After a very good experience dealing with Dawn to get leather and buckle samples I'm now about to press the button on what I expect to be the first of quite a few belts but there's one issue I'd like to kick around a bit before going ahead, namely the number of holes to specify. I know that the standard is 7 but I don't really understand, at least for fairly slim guys, why there need to be so many. I've been thinking a bit about how to do the holes and I wonder whether anyone else has given this much thought and what Charlie's thoughts are given all that he's seen from his customer requests.
The following is a lot of thinking out loud but here is the way that some of my thinking has been going...
I'm a 30" waist and have been for about the last 30 years. I really am quite slim so if I sized 30" on the middle hole of seven then that would leave me with the ability to tighten my belt down to a 27" waist. If I ever got down to that waist size then I'd have far more to worry about than my belt being too big because I can only think that I would get that small due to an end-stage terminal illness plus a 7-hole belt on the tightest fitting would probably look quite unbalanced with far too much of the end flapping about so I'd want to replace it anyway. I'm struggling to see the point of having more than one or maybe two holes on the further-tightening side of the measuring hole.
For the expansion side of the measuring hole it's a bit more difficult to judge but with the standard 3 holes of expansion that would let me go up to 33" waist and I don't think I've ever been much above 31.5" so I'm thinking that I might only specify 2 expansion holes. This also gives me an added incentive to not let myself get completely out of shape.
The above is leading me towards specifying 4 holes with the third one from the tip being the measuring hole and leaving me one tightening hole and two expansion holes but then I started wondering about tighter hole spacing to give finer adjustability.
I'm thinking that it might look a bit odd to have uneven hole spacing (if that's even something that Equus would do) so the possibility of having some more tightly spaced holes surrounding the measuring hole (e.g. a tightening and expansion hole 0.5" either side of the measuring hole and then 0.75" or 1" holes after that) might not be a great idea. Also, if one's size changes and the main hole being used moves away from the measuring hole then some or all of the benefit is lost.
Next, what about doing all the spacing on 0.75" holes? On my 4-hole setup that would give me 0.75" of tightening and 1.5" of expansion? Maybe a bit marginal on the expansion capability and would even 0.75" spacing look a bit odd? All my current belts are 1" spacing and that also means that on many of them the second expansion hole is exactly hidden under the keeper so there really only ends up with one hole being visible between the keeper and the buckle.
And finally, what are the options/possibilities of punching extra holes in an existing belt, either oneself or, at a price, by returning it to Equus Leather so that they can use whatever tool or machine is used to punch the original neat holes? This would certainly give an emergency option if I needed to tighten a belt below a 29" waist (although even at under 29" I suspect that would imply that I had pretty serious health problems). It might also give an option, if I did ever fall between two of the holes, to insert an intermediate hole, at least if the original spacing is at 1".
So, after all the to-ing and fro-ing above I'm still coming down to a 4-hole configuration with the measuring hole, one hole to tighten and two holes for expansion.
Has anyone else gone through the same agonising about the hole configuration and, if so, where did you end up. I'm especially interested in small/slim peoples thoughts. (As mentioned, I'm a 30" waist and I maintain a pretty constant 135 lbs weight.)