You may not be aware of the size differences in Mexico for various things. And that’s likely because you visited Mexico on vacation, but there probably wasn’t a need for you to buy clothes, shoes, or a mattress.
I want to save you a headache and some time. That way, when you move here and have to buy all of those things, you’re not lost.
In my experience, clothing in Mexico tends to run a bit smaller than it would in the U.S.
If I buy a top at Target in the U.S., I’ll buy a small. However, if I buy a size small at a local retailer in Mexico, similar to Target, it’ll likely be too tight on my shoulders. Also, I should note that finding extra-large sizes for clothing in Mexico can be a challenge for both men and women. But if you’re looking for anything larger than an extra-large, it may be better to buy it on Amazon.
You’ll find the common extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large for most tops. However, the tags may look a little different. That’s because it’s printed in Spanish.
Here are the translations:
|U.S. Size||Mexico Size|
|Extra Small||Extra Chico or XCH|
|Small||Chico or CH|
|Medium||Mediano or M|
|Large||Grande or G|
If you are a man, your sizing is the same in the U.S. as it is in Mexico. If you are a size 32 in pants in the U.S., you are also a size 32 in Mexico. The exception being that in some stores, sizes like small, medium, or large tend to run a bit smaller in Mexico than they do in the U.S.
Probably because the average male height and size in Mexico are shorter or smaller than in the U.S, I find this to be especially true at local retailers versus the big brand names like Levis.
However, for you ladies, you’ll need to know your size ahead of time since pants are a completely different size in Mexico. If you’ve ever shopped in Europe for pants or jeans, then you’ve likely seen these sizes before. But if you’re anything like me and have bought the majority of your jeans in the U.S., this will be an adjustment.
|Mexican Size||US Size|
Little Girl’s Dresses
If you’re shopping for a little one, you should know that Mexican department stores will have girl’s dresses based on their age. I don’t have kids, and therefor can’t say if this is the same in the U.S., but I assume it’s similar to when you buy clothes for babies. Labels in the U.S. for babies tend to run based on age. In Mexico, it’s the same for girl’s dresses. They assume an 8 year old girl would wear a size 8 dress.
Most shoe stores in Mexico measure their shoe sizes in CM. The good news is that this is the same for women or men. To figure out your shoe size in CM, you use a ruler to measure the top of your foot to the heel. Then, using centimeters and rounding up, you could easily see your shoe size in Mexico.
However, to further complicate things in the shoe department, some stores will drop the 2 in their centimeters and have a single-digit shoe size. However, the larger the shoe size, the more disparity there is between centimeters. Luckily, most stores in Mexico have incredibly helpful retail workers that will gladly help you measure your foot for the best shoe size.
(see the chart below)
|Centimeters||Mexico||US Men||US Women|
If you have a large shoe size, it can be challenging for you to find your shoe size at small boutique shops. Normally, Mexican people have smaller feet than their neighbors up North. However, if you need a larger shoe size, you might have the most luck in larger cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, or online.
Most rental homes in Mexico come furnished. When you tour the house before renting you may notice that there is a queen-sized mattress on the listing. So you may bring your linens from back home only to find out that they’re a little off. They may not fit entirely wrong, but they definitely don’t fit the same as the same size mattress from back home.
On the topic of mattresses, I often wonder why the U.S. and Mexico couldn’t have made more of an effort to match their sizes. And I only say that because the size of mattresses in Mexico is so closely similar to the size of mattresses in the U.S. that it’s almost funny.
So let me show you a comparison:
|Mexican Size||U.S. Size|
|Individual: 39.37” x 74.80”||Twin: 38” x 74”|
|Matrimonial: 53.15” x 74.80”||Full/ Double: 54” x 74”|
|Queen: 59.06” x 74.80”||Queen: 60” x 80”|
|King: 74.80” x 78.74”||King: 76” x 80”|
That’s why I highly recommend coming to Mexico with only the essentials when it comes to furnishing your rental. It could be a waste of money to bring linens that don’t fit your mattress and have to buy new ones anyway.
And that’s the fun of moving to a new country anyway. Learning new quirks like these, and exploring new retailers to start fresh somewhere new!
But it can also be frustrating too. I know how hard navigating a new country can be, not to mention being lost in translation, that’s why we created the Complete Mexico Relocation Guide. An easy to follow course covering the most important basics of moving to Mexico the right way! We even include our directory of contacts across Mexico to help make your move a breeze!