Suspenders are a great and very modern accessory that many stylish guys enjoy to wear. They were invented in 1822 by Albert Thurston and, initially, they were considered to be underwear and were meant to be hidden. However, today they can be worn to keep your pants up, which was their initial purpose, but they can also be seen and worn as a style statement.
There are many places where you can get suspenders these days. One of our favorite brands is JJ Suspenders, a company that offers high-quality suspenders that feature unique and very bold designs. Their brand has appeared from the desire to offer suspenders that would fulfill all of the modern man’s needs when it comes to these accessories: both from a quality as well as from an aesthetic point of view. And the results are visible: their suspenders are truly remarkable and it is great to see that they offer so many outstanding designs. Moreover, they ship their products around the world, and, as a guarantee of their quality, you can get your money back in case you are not satisfied with them.
Speaking of suspenders on a global level, one will notice that many people have different concepts of what suspenders are and when and how they should be used. For example, for some, there is a very clear distinction between braces and suspenders, while for others; they are one and the same. Also, in some cultures, suspenders that feature button fastenings are seen as highbrow and suspenders that feature clips are seen as lowbrow, while in other cultures, they are both on the same level – and, in some cultures, suspenders with button fastenings are not popular at all and have no special cultural significance.
This is why we have put together a list of suspender rules that apply to all visions of suspenders, to all backgrounds and to all types of suspenders (X-type, Y-type).
Have a look at a series of tips you should take into consideration the next time you are wearing suspenders, whatever your understanding of them is:
1. Keep it proportionate
When it comes to accessories in general, it is very important to keep them proportionate to your body size. In this sense, you should always take your built into consideration when choosing a pair of suspenders to put on. Bigger men should opt for wider suspenders, while thinner men should opt for thin suspenders. Medium-size men can pull off average suspenders very well.
Secondly, you should know that the length of your suspenders can also be chosen in correlation to your height.
42 inch / 106.6 cm suspenders are appropriate for men who are between 5’ and 5’9’’ / 1.52 m and 1.75 m tall
46 inch / 116.8 cm suspenders are appropriate for men who are between 5’2’’ and 6’1’’ / 1.57 and 1.85 m tall
48 inch / 121.9 cm suspenders are appropriate for men who are between 5’9’’ and 6’2’’ / 1.75 and 1.87 m tall
52 inch / 132 cm suspenders are appropriate for men who are between 6’ and 6’4’’ / 1.82 and 1.93 m tall
54 inch / 137.1 cm suspenders are appropriate for men who are between 6’1’’ and 6’5’’ / 1.85 and 1.95 m tall
2. Consider the setting
Just like with any other piece of clothing or accessory, you should always consider whether your suspenders work with the setting in which you are planning to wear them. Therefore, suspenders should be worn instead of belts at formal events, and they should always be black.
All other types of suspenders can be worn in every other type of setting, in the end it is up to you to decide whether a pair of suspenders goes in a certain setting (some go better with casual settings, are better suited for the office).
You should always remember that if you are wearing suspenders at a formal event, you should wear a jacket too, but otherwise, we say they go without one quite well.
3. Coordinate your colors
When you are deciding to wear a pair of suspenders, you should always make sure you consider their color and the way they go with the other colors you are wearing. In fashion, some colors fall under the “neutrals” category. These colors are black, white, gray, beige, tan, khaki, ivory, brown, dark blue, etc. These colors go with anything and with each other. All other colors should be taken into consideration and used in a cohesive and elegant color scheme.
If you are wearing a pair of suspenders that features a pattern, you can wear it with a solid piece or with a garment that features another pattern or print. If you decide on the latter, you should make sure that the patterns differ in size. For example, thick stripes work very well with thin ones. If you mix two different patterns, the rule still applies: for example, thick stripes go with small dots.
4. Get the right fabric
Suspenders these days come in different fabrics. Most suspenders are made from nylon. These suspenders are what you should wear in a formal setting, but you can basically wear them in a wide variety of settings.
Some brands, such as JJ Suspenders also offer leather suspenders, which look great, very manly and rough and which go very well with casual settings and daytime events.
5. Keep it parallel
When you are wearing suspenders, you should keep the little metal clips you have on the front straps parallel to one another across your chest. Make sure that they do not fall any lower than your abdomen, though. The clips should attach in the front waist in such a way that they are perpendicular to the floor. Make sure you don’t have them angled too far on your sides or towards your crotch area.
6. Adjust your suspenders
Putting on a pair of suspenders as you bought them might make your pants rise too high or have no effect at all. This is the reason why most suspenders are adjustable and why you should take advantage of this. Try placing your clips at different heights and see what feels best, try them around the house before you leave, to make sure you feel good and that they stay on, but make sure you always keep them parallel.
7. If you wear suspenders, don’t wear a belt
One of the most important rules when it comes to wearing suspenders is not to wear them at the same time you are wearing a belt. Basically, the reason for this is that both of these accessories have the same purpose, which is to hold your pants up. Therefore, wearing them both will look like you are wearing both a sports jacket and a blazer one on top of the other. Of course, some men simply think that they will be well-accessorized if they are wearing both, they are not considering the practical aspect of the matter. If you want to add more accessories, a bracelet, a tie or a bow tie are all great options.
The only time when you can wear both suspenders and a belt is if you are working and you need a belt to fasten your tools and suspenders to keep your pants up.
8. Watch the rise
Note that suspenders usually look best with mid- or long rise pants. Wearing suspenders with low-cut pants looks a little ridiculous: the pants say that you want them hanging low, but the suspenders say you want them pulled up, while wearing suspenders with high-rise pants will make you look a little childish and desperate to cover up.
9. The comfort room
If you are wearing braces, you should know that these are best worn on trousers that are a little loose in the waist area and that feature a little room through the hips and upper leg. The thought behind this is that, if you are wearing suspenders, you should be able to enjoy having your pants hang around your hips and legs without being fastened too tightly so that they don’t fall because of gravity.
Therefore, suspenders might not look very well with very slim pants, since these are so tight that they don’t need to be supported by anything. However, this is a matter of opinion.
10. Consider the belt loops
The suspenders tradition says that one should not wear suspenders with pants that have belt loops. However, recently, more designers and stylists have stated that it is not a faux pas to wear suspenders with pants that feature belt loops.
If you cannot find a pair of pants with no belt loops, you can always unsew the belt loops of your pants.
As you can see, suspenders are a great accessory to wear and we can assure you that following a few guidelines regarding them will make you feel great the next time you are putting on a pair. Knowing how to pick and how to wear them will make you feel good and stylish.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What is your take on suspenders? How do you wear them? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!