What size belt to choose? [Practical guide]

Are you looking to buy a new belt and wondering how to find out what size fits you? Are you looking for a simple, reliable and quick measuring technique that works for both women and men? 

I'll help you out. 

As a fashion enthusiast, I know how essential it is to know how to determine your size, for every type of clothing or accessory. 

Without it, we often buy a product that doesn't fit, that isn't comfortable and that we then have to exchange or resell. That's why, today, I'm offering a practical guide to learning how to measure your belt size. It is for everyone and applies to all types of belts. 

To choose the perfect belt size, you can measure your waist size directly with a tape measure, slipping it through the loops of pants you're comfortable in. You can also measure an old belt, between the buckle and the hole you use. Finally, we also recommend that you pay attention to the thickness of the belt and its material, which should be adapted to your style and your morphology.

Want more details? Read on to find out:

  • How to know whether a belt fits you or not,
  • How to take your measurements to find your accessory size,
  • A simple technique to determine it from an old belt,
  • How to opt for a belt that fits your body type,
  • Other essential things to consider when choosing it: buckle type, material, size...

The belt: simple style element or essential accessory? 

Depending on your taste and body type, there are several reasons why you might want to wear a belt. Let's find out a little more about it in the following lines. 

A chic and trendy detail

Worn over a dress, to cinch it in, the belt allows you toemphasize your waist and lets your feminine curves be guessed. It enhances a plain outfit and brings sophistication to it. This accessory allows you to make a style statement and shows how much attention you pay to the way you dress. 

👉 Wondering what belt to wear with a maxi dress to make it look great? Check out our article on the subject! 

However, it is not always necessary for your clothes to stay in place. In this case, its function is mostly aesthetic and you can afford to choose a size slightly larger than the perfect fit. The main thing is to focus on the visual outcome your outfit will have. 

The belt, a very functional accessory

Do your pants slide down your hips? Do you need to secure the closure of a dress or coat? If so, your belt isn't just for looks: it's mostly very practical. It allows you to be comfortable in your clothes and free to move around. 

In this type of situation, it is imperative to choose the size that fits you, so that the function of your belt is fulfilled. In the following paragraphs, I'll walk you through how to do this. 

How do you know if your belt is the right size? 

To choose an accessory with the right dimensions, it is essential to know how to recognize the perfect belt. Often, we have owned a belt for many years and our bodies have evolved, making it not really fit anymore. 

Here are a few clues that will help determine if your belt needs to be changed:

  • When you put it on, you need to draw in your stomach to close it. 
  • You only buckle it at the first or last hole
  • During the day, you frequently feel your belt and it is uncomfortable or even painful. 
  • At the end of the day, this one leaves marks on your skin that struggle to go away.

👉 If you recognize yourself in one or more of these statements, then it's probably time to change belts!

3 simple and effective methods to know your belt size

Let's get to the heart of the matter: in the following lines, I'll provide you with three techniques to determine your belt size accurately and reliably. 

👉 There are charts that allow you to determine your belt size based on the pant size you wear. However, I wouldn't recommend this technique becausesizes vary greatly depending on brands, countries and of course whether you are a man or a woman. Therefore, the results obtained are not very reliable. 

By directly measuring your waistline

This technique allows you to take your measurements accurately and therefore choose a belt that fits you perfectly. To do this, all you need is:

  • a pant that fits you properly (that doesn't fall down) and has belt loops,
  • a tape measure. 

From there, run your tape measure through the belt loops of the pants. Take measurements between inhalation and exhalation, when your belly is moderately inflated. 

Your belt size is the ten that comes above this reading: for example, if you measured 87 centimeters, you'll need a 90-centimeter belt. 

📏 Don't have a flexible sewing meter? That's okay! Use a string or ribbon. When measuring, you can make a mark with a marker to help you. Then just measure that length flat to get the result you're looking for! 

Measuring from a belt you own

Do you own one or more belts that fit well, but can't remember the size? It's entirely possible to determine it by measuring them. To do this, start at the buckle and measure to the hole where you use the belt most often, even if it's the first or last. The resulting length will give you your belt size. 

When you buy your new belt, don't worry if it looks longer or shorter than your old one: this is because the size of a belt is measured from the end of the buckle to the middle hole, with the holes always being an odd number. So if you were closing your old belt at the last hole, the new one should be bigger. 

👉 To help you better visualize these two simple techniques, I suggest you watch this video tuto, which applies to both men and women:

Asking a seamstress or saleswoman directly

If you go to a specialty shop, the staff is usually trained and able to take your measurements accurately. Don't hesitate to call on them, you might also benefit from valuable advice on styling. 

👉 If you have already measured your belt size with one of the two techniques above, you can simply ask them for confirmation

Other essential criteria for choosing the right belt

When buying a new belt, size is of course the main thing to consider. However, there are other details that can affect how your belt will match your wardrobe and make you look your best. I'll tell you a little more about that in the following. 

Opt for a buckle that's easy to close and in your style

If you get your belt from a specialty store, you'll likely have many buckle designs to choose from. The most classic one is called the barb buckle: it's a basic buckle with a metal element that will fit into a hole to hold the belt. This one is suitable for all styles and is usually the most affordable in terms of price. 

If you are looking for a belt that holds very well, you can opt for a double barb buckle: this means that there will be two parallel rows of holes, which guarantee a good hold. 

If you are a woman and you are looking for a western-inspired belt, for a romantic bohemian style, the flat buckle is what you need.

There are many other variations, such as

  • reversible buckle belt, which can be put on both sides,
  • clip belt,
  • tooth belt,
  • or the automatic buckle that fastens. 

Don't hesitate to try them out to find which one fits you best and you find the most convenient to put on and take off. 

Adopt a belt thickness that suits your body type

The length of your belt is not the only measurement to pay attention to: depending on its thickness, it will give a different style to your outfit. 

If you're a smaller woman and you're looking for a belt for pants, I'd recommend not exceeding 2.5 centimeters in thickness. If it's a belt to put on a dress, to style it, you can afford a wide belt, especially if you have a generous shape. 

If you are a male with an average build (or a slightly tall woman), you can opt for a belt with a thickness between 3 and 4 centimeters. In particular, this is the ideal measurement to wear with a suit. 

Choose a solid and aesthetic material

To finish, here are some tips on how to choose the right material for your belt:

🔸 Leather belts are the most common. There is what is called "full grain leather", which is just right if you are looking for a sturdy, good-looking belt. It costs a little more, but holds up longer over time, which may be worth the investment. 

🔸 Some belts arefabric or rope: they give a more casual feel to your outfit and work well for casual style. 

🔸 Finally, there are many synthetic leather belts today: depending on the quality you choose, they can be fragile as well as very strong. To have a faux leather belt that lasts over time, however, it is necessary to invest a little. These belts also have the advantage of being suitable for people who adopt a vegan lifestyle. 

👉 Regarding the colors, black remains the most classic. However, if you are a woman and have a bohemian chic look, brown natural leather will be perfect. In any case, don't forget to match your belt with another element of your outfit: shoes, bag, etc. 

I hope I've helped youchoose a belt that suits your style and that you can wear for a long time! 

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