HOW TO MEASURE BELT SIZES
The only proper and logical way to measure belt sizes is from the inner edge of the buckle, where belt buckle and buckle pin meet, to the middle hole (usually there are 5 holes). If belt size and hip size coincide (or waist size depending on where you want to wear the belt), the belt will have the right size needed to apply it exactly one time around your hip so that you can pull the buckle pin through the middle hole. Voilà, the perfect fit.
In case you are wondering why there are several holes or why you should measure to the middle hole, here are the answers: The variety of holes gives your body some room for changes and allows you to wear the belt at different levels of your waist or hip without forcing you to buy a new belt constantly.
Additionally, it also leaves you with just the right amount of belt to pull through the loop without having the end of the belt hang down loosely. Ideally, you will be left with about 15-17cm/5.9-6.7in of length from the middle hole to the end of the belt.
Alternative Measurement Techniques
Some brands measure the belt size from the outside part of the buckle, from the middle of the buckle pin, from the beginning of the leather strap, to the first hole or to the last hole. All of these options leave you with wrong measurements and will inevitably lead to unsatisfying purchases.
FOUR WAYS TO FIND YOUR BELT SIZE
All nice and good but you are probably still wondering how to identify your personal perfect belt size. Here are four straightforward methods:
A Flexible Tape Measure is Your Best Friend
The most accurate way to determine your belt size is to thread a flexible tape measure through the belt loops of your pants (as you would with a belt) and mark the spot where the tape reaches exactly one time around your hip. Pick the belt size which is closest to your hip circumference. Remember to put on a pair of pants which fits you well and represents what you plan to wear. Note, that the thickness of the pants material can influence the measurements.
Don’t Have a Flexible Tape Measure? – No Problem.You can also get creative and thread any kind of cord, cable, or ribbon through the belt loops, mark the spot where it goes all around your waist or hip exactly one time, and then measure this distance with a regular tape measure.
Use One Of Your Old Belts
You can also get your belt size with your current belt even if it does not fit perfectly: simply use a measuring tape or a folding rule to measure the length from the inner end of the buckle to the hole or spot (for braided belts, there are no holes) which fits you most comfortably - it will likely be the spot to show the most wear and tear. Should the first hole (or the last) show the most wear as seen on the subsequent illustration you should double-check whether this is the spot that fits best or whether the belt would ideally fit even tighter (or looser), which means that you would need to adjust your measurement accordingly.
Looking for a Shortcut? - Use Our Conversion Chart
Even though this method is less effective than the other two options, as waist size can vary from brand to brand, it can work well for most men’s sizes. You just need to know the waist size of one of your jeans which fits you well and the chart will tell you which belt size to choose. The reason why the belt size is always a little bigger than the hip circumference is the thickness of the material of your pants. Please note that this method is not suited for women.