Standard sizes for Clothing
Standard sizes i.e. S, M, L, XL and One-size only pieces differ for different stores and even different items from the same store. Never assume that just because you usually wear a certain size back home, the same size from the Taobao store will fit you. Size is just a label on Taobao.
The good thing is, the measurements of each size and item will usually be stated in the item’s description in cm. Online translations tend to do a decent job with translating them, but if the seller uses images for the size chart, the translator can’t pick it up, so knowing what the relevant terms are will be helpful. Here are some common ones:
肩宽/肩寬： Shoulder width
衣长/衣長： Length of whole outfit / Length of top
裤长/褲長： Length of pants
裙长/裙長： Length of skirt, may sometimes refer to length of a whole dress too
袖长/袖長： Length of sleeve
男： Male size
女： Female size
All sizes are in cm. Measurements stated may not be spot-on due to a variety of reasons. Please expect slight differences of around +/- 2 to 3 cm.
You should thus find out your own measurements in cm first in order to choose the most fitting size. There are lots of guides on taking your own measurements which apply internationally, so I won’t go into that. If you really need help, feel free to ask.
Standard sizes for shoes
Shoes on Taobao generally take on Chinese sizes, which are very similar to European size, but usually about 0.5 larger. To get an accurate Chinese size for your feet, you will need to measure the length of your sole.
The upper row indicates the Chinese shoe size while the lower row indicates the corresponding length of sole in mm.
However, if the width of your feet tends to give you issues (e.g. if you have wide feet or bunions), you may wish to provide the width of your feet as well so I can check it out on Taobao’s feet size calculator. They have a very good one here but unfortunately you need to be logged in to see it.
Here’s a simple guide to measuring your foot length and width: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Shoe-Size
Do work with cm/mm instead of inches.
Most of us have one foot slightly larger than the other. Make sure you provide the size of your larger foot unless you don’t mind it being pinched throughout the day.
Some shoes may run large or small. This information may be available in the seller’s description, or in the customers’ reviews.