I was hoping for an answer to this too, since I'm in the same boat and I don't really understand it since everyone says to measure around where your jeans sit and that's your waist size. When I measure around I'm 36 too, but I wear size 33 comfortably. I found my waist size by finding a pair of jeans that fit well and measuring them. Take a measurement of your levis across the waist, aligning the top, and that should be it. I mean, all this sizing info is just to help people who are buying over the internet and can't try them on. If you're in the market for Levi's, just try them on. If they're a little tight initially, they will stretch out. Get whatever's comfortable.