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How Can You Wear Men's Suspenders?

Some men are getting away from grunge and returning to the more put-together look. That means suits, belts and even suspenders are coming back into style. But how can you wear braces and still have style?

What are Suspenders?

  • Suspenders, also known as braces in the UK, are long strips of fabric worn over the shoulder to keep pants up where they're supposed to be.
  • They can be leather, silk, elastic and just about any other style of fabric material.
  • They attach to your pants either with buttons or clips.
  • They often form a "Y-back," "X-back," or even an "H-back" shape to provide support while holding up your trousers.
  • There are formal dress suspenders to wear with your suits but there are also work suspenders like the ones worn by firefighters.

What is The History of the Suspender?

  • Braces and suspenders were historically considered undergarments (similar to a lady's garter belt).
  • They date back as far as 18th century France and were originally just strips of ribbons used to decoratively keep men's pants up.
  • Our modern version of the men's suspenders was created by Albert Thurston. Men's pants were high-waisted then, and braces were the way to make sure they stayed put.
  • In the 1960s, working-class British men adopted suspenders into their everyday looks, putting them on display with casual white t-shirts and jeans.
  • Suspenders worn around the waist were considered cool in the 1980s but fell back out of vogue in the 1990s and early 2000s.

How Do You Wear Suspenders?

Men's suspenders are a useful accessory, but there are certain rules with wearing them.

  • Suspenders are not strictly formal wear and can be worn with casual outfits. Just make sure the fabric of your braces matches the formality of your outfit.
  • Don't dress suspenders up with a belt. It's not only overkill, but it looks tacky.
  • Wearing clip braces with pants that have belt loops is mainly accepted practice. Some people might look down on you, but if you ever want to style your pants with a belt instead of suspenders, you need to have belt loops.
  • The more formal you look is, the more subtle you want your suspenders to be. Remember, they were first considered undergarments.
  • If you're wearing clip leather braces, then your shoes must match the leather of your braces.
  • Black silk suspenders are for cocktail parties or black-tie events.
  • Use suspenders with trousers that are just a little loose around the waist.

What are Some Tips for Buying Suspenders?

When you buy this accessory, keep these tips in mind.

  • While many people prefer button braces, the choice is up to you.
  • Clip-on braces are trendy but might damage the waistband of your trousers over a long period of time.
  • When sizing your braces, feel out what size and length is right for you. If you go too tight, then the buttocks of your trousers might ride up.
  • Thinner straps are hipper, and thicker straps are for heftier men.

See manufacturers website for size details.

Braces have been very popular throughout history. Despite losing out to the belt in the last fifty years, they are still a staple accessory. Suspenders can really bring an outfit together for any man.

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