Life Travel

Ultimate UNIQLO Size Comparison: Japan vs. US

As a petite Asian woman living in the United States I am always struggling to find clothing that fits straight off the rack. Granted there are a number of retailers in the US that do offer petite sizing, but even then the cut and styles never seem to be exactly right for what I’m looking for.

That’s why I got really excited to try on some clothes during my latest trip to Japan.  I had heard that the Japanese sizing of popular chain brands like UNIQLO and Muji that have US stores had different cuts for the Asian markets and maybe I would have better luck in Japan than I’ve had buying from these brands in the States.  In my experience, even when buying the smallest sizes in the US UNIQLO, the fit was never right – usually too long in the torso or leg length –  and it always made me sad because I figured Japanese brand = sizing great for petite Asians.

I tried to do some online research ahead of time, but couldn’t find a very comprehensive comparison between UNIQLO sizing from the US vs Japan and info on the sizes that are generally stocked in the US vs Japan stores. That’s why I decided to write this post based on my own experience. Hopefully, this helps some of y’all out on your next trip to Japan or Asia where you plan on going to a UNIQLO!

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TLDR version:

  • Japanese UNIQLO sizing is generally one size smaller than the US version.
  • In addition, across the board, the garments in Japan feature a shorter cut than the clothing sold in the American version of the store.

But let’s dive in and look at the specifics of the sizing charts:

UNIQLO’s US sizing chart

Uniqlo US sizing chart

I’m only going to focus on the smallest sizes here since that’s what I would wear. So as you can see from the chart:


  • US XXS = 5.1-5.3 ft in
  • US XS = 5.1-5.3 ft in


  • US XXS = 29-31 in
  • US XS = 31-33 in


  • US XXS = 22-23 in
  • US XS = 24-25

Knowing all that, I have very rarely ever seen XXS carried in the US stores (even in NYC where I would imagine selection is among the largest in the US), although the size is sometimes sold on select items through their US online store as part of their extended sizes offerings.

UNIQLO’s Japan sizing chart

Uniqlo Japan sizing chart

Here’s where things get interesting. In the Japanese sizing, there is no XXS – the smallest is XS.  So let’s take a look at the XXS and XS sizing for comparison. I’ve rounded the centimeter measurements into the nearest inch.


  • US XXS = 5.1-5.3 ft in
  • US XS = 5.1-5.3 ft in
  • JP XS = 4.9-5.1 ft
  • JP S = 5.0-5.3 ft

So already you can see that for XS, there is no equivalent in the US sizing in terms of height – the XS is simply going to be cut shorter than anything in the US sizing which only starts at 5.1 at its shortest in XXS or XS. However, the US XS and JP S are in the same general range, with the JP S covering women one inch shorter, at 5 feet tall.


  • US XXS = 29-31 in
  • US XS = 31-33 in
  • JP XS = 29-31.5 in
  • JP S = 30-33 in

That means that the US XXS and the Japanese XS are roughly around the same size around the bust and the US XS is close to the Japanese S, again with the JP S covering one inch smaller, but still covering women up to 33 in.


  • US XXS = 22-23 in
  • US XS = 24-25
  • JP XS = 22-25 in
  • JP S is 24-26 in

Based purely on the numbers, the US XXS is 2 in smaller than the Japanese XS, and the US XS actually only covering women up to 25 in waist, as opposed to JP S covering women up to 26.

One thing I noticed in the Japanese UNIQLO stores is that that just like in the American stores, the smallest available size is generally not in stock – I don’t think I saw any XS in the stores I visited – you’ll basically only see S, M, L.

US vs Japan UNIQLO sizing: What the sizing chart says

Just looking at the sizing charts, the Japanese S supposedly caters to a person with the same height, bust, and waist size as the US XS, which totally confused me. That’s because every time in the past I’ve tried on clothes in the US UNIQLO stores in XS, and they just never seem to fit right (too big), versus when I was in Japan, trying on the Japanese S, everything seemed to fit just perfectly.

So I started to wonder if I had made some horrible mistake and spent a lot of time and energy shopping in UNIQLO Japan just to bring home the same exact item I could get here in the States. Had I deluded myself into thinking that everything in Japan fit better just because it’s in Japan?

Side-by-side size comparison: UNIQLO shirt Japan S vs United States XS

For the sake of my own sanity, I performed an experiment, comparing a Small size shirt I bought at UNIQLO in Japan vs the same exact shirt in XS from a UNIQLO here in the US.

