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Suspenders 101: A Complete Guide to Men’s Suspenders

guide on how to wear suspenders

Suspenders have seen quite the comeback in mens fashion. What was once a necessary clothing item one-hundred years ago, a time when pants had no belt loops, is nowadays a fashion accessory that blends both function with style.

Suspender Materials, Colors, & Patterns:
Just like there are different tie fabrics, suspenders are commonly made from leather silk, synthetics, linen, cotton, and elastics. In addition, they come in any pattern and color. Just like when picking out a tie, you need to keep your outfit and the occasion in mind when choosing a pair of suspenders. Solid and darker colors are most formal, while wild patterns and out-of-the-ordinary materials (leather, linen, and cotton) are better suited for casual wear.

Tips for Buying Suspenders:
Suspenders can range from as little as $10 to several hundreds. While it may not be necessary to spend $200, it does make sense to invest in some higher quality items that will last the test of time. For first time buyers, look for the following 5 criteria:

  1. Connectors: Look for the button attachment style.
  2. Style: For dress, choose Y or X but never H
  3. Material: Choose Jacquard silk, cotton, or elastic fabric. If you opt for silk or cotton, make sure that a section of elastic is added on the back for more comfort.
  4. Color: Choose darker colors that are more versatile such as gray, charcoal, or navy.
  5. Pattern: Keep patterns minimal. Besides solids, monochromatic ribbed texture, tiny pin dots, or monochromatic micro checks are good options.
  6. Size: Make sure you pick your right size (see chart above)

General Dress Rules for Suspenders:
For the most part, suspenders are either attached using metal clips or buttons (see graphic above). Just like a bow tie aficionado will insist that the “self tie bow tie” is the only sartorial acceptable choice, suspender proponents will argue that buttoned suspenders vs clip-ons will differentiate the man from the boy.

If you are unsure that you will like the “suspender look”, I would suggest you try a pair of less expensive suspenders, that are attached using clips first, before investing in a high end piece that requires that not only costs more, but also will require a trip to a tailor to get suspender buttons added to your trousers.

Got any tips, thoughts, and/or suggestions regarding suspenders? Then leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!


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