Proper Belt Size

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CaptChaos, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. CaptChaos

    CaptChaos Senior member

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    Is it true that you are supposed to go up one size from your pant size to get your correct belt size? For example, I wear 32 inch waist pants so should I be buying 34 inch belts?

    I know this seems like an unusual question but I haven't been able to the the original source of this information and where else to ask than the Styleforum? I think it had something to do with having sufficient length at the tail so it would go past the first belt loop.

    Thanks.
     


  2. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    When you try on the belt, the end should extend about 1 1/2" past the keeper.

    In my experience, that will normally be true of belts that are sized the same as your trousers.
     


  3. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The other standard is: a belt that fits you buttons at the third button.
     


  4. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Standard belts are made with 5 holes, each 1" apart. A 34" belt should measure 34" from the far end of the prong (shaft in center of the buckle) to the center hole. Hence, if your trouser size is 34" you should buy a 34" belt. In the billet, there should be an additional 2-3" of plain belt without holes between the tip and the holes ... at least enough to pass through the keeper(s) and show a bit of belt beyond them. [​IMG] Some manufacturers use 6 or 7 holes, but the principle of middle or one off from middle (in the case of six holes) should still apply. If the belt is sized to the first hole, the manufacturer is cheating by conserving on canvas webbing, leather, alligator, or (eech.) vinyl. This is not uncommon and is wherefrom derives the myth you cited.
     


  5. bch

    bch Senior member

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    I have always found that my belt size is 2" larger than my waist measurement. Right now, I have a 32" waist, and wear a 34" belt. I also have 36" belts that I wore when I was a 34".
     


  6. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    Not all belt makers seem to label their belts the same. I have a 31.5" waist and most of my belts that fit at the center hole are 34 belts. But I have bought 34s that were way too long and 32s that were short.

    The easiest solution for me--buy a 34 or longer belt, then have my shoe repair shop cut it down to size (from the buckle end) for $10. I've gotten great deals on 38" belts from Bluefly and cut them down to size.
     


  7. bch

    bch Senior member

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    Wow, I had never thought to do this. Many times I've passed up a belt for want of the right size. Great tip.
     


  8. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    This strategy also works well for me.
     


  9. Etruscan

    Etruscan Senior member

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    I would have thought everyone must know about this, but certainly it's a trick well worth adding to one's repertoire. Over the years I've acquired many handsome but over-large belts at good prices that my cobbler then trims down to size for me. (And he charges only $2.50 for this service.) Now if only there were some way to lengthen a too-short belt. Whoever figures out how to do that should win the Nobel prize, but whether for peace or economics I don't know.
     


  10. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

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    How does he re-attach the buckle?
     


  11. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I always wondered if this could be done. I just didn't know where to take it to find out. It seems like it should be pretty simple to cut the end and sew it back around the buckle at the right length. I'll have to ask around my area.
     


  12. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    It's a very simple job. Just about any shoe repair place can do it. You simply undo the stitches holding the belt together over the buckle, cut a new hole for the prong at the shortened location, then cut off the excess leather and stitch the belt back together. If you are only shortening it by a small amount, the original hole for the buckle prong will "show" on the back of the belt, but nobody ever sees that.
     


  13. bch

    bch Senior member

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    What about the stitching holes from the belt keeper? Don't they cause a problem?

    If you buy long with the intention of shortening, would you advocate buying a belt 4" too long rather than merely 2" too long, assuming both are available?
     


  14. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    The stitching holes from the belt keeper end up either behind the keeper, or in the excess part that gets cut off. You can move things around to avoid the old holes being directly below the place where the new stitches are being applied if that's what you are thinking.

    Assuming both sizes were available at the same price I'd probably get the longer one so that the old stitches and hole would be cut off, but that's a minor aesthetic issue and not one that would affect shortening.
     


  15. AskAndyAboutClothes

    AskAndyAboutClothes Senior member

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    Belt sizes are two inches wider than your waist size in even numbers. So if your waist measurement is 34 you buy a 36 belt. Belts are sold only in even number sizes. If your waist is an odd number, 33 for example, it's better to go up one notch to a 36 belt and not the 34.

    The buckle tongue should fit into the center hole (usually #3 since most belts have five holes) so that the tail ends up just past the first loop on your pants.

    Andy
     


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