UNIQLO shirt S Japan

As a side note, you also may notice that there’s definitely a price difference between Japan and the US. The Japanese UNIQLO shirt comes out to be less than $20, but in the US the shirt sells for almost $30.

I took the US XS and laid it out on the table first, then put the Japan S on top of it – lining up the collars, shoulders, sleeves and body.

So as you can see from the photos below, the Japan S sleeves and hem are at least an inch shorter than the US version. The body width is basically the same.

UNIQLO shirt size comparison sleeve
UNIQLO shirt size comparison hem

The conclusion is that even though the Japan S and the US XS are supposed to fit a person with the same height, bust, waist, the Japanese cut features shorter sleeves as well as shorter shirt length, which definitely explains why the Asian version fits a petite like me much better!

UNIQLO pants and jean sizing

As for the pants, I feel like even though the US XS and the JP S are roughly supposed to be for the same height range, the Japanese S are cut shorter and slimmer in the hips/butt. Again, if you just look at the numbers, supposedly the cuts would hypothetically cover the same range, but I really think since the Japanese S is supposed to cover people slightly shorter and with smaller hips than the US XS, the cut is generally slimmer.

In terms of the jeans, I found I needed a 22 (56 cm) in Japan UNIQLO. In the US UNIQLO I almost never see anything smaller than a 25, whereas in Japan the 22s are generally available as the smallest stocked size. I also have no idea how I’m a Japanese 22 – usually in US sizes I need to go with a 24 (J Brand jean size). When I tried on 24s in Japan I was absolutely swimming in them, so could this be the case that in Japan the pants sizing is vanity sizing as opposed to the US?!?! Who knows!

Bonus: Tips for shopping at the UNIQLO stores in Japan

If you want the most varied selection of UNIQLO products, you must go to the largest UNIQLO store in the world – the Tokyo’s Ginza district. The UNIQLO has 12 floors- with the top floor devoted to their best selling items, a floor to Uniqlo special collaborations, and multiple floors for women’s and men’s clothing, as well as a floor featuring children’s clothing. I found this store carries the most sizes and colors, stocking many items that were sold out in other stores I visited.

If you are a tourist, you should definitely take advantage of the tax-free shopping offered at UNIQLO if you spend over 5000 YEN. Depending on the store, you may need to go to a special tax-free cashier (as was the case at the Shibuya Spanish Steps location) or you may be able to get your tax-free shopping at any cash register (as was the case at the Ginza store).

Happy shopping! Let me know if you found this article helpful by leaving your thoughts in the comment section.

Also, check out my other Japan travel articles like How to Order at Ichiran Ramen in Japan.

Pin this! UNIQLO size and prices: US vs Japan

28 replies on “Ultimate UNIQLO Size Comparison: Japan vs. US”

Thank you so much for publishing this! Like you, I am a petite Asian woman.
I had bought some UNIQLO in Hong Kong which fit perfectly and I’ve been toying with ordering UNIQLO online in hopes that the cut would be the same.

So now I know that I will need to plan another trip to Asia just to go shopping! 🙂

I’m experiencing the same problem! Clothing here never fits me right. I was googling around and found your blog, and I was very hopeful that there might be a way to order Japanese-cut Uniqlo clothing here. I always hoard clothing when I’m back in Asia, but I only go back once or twice a year at most and clothing there seems to be seasonal. I’m in NYC as well and still struggling finding clothing that fits.

Hah! I do the same thing. Every time I go now I bring an extra bag just for clothing. There are some NY-based/-present petite clothing brands you consider looking at that are a little edgier than the standard petite fare of Ann Taylor/Gap/Banana Republic: Petite Studio, Reformation. Top Shop sometimes has some decent offerings as well. But for more avant-garde or just simply minimalist cool fashion I definitely prefer Japan!

This explains a lot! My dad bought me my first pair of uniqlo jeggings in the US and they were absolutely a perfect fit and I loved them, being an asian on the taller side. When I bought another pair in the Philippines they were weirdly short, but the fit was the same. I thought I had bought wrong!

Hi Preetiz – Oh gosh! Yes, that’s certainly an unpleasant surprise. I wish they offered both sizing in both the US and in Asia. It would save a lot of people confusion! 🙂

Thank you for the article. It confirms what I have thought. I am a perfect size small in Uniqlo Japan. Love the clothes, but cannot afford to go to Japan to shop! Really? Has anyone figured out how to online order the Asian sized clothes from here in the US?

