How to Measure Your Belt Size?

How to measure your belt size isn't as easy as it looks. You may try to go to a store, put on different belts and see how they fit you. But, that's not going to work perfectly all the time . Why? Because your belt size depends on the length of pants, the thickness of jeans or slacks, and the width of hips/waist.

These are just some factors whether or not you should buy a new one.

How to Measure Your Belt Size 

Use a Tape Measure

Clothe measuring tapes have a design with larger and wider hook ends you can pull around an object for an accurate measurement. It is opposed to using a metal measuring tape, which will not fit into the small slots on the tiny buckle.

Measure Around Your Waist (hips/pant size)

Measuring around your hips or pant size in your comfortable position will ensure you get the correct belt length. Add one inch, and this is the minimum size you should order to maintain good function. 

Measure From the Buckle to the Belt's Hole


It is a great way to find your belt size if you know which hole you prefer to fasten your belt. It will ensure that the belt fits comfortably without having excess material or being too tight.

Most belts have seven holes, so it's best to measure from the 2nd to the last hole. That way, you'll have some room to adjust the fit as needed.

Measure From the Buckle to the Belt's Loose End

The most accurate way is to use a ruler and measure from one side of a belt's buckle to the other. It will give you the total length in inches, which you can then divide by half to find your waist size. For example, 52" divided by 2 is 26". So your waist size would be 28″ (but round up or down for best results).

Men leather belt roll

You can also take this measurement around where you plan on wearing your belt (where ever it might sit most comfortably) if it makes more sense for you.

Measure Your Old Belt (or Pants)

Belts came in different hole sizes depending on how long they were supposed to be. So if you have a current belt that fits well, take the old one in with you when shopping for a new one. You can even measure the old belt over your clothes to get an accurate waist size if there is no belt hole at all!

Measuring tape on men's pants

The Width of Your Belt

Belts come in different styles and widths, changing how they fit your hips/waist. Look for belts 1 inch wide or less to ensure comfortability through your pants. A small change can make a big difference!

Belt Lengths Vary Per Style and Brand

Clothing store shelf with different men's belts

Many brands offer different belts with corresponding dips in the middle buckle. Try out some different-sized belts to see what fits best if you're unsure.

Other belts might have holes spaced very close together, which can make for a difficult time finding your size. Give it some time and patience to see what's right for you.

Measure Your Pants' Length (for Dress/Suit Pants)

Tailor measuring pants length

For tailored suit pants or dress pants made to fit your legs precisely, tailors often use the inseam measurement. If you have tailor-made dress/suit pants, ask them how they measure the waist size on their personalized dimensions (pants with no belt loops or belt buckles). 

Different Countries Have Different Sizing

Belts are not one size fits all, as sizing can vary between countries. If you're traveling or moving to a new country, it's best to research the different sizing before making any purchases. There might be subtle differences that you wouldn't expect!

Take Some Time to Try Out Different Belts

Man wearing a belt

The best way to find your perfect belt size is to try different ones! Unfortunately, not all belts are created equal, and the sizing can vary significantly. So go to a few stores, take some measurements, and have fun trying on different styles and sizes until you find the one that's just right for you.

Ten Tips for Buying the Best Belt

Compare Your Belt's Size With Your Pants

Man checking belt size with pants

When you buy your belt, compare the length and width to your pants. It's best to choose belts that will not be wider than your hips or longer than your zipper.

Always Keep an Eye for Buckles

It is crucial to watch where the buckle falls on you while trying on belts for size. Also, you don't want excess material stuck between your pants and waistband when opting for a new one, so remember that!

Don't Forget Your Belt's End

Belt's end

You wouldn't want too much end hanging out over your belt loops, would you. So, make sure you don't forget about the length of the belt when buying for yourself.

Measure Your Waist Before Losing Weight

It is always easy to buy a belt before losing or gaining weight since it is difficult to size yourself down when trying to tighten things up after weight loss. Buying belts in advance has helped many people buy the right size without finding sizes that fit them best at retail stores until they lose enough pounds.

Make Sure There Are No Sharp Edges

Black leather waist belt

There should be absolutely no sharp edges anywhere on the belt, so it does not hurt you when you move around with it on clothes!

Belt Buckles Differ in Shapes and Styles

Different belt buckles have different shapes and sizes depending on brands and style. Therefore, trying out different buckle types is essential to see which one fits you the best.

Hire a Professional or Use a Tailor's Tape Measure

Tailor measuring man's waistline

Get yourself professionally measured to find your accurate waist size when all else fails. For example, if you're looking for a belt that has no holes on it or has tailored dress pants, getting the waist size with a tailor's tape measure is the way to go!

Avoid Belts That Are Too Wide

Belts shouldn't be wider than your hips or longer than your zipper. Avoid getting excess material stuffed in between your clothes and belt loops! It won't look good both on your dress shirt and slacks/jeans.

Choose an Adjustable Belt

Men's belt with buckle

The easiest way is to have a buckle with removable sections, which you can snap in or out of the belt for even more length options. However, these belts are not always available for sale at stores, but they are handy when needed most!

Go For Leather if Possible

Leather belts are almost always more durable than synthetic materials. Although there are many types of leathers out there (semi-aniline, aniline, pigmented), it is essential to know what you're looking for before making a purchase.

When in doubt, ask the store attendant or research the different types of leather before buying!

Different Types of Belt Materials


Men's leather belts in store

A natural material that comes from animal skin. It is durable and ages well over time.


A manufactured material that did not come from natural sources. It imitates the appearance of other materials such as leather. This type of belt is often less expensive but also less durable.


A heavy-duty fabric often used in belts. It is strong and resists wear and tear well.


White and navy blue nylon belts

A synthetic fiber used in belts because of its strong and resisting moisture.


A belt made from metal can be pretty sturdy but also heavy. It is not as common to find these belts, but they are available.


A lightweight material often used in children's belts or costume belts. It is not very durable.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Buying belts that are too big because they will always look better if the length hangs over the pant loops rather than tucked in between them. It's also common not to measure current waist size before trying out different belts at stores!

Man in a suit showing brown leather belt

It is essential to keep all of these tips in mind because your belt is part of your personal accessories. Buying a belt that is the wrong size can be uncomfortable and unflattering. So make sure you measure before purchasing to make your everyday look sharp and fashionable!

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