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I believe belt size is determined by the length of the belt when tied using the middle hole of the belt. So a 32 belt can be worn by someone with a 31-33 waist quite easily, just by adjusting which belt hole you use. A 34 belt is probably not going to fit your 31 waist, but if it did, you would be using the last hole on the belt, which doesn't really look that great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I believe belt size is determined by the length of the belt when tied using the middle hole of the belt. So a 32 belt can be worn by someone with a 31-33 waist quite easily, just by adjusting which belt hole you use. A 34 belt is probably not going to fit your 31 waist, but if it did, you would be using the last hole on the belt, which doesn't really look that great.
Shouldn't it always be on the middle hole? I have a 32 belt and the middle hole is just a tiny bit tight. I have a 34 belt and the middle hole is just a bit loose, loose meaning the belt moves up and down easily.
 

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If you choose to wear your trousers below your waist, which many people choose to do, you need a size larger than your waist size. From my years in the clothing business I can tell you that most men think their waist size is smaller than it is. In part this is the result of the fact that if you wear a belt an inch or even two inches smaller than your waist your stomach muscles contract and you can be comfortable if you like a tight fitting belt. As is the case with many aspects of clothing, personal preference is part of the answer.
Paul Winston
www.chipp2.com
 

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If you can't try/buy a belt in stores, then I find it is best to take a tape measure and measure around the waist of a pair of pants while you are wearing them. Measure where you would wear the belt. That measurement should be the belt size you order.
 
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