belt size how to measure belt size

The belt size is as important as the clothing itself and it should be taken as seriously. A belt may be a small accessory but it’s an important part of fashion. A belt may be worn with both formal and informal clothes. A well-fitting belt adds something extra to your look, depending on how you wear it. When we talk about fashion, the details matter. And when it comes to belts, size definitely matters. If your belt size is too big, it will look sloppy. If it’s too small, it will be uncomfortable, therefore it is important to understand how belts and sized and how to measure your belt size to get a belt that fits you well.

Have you ever bought a belt that was the wrong size because you didn’t know what your belt size was or how to measure belt size? If this is the case, you are not alone; many people are unaware of their belt size all of the time. Knowing your belt size before purchasing is the best strategy for purchasing the correct size. So, how do you ensure that you receive the right fit the next time? Here’s a quick and simple approach to measuring belt size.

We will explain how to measure belt size in detail to get you the perfect fitting belt but here is the summary in case you don’t want to read through the length of this guide

Things to consider while buying a belt

  1. Know the use of a belt i.e. formal, casual, etc.
  2. Know the style of belt you need before you select a belt
  3. Length of the belt is just one parameter
  4. Width and buckle style should also be taken care of
  5. Measuring your waist is the best way to get your belt size
  6. Your pant size is not your belt size
  7. In most cases belt size is one size up to your pant size meaning belt size is equal to pant size + 2″
  8. You can use your existing belt to know your belt size
  9. If you can’t find your belt size then you can order custom size belt online

Before we dig into the details of measuring belt size there are a few things about belts that need your attention. We will briefly touch them in the section below before moving to the details of measuring belt size

What is a Belt

A belt is a strap made with soft and flexible materials like leather, cloth, or leatheroid, It’s used as a clothing accessory and in most cases is worn around the waist or below. It consists of two main parts, the buckle, and the strip. The buckle is used to secure the free end of the belt in a looped shape. Though belts are made in different styles, lengths, and widths but the most critical feature is belt length.

History of Belts

Belts have a long history as humans are using belts since the bronze age according to the trends and needs of the time. However, its use was more common among men especially those serving in the military as officers. Belts were usually worn for decoration and utility purposes till the early 20th century.

In the 1920s belt loops were added to trousers and men started to wear belts as part of clothing accessories, now use of belts is changed from a utility item to a fashion accessory. There are different types of belts available these days based on the use of a belt.

Anatomy of Belts

Modern belts consist of two main parts the strap and the buckle.

Usually, the strap has punch holes and a loop attached to it near the buckle. There are 5 punch holes in a belt. The middle hole is the whole where the belt fits perfectly. Other holes allow flexibility to tight or lose the belt.

The loop is called a keeper loop and it is used to secure the free end and stops its flapping around. Normally the end tip of the belt can be plain or have a metal attachment depending upon the style and use of the belt. Both are popular as we speak.

A standard buckle has 3 parts, the frame, the prong, and the bar.

The bar is a sort of base of the buckle where the strap of the belt is sewn to attach it to the buckle. The prong is also attached to the bar in a way that it can move freely up and down.

The frame of the buckle is the outer circumference, and the free end of the belt goes inside the frame.

A prong is a needle-type metal part that goes inside a punched hole to lock the belt.

Now buckles can be of different types and shapes. The buckle can be permanently attached to the strap or it can be removable

The below image explains the belt’s anatomy in detail

Belts Anatomy

Types of Belts and their uses

There are many different types of belts, from leather belts to cloth belts each with its own history and purpose. Some are worn on the chest some on the belly and others on the waist. However, the most common type of belt we know today is the waist belt. Since our article is about measuring the size of the waist belt therefore we will keep our attention to this type of belt only. The waist belts have two broad categories, formal and casual.

Formal Belts

Formal belts are used for formal suits, and dress pants, to have formal or professional attire. These belts are worn for different formal ceremonies, such as weddings, funerals, graduations, and other events that require the most formal yourself. These belts are usually made with different types of leather with tight grain. Formal belts have narrow widths usually 28–32 mm or 1.1 inch to 1.25 inches wide. The width is kept narrow to fit through narrow loops on suit and dress pants. These belts have a metal buckle, fine stitching, and tapered tips. And have shiny straps with smooth leather on the back. Dress Belts are the belts that fall in this category.

Casual Belts

The casual belts are usually worn as daily wear with shorts, jeans, and chinos. These belts are made of nylon, leather, canvas, or leatheroid having a textured look. Casual belts are wider and thicker than formal belts usually 35- 42 mm or 1.38 – 1.65 inches. They have thinker stitching with bar tacks and antiqued finished buckles. Canvas Belts, Braided Belts, D- Ring Belts, Studded Belts, Sueded Belts, and Thin leather belts are the few that fall into this category.

How belts are sized – Belt Size Chart

Belt sizes are measured in inches or centimeters based on different countries or brands. Some brands also categorize them on a size scale from XXXS to XXXL. Belts are broadly categorized into 3 age group categories, Kids, Boys, and Men. We will explain how belts are sized for each of the groups.

