In the world of men’s fashion, suspenders have made a comeback. They had never really disappeared, for many men loved the comfort they provide. But now they have become a fashionable element of menswear.
Suspenders were first created by British designer Albert Thurston. Suspenders or suit braces are fabric strips that go over your shoulders and attach to the pants. They come with suspender buttons or clips that attach to your pants, holding them in place.
Types of Suspender Attachments
1. Button Suspenders
These suspenders are fastened to the buttons on the inside of your pants. If you haven’t noticed yet, most suit pants have buttons on the inside for fastening suspenders. If your trousers don’t have the buttons, you can easily sew them yourself. Button suspenders are suitable for formal wear.
Button suspenders usually have a Y back, so there is one button attachment on the back and two on the front. There are two types of button suspenders-
Leather ends- A strip of leather with eyelets on both the ends is sewn to the ends of the suspender straps. The leather strip is usually brown, black, or white in color.
Fabric ends/ Runner Ends- A strip of fabric with eyelets on the ends is attached to the suspenders. It is no different from leather ends in terms of functions. Yet, it is preferred more for business wear as it looks more professional.
2. Clip-on Suspenders
These suspenders have clips on both sides. You have to secure the clips to your trousers on the front and the back. Clip-on suspenders are great for casual and semi-casual attire. The stylish look comes at a small price; the clips damage the fabric of your trousers with prolonged use.
Clip-on suspenders have different variations-
These half inch wide clips have a brass or nickel finishing. Brass finishing is more popular as the color goes well with all suspender colors. Finger clips with leather attachment are called drop clips.
Also called alligator clips due to the prominent teeth of the clip, these clips have a very strong grip. They have a width of one inch, and you would find them in black or nickel colors.
These clip-on attachments consist of snaps that you can put on your belt loops. They come in brass and nickel finishing, and they are pretty convenient to use.
These suspenders have two clip-on attachments on the sides, instead of two each on the front and the back. It offers great comfort to folks who sit for long hours as the clips don’t press against their backs.
Suspenders for Formal and Casual Look
1. On the Basis of Suspenders Width
You can sort suspenders into the formal and casual category on the basis of width.
0.5 to 1 inches– These thin straps have a trendy vibe to them, but offer little when it comes to functionality. If you are a well-built man, these suspenders won’t be of much use to you. Wear them for a hip, casual look but don’t depend on them for utility.
1.25 to 1.5 inches– This is the standard width for suspenders. Choose this size if you want suspenders for office wear. Of course, you can use them for casual wear too. This width offers the comfort and support that you would want from wearing suspenders.
2 inches– These suspenders look cool and funky, and they are ideal for men who work or spend time outdoors. They are also ideal for men with a wide torso or strong built. They are comfortable and hold your trousers firmly, regardless of your body movement.
2. On the Basis of Suspender Colors
Solid Colors– You can find suspenders available in a wide range of solid colors. If you are new to wearing suspenders, buy solid colors like black, brown, navy, etc. as they are easy to pair with the rest of your outfit. These colors are ideal for office wear too.
You can also find suspenders in bright colors, like fuchsia, neon green, red, etc. They are more suited for casual wear or events like weddings, cocktail parties, etc.
Patterns– You can also find patterns on suspenders, like checks, pinstripes, tiny polka dots, etc. You can wear them to work every day but avoid them for occasions like interviews or high-level meetings. Also, wear them over a plain dress shirt so that your outfit remains balanced.
Textures– There are suspenders with textures or embossed designs. Like patterned suspenders, you can wear them to work if you can skilfully pair them with your outfit.
Leather Suspenders– Leather suspenders are highly suitable for formal wear. They come in limited colors, like black, brown, tan, etc. Always choose the one that matches the color of your shoes.
Novelty Suspenders– This style of suspenders is specifically meant for casual and party wear. If you enjoy wearing creative outfits, you can find novelty suspenders featuring themes like holidays, cartoons, food, hobbies, etc. Imagine wearing suspenders with Christmas trees printed all over them; it would make a cool, quirky outfit for a Christmas party.
Suspender Styling Tips
Achieving sophistication is all about understanding the rules of the style game. Let’s understand how to how to team suspenders with the other elements of your attire. These Suspender Styling Tips are helpful for your routine and casual lifestyle.
Suspenders and Ties– Suspenders are no longer all black or brown, but the richness in varieties confuses many men. If you are wearing suspenders with your formal suit, the suspenders, as well as your tie, would become the focus of your attire. The suspenders should contrast with your tie. So if you are wearing a printed tie, wear solid-colored suspenders. If you are itching to try on patterned or striped suspenders, select a solid-colored tie or a tie with an inconspicuous print.
If you are a novice and matching ties and suspenders seems too much of work, opt for basic black suspenders that look good with all kinds of ties.
Suspenders and Bow-ties– You can also wear a bow-tie, instead of a usual tie, with your suspenders. This makes for a fun look, especially for events like weddings. You have the freedom to play around with colors. You can pick different shades of the same color for your suspenders and bow tie- like purple suspenders and lilac bow tie. Or you can contrast the colors, say pairing navy blue suspenders with a baby pink bow tie.
Suspenders and Shirts– For your suspenders to stand out, they should contrast with your shirt. If you are confident enough to try suspenders with bold colors or prints, do so when you are wearing a neutral-colored dress shirt. That will make your suspenders stand out.
For printed shirts, opt for solid colored suspenders. You can also pair a shirt with big prints and suspenders with minimal print together, but it’s a bit tricky to strike the balance.
Suspenders and Trousers– Prefer trousers that come without belt loops when you want to include suspenders in your attire. Otherwise, the belt loops might look empty. Yet, this is not a hard and fast rule. If all the other elements in your outfit are well-coordinated, this little rule can be ignored.
However, make sure that your trouser doesn’t sit too low on your torso. Suspenders don’t look good with low-rise trousers. They make a perfect team with high-rise pants in terms of aesthetics and comfort.
Suspenders and Belt-The basic function of suspenders and belt is the same- to keep your pants in place. Therefore, wearing the two of them together makes no suspense. If you are used to belts, we say that you take a leap of faith, and try wearing suspenders. You would be amazed by the comfort they offer.
Placement of Buckles– Most suspenders are 46 inches long, that’s the standard length for suspenders. They come with buckles so that you can adjust their length for proper fit and comfort. However, your buckles should not be too close to your waist or your shoulders. Ideally, they should lie somewhere in the middle of your torso.
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Can I Wear Suspenders With Jeans?
Wearing suspenders with jeans or shorts is a new trend. You wear clip-on suspenders with denim trousers, and the good thing is that the clips won’t damage the denim (unlike other fabrics). You also have the freedom to play around with colors and patterns.
It is a modern style, and the best way to rock it is to keep the rest of your outfit minimalistic.
To Sum it Up…
Originally, the sole purpose of wearing suspenders was to give a proper fit to the trousers. Now with a variety of suspenders available, there is more room to experiment. You can play safe with classic hues like black and blue, or go bold with bright colors like fuchsia and lime green.
Whatever style you choose, remember that suspenders draw a lot of attention to your torso. Hence, choose your suspenders and rest of the clothes carefully to leave a good impression.