When buying a belt, it is important to select the correct size based upon an accurate measurement. Your belt size is not the same as your pant or waist size; because your belt goes around you and your pants, your tucked in shirt, and your underwear, your belt size is usually 1 or 2 inches larger than you pant or waist size. The leading manufacturers of quality belts share the same standard for measuring and labeling belt sizes. This measure is based upon the length of the belt strap only, and does not include the buckle.
When ordering a belt on-line, the best way to assure the proper fit is to measure one of your existing belts that fits you well. To do this, carefully stretch out the belt on a flat surface, and using a measuring tape, measure from:
A) where the buckle attaches to the belt,
B) the hole on the belt that fits you best (this will be the loosest, or most stretched out hole) .
Refer to the diagram below (Note: Do not measure to the middle hole; measure to the hole that fits you best):
That is your belt size. If you anticipate a change in your waist size (we all trend larger), you can add or subtract one inch from this measurement. Your new belt should be based upon this measurement.
On your new belt, that same dimension will be the measurement from where the buckle attaches to the center hole of the new belt.
From this center hole most belts have two punched holes longer (at one inch increments) and two punched holes shorter (at one inch increments); this arrangement gives you the widest relevant range in adjusting your belt.
CONVERTING CENTIMETERS TO INCHES:
If you would like some help converting from/to metric, the following table may be of assistance:
1) While the methodology described above, has remained the standard in the world of belt manufacturers and haberdashers for decades, a minority of manufacturers/vendors include the length of the buckle in their measurement. At first this may appear to be logical since the throw of the buckle (internal length of the buckle), adds to the effective length of the belt around your waist. However, since buckles vary in size, shape and length, including the length of the buckle adds another variable to the measure of belt size; a belt's length would depend on which buckle your wearing. If this were the industry standard, how would you measure belt straps? Although this alternative measurement is flawed, some manufacturers use it. Since some manufacturers use an alternative measurement standard, if you have any doubts as k the manufacturer of the belt that you are interested in buying.
2) Do belts stretch out over time? Should I order a belt that will stretch over time to the correct size? Well, yes and no. While leather does stretch over time, a premium quality belt would take a year or more of daily use to potentially stretch up to one-quarter of an inch.
NOTE: If this guide is helpful to you, please click the yes in the blue block at the bottom of the page