Thanks for your comment, Roni. Maybe we should start a letter-writing campaign to Uniqlo to beg for “Asian” sizes. I know some companies, like Montbell (an outdoor/activewear company in Japan) have some items available in “Asian” sizes on their website.

Hi there! I just recently came back from the Philippines. There is definitely a difference in size. I just got a rider jacket and the sleeves fit perfectly. I’ve tried on that same size jacket here in the US and it did not fit right because the sleeves and the torso are too long. Prices have been generally the same.

This was super helpful! I just came back from Japan with a shirt I really liked and was thinking about getting another but it looks like I correctly assumed that the sizing here in the US is different. (I was surprised that I was picking mediums in Japan when I usually wear S or XS in the US – I mean I know I ate a lot on the trip, but I didn’t think it was that much!)

Hi Joy! Glad you found it useful. I just returned from another trip to Japan where I stocked up on more Uniqlo and Muji. I actually spend more time trying on clothes when in Asia because I usually have to take in my normal size, then a size larger to figure out if my “normal” size is too small!

Yes thank you! And how about quality difference? I ran it of time to go back to buy a light down jacket in Ginza, is the quality in the US the same?

I’m a petite American who purchased her first Uniqlo clothing while visiting Taiwan in 2018 and I fell in love with their fashion. It was refreshing to find clothes that fit me proportionately that weren’t dowdy looking and weren’t costly. Thanks to your comparison charts, I can buy a few items from the US stores and know what size will work.

Does Uniqlo in Japan sell heat tech shirts in different colors and in prints? Here in the US they sell them only in salads, and always pretty much the same colors. When Uniglo first opened in New York they carried heat tech shirts in cute. interesting prints. Are those still sold in Japan?

I used to live in Singapore and shopped at Uniglo there, then I moved to the Netherlands. Here, Uniglo online has a little questionnaire which you fill out with your measurements and they tell you what size you should order – it is pretty accurate. This is helpful as the Asian and EU sizes are also different – I am a size smaller in the EU range.

The heat tech tops here are in the standard colors – black, white, grey, beige, navy and wine but also in a range of pretty colours including red pink and purple, but the only patterns are stripes.

This is great, thank you so much! I just came back from Japan and experienced the same when it came to Uniqlo compared to European sizes. You mention Muji, would you know if the situation is the same for their clothes? I bought a cardigan size M in Japan and would love to buy the same in a different color from the European webshop. Should I maybe order size S? The Japanese webshop has detailed measurements, but not the European one. And I’m not sure how to interpret the size chart :-O
Thanks again!

Hi Ellen. Glad you found the article helpful. Muji has actually become my favorite place in Japan to get jeans, sweaters, and tops. I find their styles to be a little bit more edgy/interesting than UNIQLO and the giant Muji flagship is amazing (I have yet to go to the new flagship store, but will go this year – so excited!). I’ve actually never bought anything from Muji here in the US – but I’ve been really curious. I will pop by a Muji when I’m in NYC next and do some investigation. The items available at Muji in the US, in my opinion, are pretty limited, but the new Muji store in Hudson Yards in NYC seemed to have a bit more selection.

Thank you so much for publishing this! I’ve been having same issue. Brought something from Japan and can’t figure out why stuff I brought in Chicago doesn’t seem the same. Thought I gained weight or something weird. Please add my name to letter to Uniqlo! Stop the confusion! People go to Uniqlo because they are looking for petite or hard to find small sizes or American sizes! Even more frustrating is the men’s selection. Buying coats and shorts for my son is just a joke with Uniqlo in America. I returned everything.


They do make women’s size XXS in Japan. I can say this for a fact as I have seen videos of Japanese girls showing shirts and blouses in this size. You can buy them at H&M stores in Japan. The girl in question that wears them is 148cm tall and has a bust size that is probably around 72-73. This is probably too petite even for most Japanese girls so that may be why they are hard to find.

Thanks for writing this. As a tall (in Japan) (5’7″)foreigner I find shopping hard. I will say that for business style button up shirts at Uniqlo I still can’t wear them because the shoulders are still too small, while the torso section just gets wider and wider with each size up. So I generally buy T-shirts and sweaters from Uniqlo and save the fitted stuff for H&M, Zara, or Bershka. Thanks again!

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