How To Wear Suspenders – Definitive Fashion Guide

What are Suspenders?

Suspenders– likewise referred to as braces– are how males utilized to keep our pants up. This timeless piece of men’s style go back a minimum of as far as the 18th century when rudimentary suspenders in the type of ribbons were utilized to hold up French pantalon. In the 1820s, faced with a fashion for high-waisted pants, British designer Albert Thurston created something much more like the suspenders we would acknowledge today.

They also come in a variety of widths, from a stylish half-inch to a more strong 2 inches for sturdy workwear.

Around the time of World War 1, lower-sitting trousers ended up being more popular and brought with them a preference for belts. While no longer a traditional pattern, suspenders have actually maintained a place in fashion throughout the years: paired with slim jeans in the 1960s by British mods (and successive subcultures); sported by females in the 1970s and 80s for a unisex appearance. And today they’re enjoying a revival, thanks to trendy, detail-oriented cabinets who love suspenders for their unequaled combination of comfort and class.

How to Wear Suspenders

Initially, the extremely basics: to wear guys’s suspenders properly, first connect them to your trousers, a minimum of on the back. You can either attach them to the front as well before stepping into your trousers; or slip the pants on, pull the suspenders over your shoulders and connect at the front. Adjust for a great fit: you’ll understand immediately if you’ve pulled them too tight.

Many fashion writers will tell you that suspenders are non-negotiable when you’re wearing official attire; however can you use them with anything else?

Good news: you can, and you should! Whether you wear them with a bow tie for an eccentric evocation of a bygone style period, set your suspenders with a straight tie to add an edge to a sharp contemporary clothing, or merely try something brand-new suspenders will complement your look. From a white-tie suit to denims and boots, you can wear them with practically anything. There are a few guidelines you ought to bear in mind to help you look your best.

Primary: under no scenarios must you wear a belt with your suspenders. There’s even an entire metaphor about it– taking a ‘belt and suspenders’ approach indicates being over-cautious, even redundant. Neither of these are how you wish to look! Besides, you’ll create a weird-looking square in the middle of your clothing, and you risk looking like Bill Lumbergh from Office Space. It’s a fashion synthetic pas for a reason.

Next, consider the material of your suspenders. It ought to either match the fabric of the rest of your attire or contrast with it in a distinctive method: no clashes. If your suspenders are leather, match them to your shoes instead.

There are a number of hotly disputed points of design when it comes to suspenders for guys: read on for some good guidelines, and choose carefully!

The tough choices
Conceal or reveal?

Historically, suspenders were seen as a type of underwear, a little like garter belts are now: something a little risqué and best kept under wraps. In the 1930s a Long Island town briefly prohibited males from using suspenders without a coat to cover them up– however this was overturned when the (presumably overheated) males grumbled.

Nowadays we’re naturally more easy-going when it pertains to guidelines about what can and can’t be flaunted. You might think that– having gone to the effort of selecting a smart pair of suspenders– it would be a shame not to show them off. But if you truly wish to commit to an elegant, old-school appearance, you might consider limiting glances of your suspenders to the periodic sighting beneath your jacket.

Clips or buttons?

Much more controversial than the question of whether to flaunt your suspenders is the controversial concern of how to attach them to your trousers. Suspender perfectionists (yes, they exist) will tell you that only suspenders with button-hole tabs are allowable, while other sartorial experts feel that clip-on suspenders have their location.

To help you choose what’s best for you and your closet, we’ve presented listed below the arguments for each technique. But first, let’s have a look at one of the most significant sticking-points in this tough dispute: are buttoned suspenders the more standard option?

Image by Yarenci Hdz on Unsplash

Metal clasps for attaching suspenders to trousers were invented in 1894. That’s right– throughout every duration of style history you relate to suspenders (unless you’re believing solely of the 18th-century ribbon-slung French pantalon), clip-ons were both widely readily available and popular. So if you’re searching for a factor to eschew clips in favor of buttons, “buttons are more conventional” just won’t hold up.

The case for buttons

Leaving tradition aside, there are a number of reasons for choosing buttons over clips. The most basic and finest of these is that buttons offer your attire a more tidy and refined appearance, particularly if you’re using your suspenders with a suit. There’s more:

Clips can damage your pants

Whether the attachments on your suspenders are secured with pin-clips or alligator clasps, they will bite dramatically into the material of your waistband and can damage the material: instantly in the case of pin-clips, and with time in the case of alligator clasps.

Buttons are more distinctive

Suspenders are widely offered, and ‘fast fashion’ suspenders– most likely to be more economical and made from a lower-grade fabric– are almost particular to be clip-ons. It might sound snobby, but choosing buttons will help you stand out from the crowd. And when you’ve devoted to trousers with buttons at the waist, the series of suspenders offered to you will be of far exceptional quality.

Buttons show the care and attention you’ve put into your outfit

Numerous fashion authors compare the suspender problem to that of the bow tie: if you’re going to wear a clip-on, you might as well not have actually bothered. Whereas going to the additional expense and minor hassle of buying a correct bow tie and discovering how to connect it– or, in this case, having buttons contributed to the waistband of your trousers, picking suspenders with button tabs, and after that buttoning them up– shows that you care a great deal about what you wear, right down to the smallest, button-sized feature. And for numerous guys who appreciate style, that attention to information is the very meaning of style.

The case for clip-ons

Let’s get back to basics here: suspenders, like belts, exist mostly to stop your pants falling down. And there are any number of functional reasons a man may choose suspenders over belts. He might find suspenders more flattering than a belt, but be otherwise uninterested in accomplishing a specific appearance.


Perhaps you like to blend your style, and won’t be wearing suspenders every day; or possibly you’re just try out suspenders, for now, to discover if they’re for you. Trying out the more versatile clip-on suspenders is a good concept. Whether you then pick to devote fully to suspenders by having buttons sewn into the waistband of your pants is up to you!

You may not be able to see them anyhow

Suspenders are implied to be hidden away, keep in mind? Especially if you’re wearing a tux with a cummerbund, the cummerbund will cover the tabs of your suspenders, so no-one will understand whether you’re using clip-ons or not.

Clip-ons are the look you’re choosing

Let’s not be too prescriptive here: it’s your look, so you can make the guidelines. If enjoyable and ugly is what you’re going for; or if you’re welcoming a dorky Urkel ambiance; or perhaps if you’re actually dedicating to a classic look by wearing suspenders the method most guys in the 40s actually would have done: then clip-ons might work much better for you. When it pertains to design the most crucial thing is to dress deliberately– so as long as you understand what you’re doing, you can do what you want.

What about belt loops?


Now that we’ve put that controversy to rest, here’s another: is it okay to wear suspenders with trousers that have belt loops?

Again, some perfectionists will tell you that if we can see unused belt-loops at your waist, then you’re disappointing true dedication to the suspender aesthetic. And it’s real that going loopless does provide you a cleaner, more stylish look.

However, when you put your trousers on in the early morning, in some cases you like to have an option about how you keep them up. Particularly if you’ve invested a great deal of cash in a made-to-measure match, you might choose to keep your choices open by equipping your fit pants with both loops for belt days, and buttons for those days when just suspenders will do.

Whether your suspenders are buttoned or clipped; with loops or none; coyly covered-up or boldly shown off; whether the appearance you’re opting for is more Gatsby or Wall Street– suspenders have your back.

Do You Wear a Belt With Suspenders?

No, absolutely not.

As pointed out above, it is okay to have belt loops and use suspenders, but you need to decide, either a belt or suspenders, not both.

Keep in mind the function of the belt and suspenders is precisely the exact same, so just ditch the belt and stick to the suspenders.

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