Suspender vs Garter: Key Differences and Uses Explained

Suspender vs Garter: Key Differences and Uses Explained

When considering whether suspenders or garters better suit your needs, you'll want to consider their distinct functions and historical significance. Suspenders, often associated with classic menswear, offer a practical solution for keeping pants in place, while garters, with their origins in the Middle Ages, add an element of delicate sophistication to women's fashion by securing stockings. 

Each accessory brings unique charm and utility to an outfit, but what makes them indispensable? Let's explore how these timeless pieces can unexpectedly elevate your wardrobe and boost your confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Functionality: Suspenders prevent pants sagging, while garters keep stockings in place.
  • Design: Suspenders attach to trousers; garters wrap around the waist or hips.
  • History: Suspenders date to the 18th century, garters to the Middle Ages.
  • Styling: Suspenders suit formal and casual outfits; garters are more delicate and often part of lingerie.
  • Trends: Suspenders offer sturdiness; garters combine vintage glamour with modern sophistication.

Difference Between Suspenders and Garters

When comparing suspenders and garters, you'll notice they serve distinct purposes and are worn differently. Suspenders are typically used to prevent pants from sagging, while garters keep stockings up. A suspender belt, often called suspenders, attaches to trousers and features straps over the shoulders. These straps guarantee your pants stay at the desired height without needing a belt.

On the other hand, a garter belt is designed to hold up stockings. This belt wraps around your waist or hips and has straps that connect to the tops of your stockings, ensuring they stay in place. Unlike suspenders, which are usually sturdier and more functional, garter belts are often more delicate and decorative. They're commonly seen as lingerie or fashion accessories, adding a touch of elegance to your outfit.

While men mostly wear suspenders, garter belts are primarily a women's accessory.

Get a wide range of Men Suspenders Here

History of Suspenders and Garters

Throughout history, suspenders and garters have played significant roles in fashion and functionality. Suspenders, also known as braces, were designed in the 18th century for men to hold up their trousers. These suspender belts became a fashion trend in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among gentlemen and in formal wear. On the other hand, garters have a much longer history, dating back to the Middle Ages. Initially, garters were used by both men and women to hold up socks or stockings.

By the 20th century, the garter belt evolved into a more feminine accessory, often associated with women's lingerie. Despite their changes, suspenders and garter belts remain popular for practical and fashion purposes. Here's a quick comparison to help you appreciate their historical journey:





18th century

Middle Ages

Initial Purpose

Hold up trousers

Hold up socks/stockings

Gender Use


Men and Women

20th Century Trend

Formal wear for gentlemen

Feminine lingerie accessory

Modern Use

Practical and fashion accessory

Practical and fashion accessory

Understanding their history helps you appreciate the enduring appeal of these classic accessories.

How to Wear Suspenders

  • To wear suspenders effectively, attach them to your pants with clips or buttons. Make sure they're securely fastened to prevent slipping throughout the day. Clip-on suspenders are versatile and easy to use, while buttons offer a more traditional and secure attachment.
  • Next, place the straps over your shoulders, ensuring they're not twisted. Adjust the length so the suspenders sit comfortably and evenly distribute the weight of your pants. Proper adjustment is vital for maintaining comfort and preventing sagging. Suspenders come in various widths; choose one that suits your frame and provides adequate support.
  • If you're incorporating suspenders into a lingerie set, they can add a seductive touch and enhance the overall look. When wearing a garter belt, ensure the suspenders don't clash with the straps. It's all about creating a cohesive and stylish ensemble.
  • For a snug fit, measure your height to find the right length. Suspenders should be tight enough and loose enough. This ensures they hold your pants up without causing discomfort. Properly worn suspenders serve an important purpose and elevate your style effortlessly.

Styling Tips for Suspenders

Pair your suspenders with a dress shirt and trousers for a classic and polished appearance. This combination is perfect for formal occasions and office settings. Coordinate suspenders with a suit to add a touch of sophistication to your formal attire. Make sure the suspenders are the perfect size for a sleek, well-fitted look.

  • If you're aiming for a trendy and fashion-forward vibe, style suspenders with jeans and a casual shirt. This look is great for weekend outings or casual gatherings. For a chic ensemble, mix suspenders with a skirt and blouse. This combination can make a bold statement while maintaining elegance.
  • Additionally, remember to consider the power of combining suspenders with lingerie sets. This mix adds a seductive and alluring touch to your outfit, perfect for special occasions or intimate moments.

Here's a handy table to summarize these tips:


Outfit Combination

Look Description

Formal Event

Dress shirt and trousers

Classic and polished

Office Setting

Suit and suspenders

Sophisticated and sleek

Casual Gathering

Jeans and casual shirt

Trendy and fashion-forward

Evening Out

Skirt and blouse

Chic and stylish

Special Moment

Suspenders with lingerie sets

Seductive and alluring

Benefits of Wearing Garters

Wearing garters secures your stockings in place and adds a touch of vintage glamour to your outfit. They guarantee your stockings won't slip or sag throughout the day, giving you confidence in their dependability.

  • Unlike a suspender, which might feel more utilitarian, garters exude sophistication and elegance, especially when paired with matching lingerie sets.
  • Garters can make you feel sexy and empowered, boosting your confidence with their alluring design. They're adjustable to fit various body sizes and shapes, offering a comfortable and customized fit. This adaptability means you'll find garters that perfectly suit your body, ensuring they stay in place without discomfort.

Not only are garters functional, but they're also a stylish accessory. Garters can transform your outfit, perfect for special occasions or adding a touch of flair to your everyday wear. They combine practicality with fashion, allowing you to keep your stockings up while adding a unique, vintage-inspired twist to your ensemble.

Buying Guide for Suspenders

Selecting the right suspenders can guarantee a transformation in your outfit, offering both functionality and style. Whether you're pairing them with dress shirts, suits, jeans, skirts, or even lingerie sets, suspenders add a unique touch to your look. They come in various types, such as clip-on, button, leather, fashion, and wedding suspenders, each serving different purposes.

Clip-on suspenders are convenient and versatile, while button suspenders provide a more traditional and secure fit. Leather suspenders add a rugged charm, and fashion suspenders can make bold statements. When picking suspenders, consider your height for the correct length and the width for comfort. Make sure they fit snugly without being too tight. Adjustable straps are essential for a customized fit. Attachments should be chosen based on your outfit and personal preference.

Proper care and maintenance extend the life of your suspenders. Hand wash delicate materials and spot-clean stains. Store them flat to prevent creases and avoid prolonged hanging. Regularly check for damage to ensure they remain functional.

Suspenders are an excellent alternative to belts. They distribute weight evenly on your shoulders and eliminate the discomfort of a tight waistband. Choose the right pair to elevate any outfit effortlessly.


In the end, whether you choose suspenders or garters, both add a unique flair and functional elegance to your wardrobe. Suspenders offer a timeless and practical solution for keeping your pants in place, while garters bring a touch of vintage charm and femininity.

Understanding their history, styling tips, and benefits can help you confidently incorporate these accessories into your outfits. So, elevate your style with the perfect pair of suspenders or garters!

Back to blog