How To Measure A Belt For An Impressive Fit

February 15, 2022
by Dan Skewes
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This feels like an unspoken rule in adulthood, or just in life in general… But finding the right belt size is often pretty tricky - and it can even be pretty confusing. People will usually make the common mistake of thinking that your belt should be the same size as your waist, although this is not the case. 

Before you shop around for a new belt, you must understand how to measure a belt and how belt sizes work. This is especially important if you are buying a new belt online.

Indeed, the most common mistake people make when it comes to buying a belt is that they will use the pants waist size as the belt size - and these measurements are two very different things. Let us be clear: your belt size will not be the same as your pants. 

Here, we have outlined everything you need to know about how to measure a belt and, most importantly, how to measure your belt size.

How Do Belt Sizes Actually Work?

An important myth that we are here to bust is that your belt size is not your waist size, nor is it the same as your pants size. You will definitely be wondering what your belt size is measured against now… 

As a general rule, the belt size is measured from the end of the belt buckle to the hole in the middle of the belt. The belt size will usually exclude the measurements of the buckle.

In the US, belt sizes will use inches, whereas most European countries will measure a belt to size in centimeters. You should find that your belt will be stamped at the back, and it will also be commonly labeled with its size (for example, 32, 34, 36, 38) for the American sizing standard. 

It is important to note that you need to determine your perfect belt size by finding a belt 2-3 inches larger than your pants size. This is important because you will tend to use belts around your pants and not around your waist.

Related: The 6 Best Men's Dress Shirts For Any Occasion [Style Guide]

Men’s Belt Sizing

You will most likely find that men's belt sizing is much easier to determine than determining women's belt sizing. So, if you have an existing belt but are really unsure what the size is, you can just measure it correctly so that you can see the correct size.

By doing this, you will find the size that is the closest to the measurements of your belt size.

The belt sizes for men will usually be labeled in inches; however, some brands might be offering even-number sizing, which can sometimes be limited to the consumer.

Men who have smaller or broader waists might find it challenging to pick out the correct belt size in clothes stores, as most will sell generally sized belts.

Women’s Belt Sizing

How To Measure A Belt with tape measure

When it comes to finding the correct belt size for a woman, this is annoyingly not as easy as finding a man's belt that is the correct size. As we said before, you will add 2-3 inches onto your pants size for men. However, for women, this is not the case.

Women's belts are sized not just based on waist measurements; yeah, women can't pick out a 30, 32 or 34 belt. So their belts come in 10, 12, 14 instead!

It is important to mention that women's belts are actually labeled with a general size ranging from small to large, and some brands have a wider variety than this. 

How To Measure Your Belt Size

So, if it wasn't blindingly obvious, the best way to know your belt size with confidence is to measure around your waist where your belt will typically sit. If the measurement ends up being an odd number, then you should just consider getting the next size up. 

It is especially important to note that you should not measure the belt's buckle when you measure for your belt. This will result in a measurement that ends up being inaccurate, and this will instead give you a little longer belt, which is also the right size for you. 

There are a few different ways that you can measure for your belt. First of all, you can just measure your own size. You can do this by using a tape measure, and you should measure in the hip area as this is where your belt will usually sit. This is the most accurate way to determine your belt size.

Alternatively, you could measure an existing belt to help you determine your belt size. Obviously, you will need to select a belt to measure that fits you nicely because this will be the best way to work out your belt size fully. 

When you do this, you need to make sure that you put your belt on an even surface, and all the sides need to be flat on the surface from the buckle to the end of the belt. 

Or, you could measure your pants to try and find out your correct belt size. Here's the thing, this method is the least accurate kind of measuring method, and you should only really rely on this method if you are in a hurry. 

This method can serve you well in a rush, and this can work reasonably well for men's belt sizes and some women's belt sizes. You might be more drawn to using this method because it is pretty straightforward.

In Conclusion

On the whole, many things are important to remember when you are trying to work out your perfect belt size. We have outlined a full range of ways that you can find your perfect belt size just by using a measuring tape.

Getting the perfect fitting belt might seem daunting and confusing - but hopefully, we have proved to you that this is not the case. 


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