How to Size a Belt for a Man

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To wear one of the best male fashion accessories the right way, you must know how to size a belt for a man. A belt that is too tight will lead to back pain, and one that is too loose will make you appear sloppy and unprofessional.

Some men don’t put much thought into the belts they wear for as long as the accessory keeps their trousers in place. Well, that’s not exactly how it works. It is important to remember that having on an ill-fitting belt, particularly one that is too tight around the waist, can lead to health dangers.

Wearing a belt correctly means wearing one that fits. This tells people that you’re someone who knows his clothes and puts effort into looking his best. If you just realized that you have been committing fashion faux pas since you started wearing belts, read on and get enlightened.

Knowing Your Belt Size

If all these years, you’ve been borrowing your dad’s belt, and you’re wondering why it doesn’t fit that well, it’s probably because it is not the right size for you. It may seem like it is, but remember that, in fashion, you must know the exact measurements of the clothes you’re wearing before you actually wear them.

A half an inch difference is all it takes for an accessory to ruin your entire look, so don’t risk it. In some cases, a person can know his size but still be in the dark about what the right fit is.

Male fashion basics aren’t really all that hard to take in. Whether you choose a belt that’s formal or casual, at the end of the day, it is your personal preference that should win out. The size, however, is not negotiable.

Pants or shorts that don’t fit well are an eyesore, and, more than that, they also make the wearer extremely uncomfortable. Discomfort is definitely not something you want to be feeling when you’re having dinner with friends or attending a formal event. Thankfully, this guide has everything you need to determine the correct belt size.

Belt Sizes

Size labels on belts are the first and most important thing you should understand before picking a belt size. Understanding this concept helps you make the right choice.

Belt Sizing

The standard belt measurements cover a range of sizes for a variety of body types. These standards are being used by the majority of belt manufacturers today. Your awareness of this system goes a long way to help you determine the right belt size for you.

Waists that measure 26 to 30 inches would fall under the S or small category; 32 to 44-inch waistlines would be covered by M or medium-sized belts; L or large would cater to those who have 46- to 50-inch waistlines; waist measurements ranging from 52 to 58 inches would be an XL or extra-large; and finally, XXL or double extra-large would be for those with 60 inches and above waist sizes.

Finding out what size fits you just right depends on accurate measurements, so let’s get to it.

How to Size a Belt for a Man

Aren’t you just tired of wearing ill-fitting belts? One of the most frustrating things for a man who’s just getting into fashion is not being able to get his accessories to fit just right. We’ve heard of so many qualities that make a man, and fashion is definitely one of them.

There are two approaches to measuring belt size that can help you determine the perfect size for you.

The First Method

You’ve probably asked yourself the question: is my belt size the same as my pant size? The answer to that is a resounding no.

Aside from your waist, your belt also goes around your pants or shorts and a tucked-in shirt. These factors put emphasis on the importance of choosing a belt size that is slightly larger than your pant size or waist measurement.

Method number one dictates that you choose a belt that is at least 2.5 centimeters larger than your waist measurement or pants size. For instance, if you’re a size 30 around the waist, make sure to order or buy a belt that is a size 32.

Belts don’t come in odd sizes, so if you have a 37-inch waistline, go for a size 40 belt.

The Second Method

There’s a good chance you have belts at home that you want to measure. Well, that’s what this second method is for. Simply follow the steps below, and you’re good to go.

  • Measure the belt from the buckle to the most frequently used hole.
  • Compare the above measurement to the nearest belt size.
  • Measure correctly by starting at the buckle’s edge to the center hole. When you fit a belt to the center hole, you’re allowed more flexibility.

Standard belts typically have five holes situated an inch from each other, but other companies may manufacture belts that have six or seven holes. Whatever the case, you must always remember that a size 34 belt should measure exactly that length from the buckle’s edge to the middle hole.

A common mistake when measuring belt size is doing so from end to end. Make sure to avoid this because it’s not going to give you the correct size. Belt measurements are typically found on the back of the belt, so the number you see there will represent the size.

The Belt’s Look Once Its Fastened

It is one thing to find out how to size a belt for a man and another to know if you measured it just right. The look of the belt once it’s fastened should tell you if you sized it correctly.

After putting on the belt, see if there are a few inches sticking out. The length should be enough that you can keep it in place by tucking it under the first belt loop. If the end is too long, then it is going to make you appear sloppy and unkempt. Make sure this doesn’t happen.

