If you’re shopping for a new belt, especially online, it’s important to understand how belts are sized. Finding the right size belt can be a little tricky, since belts are sized differently than pants. However, with a little measuring and the right size chart, you can make sure your purchase fits perfectly.
Understanding Belt Sizing
Although it seems like your belt size should be the same as your pants size, this isn’t the case. Keep these important facts in mind as you shop:
Because you need extra material to go over your clothing and have a small amount of the belt leftover, belts are typically two inches larger than your waist or hip size.
- Belts are sized to the middle hole, and there are usually five holes on a belt. This means that you have quite a bit of flexibility regarding the size you purchase.
- In the United States, belts are measured in inches. However, most European countries measure belts in centimeters.
Three Ways to Find Your Belt Size
Measuring your own waist or hip circumference is the most accurate way to find your belt size. Here’s how to do it:
Put on a pair of pants that fits well and represents what you plan to wear with the belt.
- Take a flexible measuring tape and thread it through the belt loops as you would a belt. Be sure you have the tape measure at the level on your waist or hips where you plan to wear the new belt.
- Note your waist/hip circumference. Add two inches to this measurement to determine your belt size.
Measuring Your Existing Belt
Lay your belt on a flat surface, making sure the buckle isn’t folded. Orient the belt so the buckle is at the left.
- With your measuring tape, measure from the far left end of the buckle to your favorite belt hole.
- Purchase a belt that is this same length or slightly longer.
Using Your Pants Size
Although this method isn’t quite as effective as actually measuring yourself or your belt, it can work well for most men’s sizes and some women’s size.
Find a pair of pants that fit you well and have a numerical, waist-based size, such as 26 inches or 38 inches. Add two inches to this waist size to find the appropriate belt size.
Universal Belt Size Charts
Every brand is a little different, so the best way to know your belt size for sure is to take your measurements. However, these size charts can provide guidelines about the size of belt you should purchase.
Size Chart for Men’s Belts
|Numerical Belt Size||30||32||34||36||38||40||42||44||46||48||50|
|General Belt Size||XS||S||M||M||L||L||XL||XL||2XL||3XL||4XL|
|Waist Circumference (inches)||26.5-28||28.5-30||30.5-32||32.5-34||34.5-36||36.5-38||38.5-40||40.5-42||42.5-44||44.5-46||46.5-48|
|Length of Existing Belt (inches)||28-30||31-32||33-34||35-36||37-38||39-40||41-42||43-44||45-46||47-48||49-50|
Size Charts for Women’s Belts
|Numerical Belt Size||28||28-30||31-32||33-35||36-37||38-39||40-42|
|General Belt Size||XS/Petite||S||M||L||XL||2X||3X|
|Waist Circumference (inches)||Up to 26||26-28||28-30||31-33||34-35||36-37||38-39|
|Length of Existing Belt (inches)||Up to 28||28-30||31-32||33-35||36-37||38-39||40-41|
Getting the Perfect Fit
Taking the time to measure yourself and find your corresponding belt size can ensure the perfect fit for this important accessory. You’ll look great in your new belt, and you’ll know your size in case you need to order more in the future.