Men’s Suspenders Guide: Types & Tips to Wear
Do you want to look classy at an upcoming event? Do you want to add some flair to your work attire? Do you want to turn your casual clothing into a good looking wedding attire?
If yes, suspenders are what you should go for. People have a misconception that suspenders are out of trend, suspenders are only worn by fat guys, or are used as an alternative to belts, but that is not the case.
In this article, all your questions related to suspenders will be answered. Suspenders can be categorized based on different types of backs and different types of cross patches.
6 Different Types of Back Designs In Suspenders
These accessories can be worn in an “X” “Y,” or “H” shape. It all depends on whichever provides the appropriate support and prevents loose straps from sliding off your shoulders. There are also some special types that are used for specific occasions.
1. X-Back Suspender
- Sturdy & Work appropriate
- Often found with metal clip-ons
- Extra support at the back.
- Belts can be wider than the Y-type.
2. X-Back Truckers (Side Clip)
- Clip on the side instead of the front or back
- Two clips instead of 3 or 4
- Usually found with belt clips
- Great for Physical Labor
- Heavy-duty workers
- Often considered to be a little uncomfortable because of comparatively less back support.
- Comparatively narrow & smart.
- Usually found with button up attachments.
- For business/ black tie will be Y- type compulsorily.
Occasion: More Formal
- Eight figure clip or a strap attached to form H at the back
- There’s a preconceived idea about H-back Suspenders that unless you’re a firefighter, you won’t be wearing this variety of Suspenders.
- However, it has continued to flourish in the world of fashion.
- The H-back is making its mark like never before.
Occasion: Semi- Formal, Casual
5. Bartender Suspenders
- Similar to X-Back Truckers
- Clip on the side instead of the front or back
- Two clips instead of 3 or 4
- Usually found with Trigger Snaps
- Found in Leather
Occasion: Western/ Rugged/ Cowboy
6. Holster Suspenders
- Usually found in Leather
- Bronze Attachments
- Clips on the sides
- Pockets for Holding Guns or Wine Flasks
Occasion: Rugged/Vintage/ Dashing Detective Look
3 Types of Cross Patches in Suspender
Cross patches are used to keep the suspenders in place at the crossing point. They are generally made of leather or metal.
1 inch or wider suspenders have leather cross patches sewn at the crossing point while ¾ inch or ½ inch suspenders have a metal crosspatch.
1. Sewn Together
One of the simplest and the most common way of holding the straps together is when Two straps are sewn together at the crossing point.
2. Leather Cross Patch
With the addition of a leather crosspatch, which virtually all of 1.25-inch, 1.38-inch, 1.5-inch, and 2-inch wide suspenders have, these give a more finished look to the back of the suspenders.
3. Triangular Metal Adjuster
Leather crosspatch looks a bit too heavy relative to the width of the suspenders. Hence skinnier ¾-inch and ½ inch wide suspenders and a few other suspenders have a metal triangular piece through which the two crossing straps are threaded.
The use of this type of crosspatch makes the suspenders a bit formal and elegant.
6 Different Types of Fabric Used in Suspender
Choosing the right fabric of suspender is essential for your occasion and look.
- Very traditional fabric
- Light luster
- Made of a durable cotton or cotton blend.
- Pair well with any tailored attire.
- Most popular suspender fabric
- Versatile, affordable and comfortable fit.
- The workhorses of the suspender world are all elastic suspenders.
- You can easily find one that will look great with a suit, a tuxedo, khaki’s or jeans.
- Variety of all elastic suspenders with different finishes.
- The most luxurious fabric
- The epitome of high fashion.
- Relatively expensive.
- The feel of silk is smooth and luxurious
- A staple in the impeccably dressed gentleman’s wardrobe.
- Used primarily for heavy-duty suspenders
- Strong and durable
- Comfortable to wear.
- Generally rough and tough
- Help holding up heavy work belt
- Does not inherently have a lot of “give”,
- Over time and with wear, will soften and stretch slightly they age.
