the things you buy are not used, but brand new. That means you can't put your sweet little one into that adorable jumper you just bought until you cross the border or get on a plane and go through customs.

Additionally, you can make the process easier by seeking out stores that deal directly with the paperwork involved with a VAT refund. Many shops will post a sign that says "tax-free" or something to that extent. These merchants will help you out, or you can look into an agency that handles VAT for travelers.

The key is to look into this issue fully before you buy anything that may qualify for the minimum amounts.

Having some knowledge about the matter can end up saving you a significant amount of money and you get the joy of seeing your child in really cute clothes you wouldn't normally buy at home.


Perkins E. VAT Refunds 101: How to Save on Shopping in Europe. USA Today. 2014.