Should Belt Size Match Pant Size? 2022 Sizing Guide

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Should belt size match pant size? If you’re looking for the answer to this question, you’re not alone. Belts are a crucial accessory to any outfit. However, choosing the perfect belt can be a challenge. A leather belt that is not the right size could make your look messy, or result in an uncomfortable feeling all day. 

The best way to find the right size will be to measure before purchasing. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary for measuring yourself for a new belt from beginning to finish, so that way you don’t face any surprises when your brand-new custom-made belt is delivered to you.

Should Belt Size Match Pant Size

The size of your pants isn’t the same as your belt size. The most frequent mistake that people make when purchasing the right belt is to assume that the size of their belt is the same as the size of their pants. However, this is usually not the case.

Since the fabrics modern clothes are constructed from are prone to stretching and changing shape, clothes manufacturers typically employ a vanity size.

What Size Belt Should I Get?

black belt

The most common rule of thumb for belt sizes is to take your current men’s pant size and add two inches. This formula is considered to be highly reliable.

belt size = men’s pant size plus 2 inches

If the size of your pants is 32, you need to purchase a belt that’s size 34. If your pant size is 34, you’ll need to purchase the size 36 belt. In the case of 36, purchase 38-inch belts, and so on. The reason you purchase a belt size larger than the size of your pants is to leave yourself a couple of inches of room if your body’s shape alters.

Because of the huge differences in the sizes of clothing brands, we do not recommend using the same simple formula to determine your proper size belt. The best method is to always measure yourself before buying an additional belt. And remember, new leather belts usually fit snugly at first, after which they warm up and mold to your body as you use them. 

The ideal size belt fits comfortably in the center hole. You can also add extra holes if your waist size is changing.

Belt Size Chart

Belt SizeRecommended ForBody Measurement (inches)
34Men’s US jean size 31-3232.5-37.5
36Men’s US jean size 33-3434.5-39.5
38Men’s US jean size 35-3636.5-41.5
40Men’s US jean size 37-3838.5-43.5
42Men’s US jean size 39-4040.5-45.5

How to Measure Your Body for Belt Size

  • For determining your body’s perfect size belt, begin by threading a tape to measure the belt loops on your jeans, trousers, or slacks. It is important to sit in a comfortable, relaxed position. Do not stretch out your stomach or pull it in while taking the measurement.
  • The measuring tape must be secure. In inches, measure and turn to the closest inch.
  • If you do not have a flexible measuring tape, try using a length of string or twine to draw the line by using the measurement method of the cloth tape.
  • Set the string/twine down on a flat surface. Then place your measuring tape on top of the twine or string. This will determine the correct size belt.

What to Do if You Don’t Have a Belt

Choose an appropriate pair of pants that fit comfortably and then add 2 inches to the waist measurement on the tag to determine the belt size. For example, if you wear 36 waist pants, purchase a 38″ belt size.

If you own multiple sizes of pants, we suggest taking measurements of your current belt according to our first option’s instructions. Please note that jeans tend to fit big. We suggest wearing them with dress slacks and khakis. It’s typical for size 36 men to be able to fit into size 34 jeans.

How Are Belts Sized?    

The measurements of a belt are calculated from the point where the belt connects with the buckle and then to the hole in its middle. In general, it is 15cm between the middle hole and the top of the belt. We do not consider the length of the buckle in our measurement.

Top 3 Methods of Finding Belt Size

1. Take Your Measurements

Should belt size match pant size

Measuring the circumference of your waist (using a tap where your belt is usually placed) is the easiest and most precise method of determining your ideal size belt.

  • When measuring, make sure to wear the bottom (pants or jeans/joggers) you intend to wear with your chosen belt.
  • The measuring tape should be looped over your body exactly in the place you wish to wear the belt. Make sure that the tape is at an even level with your hips or waist.
  • Take note of your waist circumference, then add 2 inches to this size to determine the length of the belt.

2. Measure a Favorite Belt

Measuring a belt that is well-fitting involves just one simple process.

  • Straighten the entire length of the belt flat on level ground, then stretch it out from the buckle to the end.
  • With a measuring tape, take measurements of the distance from one side of your garment to the next. For this example, beginning from where you’ve reached, you have to cover the belt’s end material located on one end to the hole in the belt that you typically use at the other end.
  • When measuring the belt, be sure to take measurements only from the point where the edge of the belt is in contact with the buckle and not from the length of the buckle. This can cause the measurement to be off, leading to an inaccurate result.

3. Measure Your Pants

measuring pants

While not as precise as the other two methods, if you’re in a rush, this method could be an effective approximate method of determining the size of your belt. This will work for all belt sizes for males – and even some women’s sizes. This method offers the benefit of being the most simple.

  • Look for pants that suit well, and determine the waist measurement in inches. For example, 32, 34, etc.
  • Simply add 2 inches to figure out the size of your belt.
  • If this approach appears a bit unclear, you may want to use one of the options above or consult these belt sizes charts.

How to Measure a Current Belt

A belt that fits well (not curving and not stretched) that you already have is the most effective way to gauge the belt’s size.

  • Place the belt on a smooth, clean surface.
  • Begin the tape measure in the hole that you are currently using and then measure up to the edge of the belt where it joins with the buckle (not the end of the buckle).
  • Belt length is measured in inches. You must round up the number you get to the nearest inch.
  • If you are measuring 36 inches, then you’ll need to buy an appropriate dimensioned 36-36 belt. If you’re taking measurements of an old belt that has already been contoured (has an arc at the rear) on your physique, it is recommended to use the “cloth tape measure” method below to determine the right measurement.
  • If the belt you are wearing is curly, it may be difficult to obtain an accurate measurement for your brand-new one.


There is no “right” or “wrong” width for a belt. More importantly, other items of clothing and your environment determine which belt to choose. If you intend to wear it with casual jeans for men and a wide belt might be the best option. 

A wider belt which we can loosely refer to as one that is 1-3/8″ inches wide or greater, will enhance the rugged look of denim. Also, a belt that is wider than denim looks perfect with a classic flannel t-shirt with a striking plaid as well as a striking button-down in chambray. It’s a classic, solid masculine style.

However, the same size belt that is worn with a suit may appear bulky and could obstruct the sleek lines of an outfit. You should instead think about wearing a belt that is the “dress size.” In general, it’s an area of 1-3/16″ inches or lesser. It might seem like an insignificant difference on paper, but a proper belt fit creates a stark visual contrast. 

Due to the thinner size, a dress belt is a perfect fit with the belt’s waistline, providing a more formal look.

Should belt size match pant size? Now that you’re at the end of this article, you should fully understand the answer to this question. Thanks for reading!

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.