The best method to measure your "belt size"
When ordering a belt on-line, the best way to assure the proper fit is to measure one of your existing belts that fit you well. To do this, carefully stretch out the belt on a flat surface, and using a measuring tape, measure from:
- where the buckle attaches to the belt, to...
- ...the hole on the belt that fits you best (this will be the loosest, or most stretched out hole)
That is your belt size. If you anticipate a change in your waist size (we all trend larger), you can add or subtract one inch from this measurement. Your new belt should be based upon this measurement.
On your new belt, that same dimension will be the measurement from where the buckle attaches to the center hole of the new belt.
From this center hole - most belts have two punched holes longer (at one inch increments) and two punched holes shorter (at one inch increments); this arrangement gives you the widest relevant range in adjusting your belt.
Here's how to convert centimeters to inches:
30" = 76cm
36" = 91cm
40" = 102cm
Unit converter here
If the Measurement from buckle to middle hole is… and it fits you really well..
29.1" - your belt size is 28 equivalent to XS
31.5" - your belt size is 30 equivalent to XS
33" - your belt size is 32 equivalent to S
35.4" - your belt size is 34 equivalent to M
37" - your belt size is 36 equivalent to L
39.4" - your belt size is 38 equivalent to XL
40.9" - your belt size is 40 equivalent to XXL
Alternative measurement standard? While the methodology described above, has remained the standard in the world of belt manufacturers and haberdashers for decades, a minority of manufacturers/vendors include the length of the buckle in their measurement. At first this may appear to be logical since the throw of the buckle (internal length of the buckle), adds to the effective length of the belt around your waist. However, since buckles vary in size, shape and length, including the length of the buckle adds another variable to the measure of belt size; a belt's length would depend on which buckle your wearing. If this were the industry standard, how would you measure belt straps? Although this alternative measurement is flawed, some manufacturers use it. Since some manufacturers use an alternative measurement standard, if you have any doubts ask the manufacturer of the belt that you are interested in buying.
Do belts stretch out over time? Should I order a belt that will stretch over time to the correct size? Well, yes and no. While leather does stretch over time, a premium quality belt would take a year or more of daily use to potentially stretch up to one-quarter of an inch.
(article source: ebay.com; image source: picsbox.biz, ebay.com, pinterest.com/jazzietara, pinterest.com/bondilife, kugati.com)
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