Belt sizes for kids

Kid’s belt sizes are based on age starting from age 4 to age 12. The size starts from 56CM / 22 Inches and goes up to 76CM / 30 Inch. The table below explains how belts are sized for kids

Kids Belt Sizes 

Age (Years)Belt Size (Inches)Belt Size (CM)
4-6 Years22 inch56cm
7-10 Years26 inch66cm
12-16 Years30 inch76cm

Belt sizes for boys

Boy’s belt sizes range between 2XS to XL. The size starts from 54CM / 21 Inch and goes up to 80CM / 31 Inch. The table below explains how belts are sized for boys

Size (Generic)Belt Size (CM)Belt Size (Inches)
2XS54 cm21 Inch
XS59 cm23 Inch
S64 cm25 Inch
M69 cm27 Inch
L75 cm29 Inch
XL80 cm31 Inch

Belt size charts for men

Men’s belt sizes range between 3XS to 2XL. The size starts from 71CM / 28 Inches and goes up to 127CM / 31 Inches. The table below explains how belts are sized for men

XXXS72 cm28 Inch
XXS77 cm30 Inch
XS82 cm32 Inch
S87 cm34 Inch
M92 cm36 Inch
M97 cm38 Inch
L102 cm40 Inch
L107 cm42 Inch
XL112 cm44 Inch
XL117 cm46 Inch
XXL122 cm48 Inch
XXL127 cm50 Inch

Is Belt Size Same As Pant Size?

Pant size and belt size are two different things. The belt size is not the same as the pant size. As a general rule belt size is normally 2 inches larger than pant size. There are a few general guidelines that can help you determine which belt size to purchase.

First, it’s important to know your waist size. This is the measurement around your natural waistline and is the basis for most pant sizes. Once you know your waist size, you can use a conversion chart to determine your belt size. Generally speaking, you should purchase a belt that is two inches larger than your pants size. So, if you wear a size 34″ pants, you would purchase a size 36″ belt. See our guide about belt size vs pant size. However, keep in mind that belts can vary in width, so you may need to experiment a bit to find the perfect fit.

3 Methods to measure your belt size

Belts are unquestionably one of the most popular accessories, particularly among males. However, people continue to struggle with measuring belt sizes and finding the correct fit. To make matters worse, a fast Internet search will only add to your confusion, as different brands employ different methods to calculate belt sizes. Fortunately, there are numerous solutions to this problem, which we will demonstrate in our belt size guide.

You can find your perfect belt size with these three easy methods

Measure your waist with an adjustable cloth tape measure to know your correct size

Measuring the circumference of your waist with a tape measure is the most accurate way to determine the optimal size of belt. You will need a pant that fits you well, measuring tape, and a mirror for this waist measurement method.

Step 1: Put on the pant that fits you well or you want to wear with the new belt. Tuck in the shirt on the safer side. Pant should be in the same position where you normally wear the pant.

Step 2: Now circle the tape around your waist by weaving tape measure through the belt loops of the pant.

Step 3: Now pull the tape snugly so that it is comfortable around your body.

Step 4:  Now stand in front of the mirror, note the measurement on the tape, and round the measurement to the nearest inch.

Step 5: Check the belt sizing guide to know the right size belt for you

You can also use any kind of flexible thread or ribbon to measure around your waist or hip, Just mark the spot after it goes around your hips or natural waist. Then measure its length with a normal measuring scale.

measure your waist
Image Credit: Wikihow

Measure a current belt to determine belt size

You can use a belt you already have to know the correct size of your belt. To measure a belt you will need a measuring rule or tape and of course a belt to measure

Step 1: Wear your belt to identify the belt hole where the belt fitsbest.Alternatively, you can examine the belt to identify a hole where the belt has the most wear and tear, bend, or crease marks. It should be the hole you use most

Step 2: Lay your belt on a flat surface 

Step 3: Measure the length from the inner side of the belt buckle to the hole you identified in step 1.

Step 4: Check the sizing chart to choose the size corresponding to the length you measured in step 3

Measure Belt Size

Determine your belt size based on pant or trouser size

It may not be an accurate method but it is a shortcut to knowing your size of you belt. The general rule of thumb to know size of belt is to simply add 2 inches to your pant size. Or in other words, It is one size up of your pant size For example, if you wear size 38 pants then the size belt you need is 40, You can also use a tape measure where you will be wearing your belt, that number is where the center hole of the belt will fit

Order a Custom Size Belt

Sometimes finding a fit-size belt can be difficult because of many reasons, like you have extraordinary body features that don’t fit in regular sizing or you want a specific brand or style that doesn’t offer your size. In such cases, you can order a custom belt made to your size. There are many companies that will make you a belt according to your size. Obscurebelts is one example of such companies.


There is no one-size-fits-all belt sizing formula that works for everyone and every combination. The simplest and most accurate way to determine what size belt you should get is to measure your hip or waist, or the belt you presently wear. You can take shortcuts by using your pant size and adding a couple of inches to it but it will not be that accurate. Different brands measure the belt’s size differently however the most authentic method to measure the size of the belt is to measure the length from the inner side of the buckle to the middle hole of the belt.

Belts come in a variety of styles and every style has a specific use you may consider it as well before buying a belt.

Similar Posts