Dressiness: Casual or Dressy
6. Horse Hair
- For men with truly discriminating taste
- The most luxurious suspenders
- Takes time in production.
- Made in limited quantities
- Highly unique and collectible.
7 Different Types of Weaves In Fabrication of Suspenders
Suspenders come in a variety of weave in fabrics. Choosing the appropriate fabrication depends on a number of different factors like:
- What you intend to wear suspenders with.
- What the occasion is.
- How much you want to spend on the suspenders.
Below are the different kinds of weaves you may find in suspenders:
- Barathea Suspenders
- Basket Weave Suspenders
- French-Satin Suspenders
- Grosgrain Suspenders
- Herringbone Suspenders
- Jacquard Suspenders
- Sierra Weave Suspenders
1. Barathea Suspenders
These are the British made suspenders with a non-stretchable woven fabric. They have a striped pattern where each stripe varies in color and size.
2. Basket Weave Suspenders
Made out of leather, basket weave suspenders are very durable and will last for a long time. As the name suggests, these suspenders have a basket weave style.
3. French-Satin Suspenders
Made from satin, these suspenders look very luxurious and give you a classy look. They are good for both casual and formal occasions.
4. Grosgrain Suspenders
Made out of a ribbon-like fabric that is closely woven, these suspenders add to a perfect dressing scheme for business and formal occasions.
5. Herringbone Suspenders
The traditional herringbone pattern in these braces looks very elegant and can be worn with a multitude of suits and outerwear.
6. Jacquard Suspenders
Invented and named after a French inventor in the 1800s, the Jacquard pattern features an intricate pattern of woven fabric. These suspenders are very classy and are a perfect fit for business and dress attire.
7. Sierra Weave Suspenders
Made out of leather, sierra weave pattern is usually found in western suspenders, and are handcrafted. These suspenders are durable and give you a western look with a modern touch.
10 Different Types of Suspender Patterns
Suspenders come in different patterns and colors, just like tie patterns. When choosing a pair of suspenders, keep your outfit and the occasion in mind in order to easily choose the pattern you want to go for.
6. Polka dots
The Role of Length
Not considering length while choosing a suspender for yourself might make you feel uneasy while wearing them. The following suspender size guide infographics will help you decide the length of suspenders to go for based on your height.
The Skinny/Thin Suspenders (½”, ¾”, 1”):
- Gives Vintage/ Pageboy/ Edgy/Punky/Trendy look
- Stand out just enough to make an impression
- Likely to wear for Casual outfits/ looks
- Goes well over T-shirts
- More into fashion and style than function yet no less when it comes to holding your pants up.
- A Top-notch choice for the swells and metro-sexual hunks out there.
The Mid-range/Standard Suspenders (1 1/4“, 1 ½”):
Most popular amongst the people who are inclined towards versatility of all purpose suspenders.
- Gives Formal/Semi-Formal/Pageboy/ Dandy look
- Just right width.
- Conveys more conservative look than the thin ones. However, they are still dressier than the wide ones.
- Generally comes with dressier clips & hardware.
- Popular amongst business people
- To achieve a semi-formal look pair it with Chinos & Dress Shirt will make you look hip yet sharp and professional.
The Wide Suspenders: (2”)
- Casual heavy duty work/ Non-Dress look
- Always a preferred size for work suspenders.
- Designed to withstand the physical labor and heavy tool belts.
- Most durable when it comes to holding the trousers.
- The choice for those who prioritize function over fashion.
- Usually made with heavier duty materials and clips and provides maximum support.
- As people age, they often find that a wide suspender is more comfortable for them given their unique physical needs.
6 Different Types of Suspenders with Distinct Purposes
Not all suspenders are made equal. Having so many uses, there are some suspenders that are made for a specific purpose and not something you can directly choose to wear in a business meeting or a casual outing.
