How To Use Suspenders? A Classic Accessory For Men

The days of suspenders being reserved only for the corporate titans or grandpas are long gone. Today, suspenders -- or "braces" as they were known back in their heyday -- are making a comeback. They’re not just a practical tool to hold your pants up; they are a statement piece that adds a dash of debonair to your attire.

Welcome to the world where suspenders are cool again! In this blog post, we will guide you on how to wear this classic accessory with panache. Whether you're new to the suspender game or looking for ways to freshen up your suspender-wearing style, read on and embrace the vintage appeal!

How To Use Suspenders?

To properly use suspenders, start by choosing the right type: clip-on or button-on. Clip-on suspenders have more versatility and are considered casual, while button-on suspenders are more formal. Next, adjust the length of the suspenders to fit your proportions - leather suspenders can be adjusted with a buckle and holes, while others have metal clips that slide up and down. Fasten the suspenders securely to your pants, ensuring they are evenly aligned and not twisted. Adjust the straps for a comfortable fit without being too tight or too loose. Suspenders should be worn with dress clothing only, and never with a belt as it is considered a style faux-pas. By following these steps, you will confidently wear suspenders with style and flair!

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Understanding Different Types of Suspenders

Suspenders have gone through ups and downs in fashion history. From being an essential item for men of all ages to a dated accessory shunned by both the young and old, they are now enjoying a resurgence. Whether you need them for daily wear or special occasions, it's important to understand the different types of suspenders available before making your choice.

Clip-On Versus Button-On Suspenders

When it comes to wearing suspenders, two main types come to mind - clip-on and button-on. 

Clip-on suspenders: It feature metal clips that attach to trouser waistbands and provide more versatility in terms of clothing options. They can be easily clipped on and off pants and pants without buttons or belt loops, making them ideal for casual use. They also fit people of all sizes as they do not require custom tailoring. However, clip-on suspenders are considered less formal than their buttoned counterparts and are not recommended for formal or business attire.

Button-on suspender: They, on the other hand, require specific pants with suspender buttons sewn into the waistband, which makes them less versatile but more secure. Their formality depends on several factors such as material quality and width, but they're generally viewed as more formal than clip-ons. While a tailor will usually trim them based on an individual's height and size, one downside is that they cannot be worn without such trousers.

It's worth noting that button-on braces have gained popularity over time due to their durability. They offer longevity because leather wears better compared to elastic materials found in clip-ons. Another aspect that helps support a more stylish look that button-ons come with Y-backs instead of X-backs. Y-back suspenders are more modern and on-trend than X-back suspenders, which tend to look outdated.

Comparing Materials: Leather vs. Elastic Suspenders

When it comes to choosing between leather and elastic suspenders, the key factor is formality. Both materials serve different purposes depending on the occasion. Leather suspenders with a button-on attachment are suitable for formal events such as weddings, black-tie galas, or business attire. They have unique detailing that complements high-quality shoes and can be further accentuated by choosing textures like snakeskin or crocodile.

However, if one is looking for suspenders that are versatile and appropriate for everyday wear, elastic suspenders with clip-on attachments are recommended. They provide more comfort by moving with your body while providing an adjustable option for fitting.

Leather Suspenders

Elastic Suspenders


Precise detail; classic; considered formal

Simple design; diverse materials and colors


Button-on; requires special trousers without belt loops

Clip-on; can be adjusted easily


Sturdy but rigid material; not flexible move with the body

Flexible and stretchable, moves easily with the body


Long-lasting with proper care; less susceptible to wear compared to elastic suspenders

Subject to wear and tear due to frequent adjustment

It's essential to note that both leather and elastic suspender come in a variety of widths, textures, and patterns. The style one chooses should correspond to personal preference as fashion trends evolve over time.

Guidance on Wearing Suspenders

Wearing suspenders requires knowledge of some basic guidance to ensure the overall look comes off as stylish rather than tacky:

  • As you decide between leather or elastic options remember there are different styles suitable for various occasions.
  • Ensure the suspenders complement the rest of your outfit rather than stand out on their own.
  • Always choose either button-on or clip-on attachments that are the appropriate size for your trousers, to ensure the right fit.
  • Never wear suspenders with a belt as this is considered a fashion faux pas. Either option should provide ample support for holding up pants.
  • Know how you're going to tuck in or untuck your shirt to ensure a seamless presentation of the suspenders.
  • Suspenders should only be visible underneath the jacket, preferably not visible when worn alone without a coat.
  • When choosing colors and patterns, it is best to keep things neutral rather than distract from the rest of the ensemble.

While suspenders have made a comeback in recent years, some remain hesitant about incorporating them into their wardrobe. However, it’s important to remember suspenders can add personality and flair to one's outfit, providing another dimension beyond traditional belts. Not only do they serve majorly functional purposes, but they can also make a personalized statement; perfect when seeking an edge over guys who take fewer fashion risks.

With proper guidance on wearing suspenders, taking into account the various material options and choosing appropriate attachments, pulling off this classic accessory becomes much easier.

Proper Attachments and Adjustments

The beauty of suspenders is in their versatility, but this is only possible when the attachments and adjustments are done correctly. In the case of clip-on suspenders which can be cheaper and more convenient, ensure that the clips attach properly to your pants, sitting firmly on the waistband with a snug fit. 

On the other hand, button-on suspenders require a little more attention to detail. Ensure your trousers have suspender buttons sewn into them, usually located inside the waistband, which you can easily fasten onto. However, if they don't have buttons sewn in, consider taking them to a tailor who can do it for you.

