Suspenders Guide

INTRODUCTION:

In the world of fashion there are always going to be: trends, rules, and constant new looks going in and out of “style.” One thing that stands true, accessories. Whether they be, jewelry, neckwear, socks, etc. Styling outfits of all kinds can be completely changed, heightened and even sometimes over-board by the accessories chosen.

If you have visited our site before, then chances are the realization of our main focus is pretty clear. Suspenders. Worn for both intent, assist and now fashion, suspenders are an accessory that seems to continue to evolve and expand. Because of this, some of the “rules” when wearing suspenders can get crossed. Add that on top of a large amount of options and information unfamiliar to a lot of us that leaves us confused and lost in the suspender world.

We have noticed that and we sure can understand that. That is why, we have taken some of the best, tips, tricks, suspender information, etc. on the topics we all have the most questions about, and have put them all into a guide to all things suspenders.

It is here, within this guide, that you will be able to read about proper suspender sizing, different suspender fabrics, which suspender ends are best suited for your suspender needs, how to care for and clean your suspenders and much more!

This guide is to assist and educate when shopping and selecting the proper suspenders for your occasion. Whether that be casual, business, formal and special occasion; this information will make anyone a suspender aficionado in no time.

SIZING:

When determining an appropriate suspender size, there are (as with anything else) factors that come into play. The best example of this is that although we are all human, we are indeed all different humans and have different builds, statures, heights, senses of style, etc. Keeping this in mind is important when conducting your suspenders search because they are not one size fits all.

When it comes to suspender sizes, there are two sizes that are pretty standard and are geared towards specific fits. We carry both on our site, so finding them should be easy! The two sizes are: 46 inches and 54 inches.

      *Tip: to measure suspender size (length), take a measuring tape and measure from tip to tip of suspenders.

The 46 inches, are the average suspender size and will generally fit (within reason) anyone 5’2”
to 6’1” tall. Whereas, the 54 inches are perfect for anyone that ranges in the 6” to 6’4” tall man category.

Still not sure which size you are? Fall borderline between sizes and feel that you could go either way? Don’t worry; there is a way to measure yourself at home for that extra reassurance before purchasing your suspenders. It’s quick, easy, and gives you an answer you can feel confident about. The steps are simple:

  1. Grab a tape measure and a pair of pants that you already own, and put said pants on.
  2. Starting from the top (back) of the pants, where your suspenders will attach, run the tape measure diagonally across your body going up and over the opposite shoulder of where you started and then bring it down to where the suspenders will then connect on the front of your pants.
  3. Take the number that you got from measuring and then order a size up from that! This, assures comfort and room when wearing the suspenders and allows you to utilize the adjusters on the front of the suspenders to assure they feel and lay comfortably in the right position on your person.

Again, different factors some into play, like all clothing. Firstly, depending on the person wearing the suspenders and their needs, but also on the fabric and make of said suspenders. For example, it is known that elastic suspenders are more forgiving and stretchy as a whole, whereas non-elastic suspenders can sometimes be more difficult and more restricting. But, we have tips for that too- so don’t worry.

FABRICS:

Just like we mentioned with sizing and suspenders, fabric plays a role in suspender selection (in more than one way) as well. As you read previously, certain fabrics: elastic, jacquard, etc. give more give when it comes to wearing them allowing for a comfortable fit. Whereas, non-elastic fabrics: silk, leather, etc. are a little less forgiving, but do usually offer an elastic piece below the cross-patch on the suspenders that does lend a little stretch to the suspender.

Choosing the appropriate suspender (and fabric) can be broken down into little categories to stick in the back of your mind for whenever you might be shopping for suspenders. The most common fabrics: elastic, ribbon, jacquard, and silk. Choosing which type to wear depends on a number of factors: the person wearing the suspenders, where they are being worn (the occasion- if applicable), and what they are being worn with.

*It’s important to remember that different suspender looks can be worn in different environments and occasions. So, understanding which type fits best into the setting you’ll be attending will give you the perfect suspender selection every time.

To break some of the fabrics previously mentioned down:

      • Elastic and Jacquard suspenders are probably the most popular and casually worn. They come in a variety of different colors and patterns and can be worn for trendy and fashion purposes, or business casual, and even dressy looks- as Jacquard is known for being more fashionable with multi-colors, multi-tones and different weaves of fabrics for different styles.
         
      • Ribbon suspenders are a tighter weave with narrow ribbing, not giving too much stretch, but still giving a casual appearance.
         
      • Silk suspenders are indeed the fanciest of the fabrics we have listed. They are classic, luxurious and give a sophistication to one’s ensemble. As you can probably assume, there is no stretch in silk suspenders as they are most commonly seen at formal and black-tie events.

