Most of our belts are sized from the buckle fold to the center hole. A size 36" belt will have a center hole at 36 inches and two holes on either side of the center hole, each spaced one inch apart. A size 36" belt can be worn as small as 34 inches and as large as 38 inches.
There are several options to determine your belt size:
The ideal way is to measure your waist through your belt loops. This measurement is the size of belt you should purchase. If you have a measurement of 34 inches, using a cloth tape measure through your belt loops while wearing, then your belt size is 34".
An alternative option is to measure a perfectly fitting old belt from the buckle fold to the optimal belt hole. If your belt measures 38 inches from the buckle fold to the hole you use most, then order a size 38" belt. This will give you a belt with two holes on either side of the hole you use most.