Do's and Don'ts of Suspenders

Suspenders offer multiple styling options for any occasion. But like any accessory or article of clothing, there are some do's and don'ts that anyone should keep in mind when wearing them.


  • DO embrace the width- Typically, wider suspenders are considered more formal than skinny ones. Stick with a width somewhere between 1 inch to 1.5 inches for regular use, but thinner widths (0.5 to 1 inch) can work for casual occasions.
  • DO ensure compatibility of colors - You could play around with different patterns or materials such as silk and cotton, but ultimately remember to match your overall look by ensuring that your suspenders match well with your outfit's colors.
  • DO adjust straps accordingly – The goal is to feel comfortable as you wear suspenders, so ensure you adjust the straps to fit your proportions and sit nicely on your shoulder blades without being too tight or excessively loose.


  • DON'T wear a belt with suspenders- Absolutely avoid wearing both a belt and braces at the same time as it sends mixed signals and is considered an unnecessary duplication of accessories.
  • DON'T wear braces as an independent piece - Reservable only for dressing room previews or lingerie shoots, bracers/clip-on suspenders should not be treated as an independent fashion piece or worn over shirts like belts.
  • DON'T match tie with suspender - You don’t want to come across looking like a butler from Downton Abbey. Instead opt for different patterns that complement each other.

These do's and don'ts can help guide you in the right direction when styling suspenders, so you avoid any style catastrophes. Remember that these rules should be applied as general guidelines, not hard and fast. Ultimately, it’s all about personalizing your style. Suspenders are highly versatile and can make a great addition to any outfit with the right pieces.

Dressing Stylishly with Suspenders: Outfit Inspirations

Suspenders have always been a versatile accessory, and styling yourself with them can be a great way to enhance your look. Whether it's for weddings or work attire, suspenders offer great options to experiment with the latest trends while still maintaining a classic look.

  • Go beyond the traditional white shirt and tie combination by trying something new. Consider pairing your dress pants with suspenders and styling yourself with a waistcoat, giving you an elegant and sophisticated look.
  • Another interesting option is wearing suspenders on formal events. Pairing them with black oxford shoes, bow ties and tuxedos will help you achieve that sophisticated look you have been craving.

That said, don't limit yourself when it comes to dressing up casually. Suspenders can create fun and quirky looks that help you project your personality. A simple pair of jeans matched with skinny suspenders and a casual shirt is ideal for hanging out with friends or hitting the town.

Suspenders for Formal and Casual Looks

At first glance, suspenders may seem heavy on formality. But that doesn't mean they're exclusive only to business meetings or weddings: each occasion calls for different types of suspender designs, widths, and colors..

  • When it comes to formal events like black tie galas or weddings, the width of your suspender is usually tied to the type of event you'll attend. Opt for wider straps in darker tones, like navy blues or blacks, worn over formal shirts like French cuffs paired perfectly with cufflinks.
  • On the other hand, casual outings benefit from lighter shades and skinnier bands. For a day out in town, consider thin suspenders worn over striped shirts or funky t-shirts for that perfect balance of smart-casual.
  • Lastly, it's essential to note that suspenders can also work incredibly well with groomsmen attire. Opt for similar colors and styles for your dress pants, suspenders and bowties while keeping the groom's suit slightly different so he stands out but staying cohesive with the wedding theme.

The Right Occasions for Suspenders

Suspenders have become an integral part of men's fashion and can be worn for several occasions. They are versatile, easy-to-wear, and can be customized to suit individual preferences. While they were once reserved for formal events, suspenders have made a comeback in recent years and now have a place in almost every man's wardrobe.

For Weddings

For weddings and other formal events, suspenders are a fashionable accessory that adds flair to your outfit. Pair them with a well-tailored suit or tuxedo, a crisp white shirt, and polished dress shoes for a classic look. Suspenders also offer the advantage of being more comfortable than a belt, especially during long events like weddings. Remember to stick to classic hues such as black, navy blue, or dark brown when wearing suspenders for business attire.

For Causal Clothing

Suspenders can also be paired with casual clothing for outings like dinner dates or cocktail hours. When wearing suspenders with jeans, opt for slim-fit jeans or chinos as they accentuate the look perfectly. Striped or patterned braces complement shirts with rich colors like burgundy, emerald green or even mustard yellow. A pair of leather boots gives this outfit a rugged appearance perfect for hiking trips or mountainside picnics.

For Fashion Landscape

While suspenders have dominated the fashion landscape as stylish accessories over the years, some people still view them as old fashioned and outdated compared to other contemporary accessories like belts. Regardless of personal beliefs on the matter, it's important to see that suspenders aren't just about aesthetics; they provide great practical benefits as well.

Here is a quick guide of occasions that will suit suspender styles best:


Best Suspenders

Weddings & Formal Events

Classic button-on suspenders in black, navy blue or brown leather

Business Attire

Classic Y-back suspenders in black or navy blue

Casual Events

Clip-on suspenders with a complimentary shirt and trousers

Outdoor Activities

Wide back elasticated suspenders in bright colours for safety purposes



In conclusion, the right occasions for wearing suspenders are limitless. Whether you're going to work or attending an event, pairing them with the right outfit will set you apart from the crowd. Always remember not to wear them with belts, but tuck in your shirt to show them off. Experiment and find what works best for you as suspenders offer endless possibilities for customization.

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