The Right Belt Size

Who told you finding the correct belt size was going to be difficult? Well, whoever that person was, make sure to share this article with them. Here are some of the things you can do to ensure that your belt is just the right size.

What part of your waist will you be wearing the belt? Your answer to this question will impact the belt’s fit.

  • If you choose to wear your belt around your waist area, measurements should be done around the belly button area, which is the smallest section of your torso and where your natural waistline is located.
  • If you decide to wear your belt on the hip area, measure around the fuller section of your hips since this is where low-rise jeans tend to land. Don’t size the fullest part of the hip area as it may not give you an accurate measurement.
  • The size should be equivalent to the length between the edge of the buckle and the belt’s middle hole.
  • Pick a belt design you like and order it in a size that matches the belt size category you fall under.
how to size a belt for a man

Customizing Your Belts

If you have a belt that you really love or one that has sentimental value, don’t worry; they can still be part of your fashion ensemble if you have them customized. You can have your favorite belts shortened or tailored to your needs so that you don’t have to throw them away or remove them from your closet.

Here are some of the other changes you can make to your belt:

  • Add holes
  • Alter the size
  • Add accessories

Your belt’s shape can also be customized. However, if you do decide to have it altered, make sure the professional is good and has years of experience. This is a complicated process that can easily fall apart under the wrong hands. Instead of improving your belt, it may end up damaging it.

Shortening Your Belts

There are basically two ways to shorten the length of your belt:

  1. Doing it yourself
  2. Taking your belt to the tailor’s

So which option should you go for? Your decision to shorten your belt depends on whether or not the belt buckle can be detached. The resizing process becomes much easier if this can be done.

If the buckle can’t be removed, then that’s another story. You have to sever the buckle from the belt totally and then bore new holes in it. Cheap belts make resizing a lot of work, and it’s just not worth it. A better decision would be to buy a new belt; after all, you have tons of quality options to choose from.

Shortening your belt’s size yourself can also work; you just have to cut off the section with holes and drill some new ones. You can also do it from the end where the buckle is if you want the tail part to remain as it is. In this case, you will have to put in a bit more effort.

How Your Belts Should Fit

Again, your waistline should not be the only basis for fitting your belt because the accessory doesn’t just go around it; it goes around your clothing items, as well.

The perfect fit should be somewhere in between too tight and too loose. It should be tight enough that it holds your pants in place and have just the right level of looseness so that it doesn’t cause the material to crinkle.

How to Know If Your Belt Is Too Large

So you’ve been working those core muscles for a while now, and your abs are finally making an appearance. The thing is, the fats around your abdomen have disappeared. Not that this is a bad thing, but it will affect how your belt fits you.

A belt that is too big is not flattering at all. Wearing it will make you look unkempt and unprofessional. As soon as this happens, buy a new belt.

Now that you’re fitter and healthier, some of your clothes probably won’t fit you anymore either. Reward yourself for a job well done with a brand new fashion ensemble highlighted by a stylish, perfect-fitting belt.

Issues with Leather Belts

Picking the right size for leather belts works a bit differently. For one thing, you have to consider that leather can stretch and deteriorate in quality over time. If you choose quality leather belts, however, it would take a while, maybe even years, before this starts to happen. This means you have more than enough time to enjoy and get the best value for your belt.

If you don’t want to have to deal with an ill-fitting leather belt that makes you look sloppy, take good care of it. Premium belts are more durable and are made up of high-quality materials, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t immune to wear and tear.

As expensive as your belts are, you must take care of them properly, store them the right way, and clean and maintain them regularly. Lastly, don’t forget to show them off because they’re not just meant to be kept in your closet.


One of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to your belts is to remain uninformed. You could have been wearing the wrong size all these years without knowing any better. You could reason that your belt has too much sentimental value or that you just don’t care too much for belts, or for fashion, in general, to replace it.

Remember that your fashion choices also determine what kind of person you are and the level of effort you put into yourself. Doing things right in this area can help get you far in life.

At the end of the day, great importance should be put on wearing the proper belt size. It’s vital for you to be sufficiently informed on how to size the belt of a man in order to make comfortable and healthy fashion choices. More important than choosing the right style of belt is selecting one that fits you just right.

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