- Combat Suspenders
- Firefighter Suspenders
- Factory Suspenders
- Reflective Suspenders
- Undergarment Suspenders
- Holster Suspenders
1. Combat Suspenders
Part of tactical, outdoor, survival clothing and gear, combat Suspenders are designed to comfortably support the extra weight of belt mounted gear. These are fully adjustable and a one-size-fits-all option.
2. Firefighter Suspenders
Generally featuring an H-back design for maximum durability, these suspenders are comfortable, yet high-quality. Heavy-duty suspenders like these are commonly made from leather with 1 inch wide straps.
3. Factory Suspenders
Factory suspenders commonly come as X-back Suspenders. They are fit for heavy-duty factory work and keep the pants totally secure. These suspenders have a velcro closure.
4. Reflective Suspenders
Often used within warehouses and distribution centers, reflective suspenders are used as an alternative to wearing a vest. They are made of elastic material that gives back 500 candle power reflectivity.
5. Undergarment Suspenders
Manufactured in flesh-tone colored material with matching beige adjusters, undergarment suspenders are meant to be worn under your shirt. These suspenders can be worn, either right next to skin or over an undershirt.
6. Holster Suspenders
Holster suspenders as the name suggests are pretty much made to hold up the trousers, holster, and a gun.
6. Different Types of Suspenders for Different Dress Codes
Being incredibly versatile, suspenders can be worn on different occasions and with different styles of suits. Depending on the look you’re going for, they can help you look more serious, authoritative, playful, or creative.
- Bartender Suspenders
- Black Tie Event Suspenders
- Casual Clip Suspenders
- Formal or Tuxedo Suspenders
- Oxford Suspenders
- Western Suspenders
1. Bartender Suspenders
The ‘hipster bartender’ is a term used to describe the famous bartender look of a classic all black or just black pants and suspenders with elastic clip-on suspenders, that can alternatively be used with button loop.
2. Black Tie Event Suspenders
There are for the formal events where the trousers need to be high-waisted and are worn with suspenders, in black with button attachment and never clips. These are then paired with black ties or a bow if you feel like it.
3. Casual Clip Suspenders
Perfect to be worn casually or to spice up a simple outfit, these suspenders come as clip-ons that can be attached to the trousers and also come in varied colors and patterns.
4. Formal or Tuxedo Suspenders
Meant to be worn with a tuxedo or a dress, these suspenders provide an elegant look and can be worn to formal events or any wedding occasions. These come in a wide range of prints, material and design.
5. Oxford Suspenders
Originally made of only cotton, Oxford cloth is a very popular fabric, particularly sporty or casual style. Oxford cloth suspenders pair perfectly with shirts of the same fabric and thus are a great choice for business attire.
6. Western Suspenders
Western suspenders are the most preferred option if you are looking for a rugged western look. These suspenders have a very clean and fresh look and they do come in various designs. With these, you can give any outfit a western flair.
11 Tip to Wear Suspenders Correctly
There are some general rules and guidelines you need to follow before you go out wearing your suspenders:
1. Match the color of the button loop of suspenders with the shoes.
2. Use solid or discreetly patterned ties with solid color suspenders.
3. Opt for high rise trousers which sit at the actual waist.
4. With suspenders, wear regular snug trousers rather than loose pants.
5. The buckle with the suspenders should not be too tight, not too loose.
6. When wearing suspenders choose trousers not having belt loops.
7. Choose Y or X type suspenders with a formal dress but never H.
8. Choose Jacquard silk, cotton, or elastic fabric for more comfort.
9. Choose darker colors that are more versatile such as gray, charcoal, or navy.
10. Choose minimalist patterns like monochromatic ribbed texture, tiny pin dots, or monochromatic micro checks for an elegant look.
11. Match the type of suspender with the tie.
Suspenders are the classiest substitution for belts and add a touch of style and sophistication to any outfit. They have the potential to add a lot of style to your presentation.
Just like any other garment, suspenders have their own rules. You can follow them or break them as you please. And since you now know the correct rules, you have the freedom to play with them and make your style the best.
Now since you know everything there is to know about suspenders, which one are you going to choose. Let us know in the comments below.