Updated on July 6th, 2023 at 09:41 pm

You probably don’t buy belts very often. You may have some belts that have been in your closet for 10 or 20 years. Laying out the cash for a new one should be a no-brainer. What other clothing will you purchase today and still be able to wear a decade later?

Buying a new belt sounds like a pretty good investment now doesn’t it? But when the time comes to purchase a new belt, there are a couple of things you should know before you buy online to ensure a perfect fit.

Here’s a clear guide on what size belt to buy:

You need to buy a belt with a width that is two inches larger than your waist size. For example, if your pant size is 32 inches, you need a 34-inch belt. Belts always buckle a few inches before the belt ends.

Making the right choice can be a challenging task. The following tips will help you make an informed decision.

1.     Choose a belt size based on your existing belt

If you don’t have time, this is the surest way to get the right belt size. It’s safer compared to just looking at the waist size indicated on your trousers. The waist size indicated on clothes is not always accurate. Below is how you can do it.

  • You need a tape measure for the following steps.
  • Take a belt that fits you perfectly and measure its whole leather length in centimeters.
  • Subtract 15cm from the measurement. This will give you your actual size of the waist and the right size that you need to order. Here’s an example. If your existing belt measures 100cm, you should order size 85.
  • If your belt is too long or too short, try to add or subtract the same length.

2.     Choose a belt size based on the size of your clothing

To accurately measure the belt size based on your clothing, you need to wear pants that fit you well. Put on a pair of jeans or pants that you frequently wear with a belt. This will help you get a belt that fits well with the pants that you wear regularly.

3.     Make use of a fabric measuring tape

With your pants on, strand a fabric measuring tape through your pants belt troops. Squeeze the two sides together at a place they meet in front. This will be your normal measurement number.

Breathe in and out fully. This will make the measuring tape expand slightly. However, this is important as it allows you to account for some extra room so that the belt doesn’t get too tight when you exhale.

Confirm that the measuring tape is on the bottom of the middle of the belt holes. You can determine the belt size by adding 2 inches to your regular pant size. In this case, if your trouser waist is 36 inches, then the best belt size would be 38.

This is a simple method for pants that you wear at a traditional height near your waistline. If you are looking for a belt to wear with jeans or low-rise trousers, add 3-4 inches of your pant size.

Below is an outline of the pant size to belt size table.

Pant size Belt size
32 34
34 36
36 38
38 40

4.     Consult a universal size chart

Most belts are sold according to size. It can be large, medium, or small. Aside from measurement, you can check a sizing chart to determine the correct size of your belt. Remember, men’s sizes and women’s sizes are different. Women’s size tends to be smaller compared to that of men.

Men’s small belts Women’s small belts Men’s large belts Women’s large belts
30 inch (76.2 cm) 28 inch waist 39 inch ( 91.4cm) 36 inch waist

5.     Get professionally measured for a belt

Struggling to measure your waist alone? Don’t worry because you can get a professional to help you get accurate measurements. Get an associate from a clothing store or a tailor to help you out. You will be sure to get the right measurements without any errors.

You can also get recommendations of professionals from people you know. Another easy way is searching the internet for nearby tailors in your area.

Once you get a professional to help you out, make sure you wear the right pants before going to the tailor. The pants should fit you well to prevent any loose material from adding inches to your initial measurements. Otherwise, your belt might end up being loose. It would help if you avoided pants that fit tightly, as this can make you end up with a small belt.

Let the professional use a fabric tape measure to measure your waist. They will give you instructions on how to stand to find the accurate measurement for your belt. You can now use the measurement number that they give you to order the right belt size.

Other tips for choosing the right belt size

Here are more tips that will help you select the perfect belt size during your shopping.

How will you wear the belt?

It’s important to consider how you are going to wear your belt. Are you going to wear it on thinner fabric or jeans? Will you wear it on your hips or waist? All these areas have different sizes, so you need to consider where you will wear them.

Do I like short tips or long tips?

What is the length of the belt tip once you have buckled it up? You can get a standard size by checking the first 3 holes, which are nearest the tip. This will give you a good length of the tip.

With a chunkier and bigger buckle, you can size the belt to be slightly longer to the middle of the three holes. This makes the belt look better. The tip doesn’t look good when it is too short near the buckle.

Choosing a belt size shouldn’t be a hard task with the proper measurements. Your belt size should be bigger by two inches. If you wear a pant of size 32, then your belt should be 34. When choosing a belt size based on your pant ensure that the pant fits you well. It shouldn’t be too tight or loose.