Belt Sizes for Men & Women: Charts, Sizing Guide, Conversion

Whether it’s to keep your pants from falling down or to put the finishing touch on an ensemble, a belt can be the most necessary accessory. Finding the right size, however, can be confounding and confusing. Perhaps the most common faux pas committed when picking out a belt is to mistake the size/length in inches labeled on the belt for your pants’ waist size: Waist size and belt size are not identical.

Herein we’ve created a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about belts: how to measure belt size, types of belts, and belt size charts for both men and women. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a black belt in belt sizes!

How to Size Up Belt Size

How Do Belt Sizes Work?

Again, your belt size is not the same as your waist size or even your jeans/pants size. As a general rule, belt size is measured from where the end of the belt meets the belt buckle to the middle hole of the (most often five) pre-punctured holes in the belt. Please note: Belt size usually excludes the measurement of the buckle.

As you might expect, belt size in the US is expressed in inches, while most European countries use centimeters. For American belts, the size is commonly stamped or labeled on the back with the belt size/length in inches – 32, 34, 36, 38, etc.

belt-sizes

Men’s Belt Size

Mens Belt Size

Typically, men’s belt sizes are easier to determine than women’s. Men’s sizes are usually labeled in inches, although some brands offer even-number sizing, which can be a little limiting. Men with extremely narrow or broad waists may have trouble finding the right belt size in off-the-rack shops, which sell only the most popular belt sizes.

Men’s Belt Size Chart

General Belt SizeNumerical Belt SizeWaist Measurement (inches)Length of Belt
(inches)
XS3026.5-2828-30
S3228.5-3031-32
M3430.5-3233-34
M3632.5-3435-36
L3834.5-3637-38
L4036.5-3839-40
XL4238.5-4041-42
XL4440.5-4243-44
2XL4642.5-4445-46
3XL4844.5-4647-48
4XL5046.5-4849-50

Women’s Belt Size

Womens Belt Size

For women, ascertaining belt size is not as cut-and-dried as it is for men. Women’s belts, after all, are not strictly restricted to lengths/sizes in inches such as 30, 32, 34, etc., but may also come in numerical sizes comparable to dress sizes, e.g., 10, 12, 14, etc. Alternatively, belts for women may be labeled with the broad-ranging alpha sizes of extra small (XS), small (S), medium (M), large (L), and extra large (XL), rather than length measurement.

Women’s Belt Size Chart

General Belt SizeNumerical Belt SizeWaist Measurement (inches)Length of Belt
(inches)
XS/Petite28Up to 26Up to 28
S28-3026-2828-30
M31-3228-3031-32
L33-3531-3333-35
XL36-3734-3536-37
2X38-3936-3738-39
3X40-4238-3940-41

Belt Size Conversion Chart

Belt Size Conversion Chart

Americans measure belts in inches, while European countries usually employ centimeters. With this simple chart, you can translate belt sizes back and forth between the continents.

US Belt Size (inches)European Belt Size (centimeters)
32"81 cm
34"86 cm
36"91 cm
38"97 cm
40"102 cm
42"107 cm
44"112 cm
46"117 cm
48"122 cm
50"127 cm

Boys’ & Girls’ Belt Size Chart

Belt sizes for girls and boys are measured quite similarly. Nevertheless, belt sizes can vary significantly, depending on the brand. Accordingly, use the belt size chart only as an approximate guide.

Age/Clothes SizeBelt Size (inches)
7 Slim24
7 Regular26
7 Husky26
8 Slim24
8 Regular26
8 Husky28
9 Slim24
9 Regular26
9 Husky30
10 Slim26
10 Regular28
10X Husky30
12 Slim26
12 Regular28

How to Measure Your Belt Size

How to Measure Your Belt Size

The no. 1 tried-and-true method for finding your most accurate belt size is to simply measure around your waist, where your belt normally sits. If the measurement winds up being an odd number, it’s probably best to upsize to the next largest size available.

Top 3 Methods of Finding Belt Size

1. Take Your Own Measurement

As mentioned, measuring the circumference of your waist with a tape measure around where your belt usually sits is still the simplest, most accurate way to determine your right belt size.

  • When measuring, be sure to wear the bottom (jeans/pants/joggers) that you plan to wear with the belt.
  • Loop the measuring tape around your waist exactly where you want to put the belt on. Keep the tape level around your hip or waist area.
  • Write down your waist circumference, then add 2-3 inches to this size. This is the general rule of thumb for finding your belt size.

2. Measure a Favorite Belt

Measuring an existing belt that fits you well is a quick and effortless way to come up with your belt size.

  • Lay the full, straightened length of the belt flat on an even surface, stretched out from buckle to end.
  • Using a measuring tape, measure from one end to another, in this case, from where the end of the belt material on one end to the belt hole that you normally use on the other end.
  • While measuring the belt, remember to measure only from where the end of the belt meets the buckle and not the width of the buckle, since this will skew the measurement for an inaccurate result.

3. Measure Your Pants

Not nearly as accurate as the other two methods, if in a hurry this shortcut could serve as a quick approximation to arriving at your belt size. As an alternative, it should work for most belt sizes for men – and even some for women. This method also has the advantage of being the easiest.

  • Find the pants that fit you well and identify their waist size in inches, such as 32, 34, etc.
  • Just add 2-3 inches to that size to determine your belt size.
  • If this methodology seems a little fuzzy, fall back on one of the above options or refer to our belt size charts.

Very Important Points About Belt Sizes

  • The belt size should exceed your actual pants or waist size by 2-3 inches to accommodate your pants material. If your pants size is a 36”, you can’t go wrong with a size 38” belt.
  • If your pants/waist size is an odd size, say 27, round up to the next even number size exceeding the 2-inch margin, in this case, a size 30.
  • Belts usually contain five holes in which to stick the prong. A perfect fitting belt should let you stick the prong on the third or middle hole.
  • In the United States, most belt sizes are measured in inches, although some shops also provide alpha sizes XS through XL. Meanwhile, European countries pretty much stick to centimeters in belt measurements.

Different Types of Belts

  • Embossed Leather Belt: stamped with a design or pattern in relief and made of leather, this belt accompanies formal attire.
  • Brown Leather Belt: also appropriate for formal attire; popular for its masculine color.
  • Top-Stitched Belt: adorned with decorative stitching and made from genuine or synthetic leather.
  • Braided Leather Belt: braided design impresses with its rich, textured look.
  • Women’s Thin Leather Belt: offered in a wide array of colors, shapes, and designs, this goes with anything in your closet.
  • Distressed Leather Belt: classic, vintage or overused look that harmonizes with au courant distressed fashion style.
  • Double-Stitched Formal Leather Belt: renowned in western countries for their sleek, formal look; double stitching does double duty as decoration and extra reinforcement against wear and tear.
  • Designer Monogrammed Belts: designer brands are all releasing belts with their monograms on the buckle.
  • Motif Belts: usually handmade belts from traditional materials that accentuate simple styles and solid colors with an overall unified design, such as a tribal pattern.
  • Chain Belt: belts with metal chains or studs originated as an outré self-expression of younger generations and remain fairly trendy.

Aside from their obvious practical functionality, belts can transform the style of an outfit with a subtle nuance or bold statement. Now that you’ve learned how to pick the perfect belt size for you, it will be easier to shop for belts in different designs, colors, styles and materials to express your personal fashion sense. With the right size belt, it’s a cinch!