BACKS (X or Y):

When it comes to choosing which back is preferred for suspenders, the option is more-so dependent on the person wearing the suspenders than anything else. Since there are only two options (“X” or “Y”), choosing shouldn’t be too complicated!
The differences between the two are quite simple, but we’ll break it down for you anyways:

      • X-Backs: X-backed suspenders have two individual straps that go over the shoulders and splay across the back in an “x.” They have two attachment points on the pants; two in the front, as well as two in the back. Because of this, most x-back suspenders are found in more casual, fashion and business settings and are primarily clip-ons.
         
      • Y-Backs: Y-backed suspenders still have two individual straps that connect in the front of the pants, but when they go over the shoulders to the back, then are then reached by a “cross-patch” and continue down to a singular strap and connect to the pant creating the “y” shape. These suspenders are considered to be more traditional and incorporated and worn at more formal and dressy occasions. They also are primarily button-on rather than the popular, clip-on suspenders.

ENDS:

  1. We know what you’re thinking with this one- don’t they just connect to the pants I’m wearing? And the answer, technically, is yes. But, the how is what we are going to answer. When it comes to suspender endings, there are three main categories that they can fall under:  

    1. Clip-Ons
      1. Button-Ons
    2. Belt-Clips
       

All three can be beneficial and useful- again, depending on the situation, person and occasion for wearing the suspenders. But, once there is an understanding of these suspender end categories, your suspender wearing style is sure to be elevated. The most popular (and the two options you will find on our site), endings are the clip-on and button-on suspenders. The difference, you ask?

      • Clip-On suspenders are the kind we’re all used to seeing that snap closed holding a tight grip around the fabric of the pants. They can be found on casual and dressy suspenders and can be made even more fancy if the clips have an added leather attachment, which is known as drop clips.
         
      • Button-On suspenders are most common (being a traditional and classic choice) in everyday wear and can be found worn in business, business casual, formalwear, and black-tie occasions. They are typically a “Y-back” and primarily leather but also are available in woven fabrics.

There are some helpful tips and things to remember when deciding and wearing both clip-on and button-on suspenders.

      • Button-ons must be connected and be worn with pants that have buttons! This is how they are worn. The fabric contains button-holes, so placement should line up accordingly to the pants when attaching the suspenders
         
      • Clip-ons are not to be put on belts or the belt-loops on your pants! They are to either be placed on top of the pants, either inside or outside of the belt loops- whichever gives the right look and is comfortable for the individual.

WIDTH:

The width of suspenders varies, just as the fabric, style and patterns. Some widths are more common for certain and specific situations, whereas others are worn for more “fashionable” moments. Take a close look below at the ranges and what they are primarily worn with and for to help with your suspender shopping experience.

      • Thin (½”, ¾”, 1” wide): Thin suspenders are a great look for women or men that love experimenting with fashion and like to stay on trend. Thin suspenders are worn in more fashion-forward situations and geared towards making a statement rather than being worn for specific purpose or environments.
         
      • Mid-Range (1.25”, 1.38”, 1.5”): Falling in the mid-range (with 1.38” being the most popular width), these suspender width sizes are both fashionable and versatile for a number of different looks and occasions. They are considered to be more conservative and popular for everyday wear, which makes them perfect for most business, fashion and casual outfits.
         
      • Wide (2”): The widest suspender option, is just the opposite of thin suspenders. Being used in more labor intensive, or hard-working environments. The wide suspender offers support for the worker, tool belts and heavy materials they might need to carry. A great option for construction workers, law enforcement, airport security, etc.

TIPS FOR CLEANING YOUR SUSPENDERS:

Although cleaning your suspenders is not recommended frequently (as it could lessen the stature of the suspender), sometimes things happen out of our control and we need to salvage a certain spot or stain that was not on our suspenders when we left the house. Again, this is not something to regularly partake in (which we can assure you that your local dry cleaners would inform you of as well).

      • When dealing with elastic suspenders, they are to be cleaned extremely gently or by hand. If choosing to place in the washing machine, placing the suspenders in a mesh laundry bag, using gentle or at most mild detergent, and washing on cool water only!
         
      • Elastic suspenders are also to be washed separately, as colors can spread, and are to hang-dry and never see the light of your dryer.
         
      • Non-elastic suspenders (silk, leather, etc.) are usually better off to be handled by a professional or using a spot-treatment at most! Be sure to maintain and upkeep the leather on your suspenders with a high-quality leather conditioner so that your leather does not dry out and look flaked.