How to Wear Suspenders: A Complete Gentleman’s Guide

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Suspenders are a great element to be included in the sartorial arsenal of a well-dressed man offering a statement of personal style and timeless elegance. Not only are they a classic staple but they’ve made a comeback. In this complete guide, you will learn everything you need to know about how to wear suspenders and be the best-dressed person in the room. 

The belt is a relatively recent invention, as in the period before the First World War, the preferred method to hold on pants was the use of suspenders, while belts had a more decorative role than functional.

Today, while some are still considered a relic of past times, suspenders remain the preferred method to hold onto trousers by many men who love to dress well.

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Whether for a wedding, formal event, or even a casual day at the office, suspenders are a versatile item in your wardrobe.

The problem comes when it’s time to put them on. What color suspenders should you wear? Do you wear a belt with suspenders? How do you wear them without looking like a 1920’s gangster? 

We’re here to show you. Let’s get started. 

how to wear suspenders

Mastering the Look: Step-by-Step Guide to Suspenders

Invented in 1822, by Albert Thurston, suspenders were considered part of intimate clothing, and as such, they had to remain hidden with the use of vests and jackets.

Today times have changed, so you can now wear them with or without a jacket or vest. In fact, half of the charm is showing them off with an open jacket. 

Wearing suspenders is a classic and elegant way to enhance your outfit. To achieve a polished look, start by dressing in your desired layers, such as a dress shirt, trousers, and optionally a vest or jacket.

1. Dress Up: Put on your dress shirt and trousers. Make sure your shirt is tucked in neatly and your trousers sit at your preferred waistline.

2. Attach the Suspenders: Hold your suspenders by the back strap and drape them over your shoulders. Position them so they comfortably rest on your chest and back, forming either a Y or X shape on your torso.

3. Adjust the Length: Check that the suspenders have an equal length on both sides and that they aren’t twisted or tangled. Use the metal adjusters or sliders on the straps to achieve the ideal length. The suspenders should hold your trousers up snugly without pulling too tightly.

4. Attach to Trousers: Depending on the type of suspenders you have, either fasten the clips onto the waistband of your trousers or attach the straps to the buttons sewn inside the waistband. If your trousers lack buttons, you can use clip-on suspenders instead.

5. Final Check: Before stepping out, ensure the suspenders lay flat against your chest and back without any bunching or discomfort. Adjust as needed to achieve a balanced and comfortable fit.

6. Complete Your Outfit: If you’re wearing a vest or jacket, make sure the suspenders remain hidden underneath the outer layer. The suspenders should be subtly peeking out when your jacket is unbuttoned, adding a touch of sophistication to your look.

By following these simple steps, you can confidently wear suspenders with ease and elegance, elevating your style to new heights.

Suspenders not only serve as a functional accessory but also exude timeless charm and attention to detail, making them a perfect addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe. 

The straps are not all the same; they can be found in different materials, colors and patterns, so before adding them as a functional and style piece to your wardrobe, there are a few things to know and consider, and then make the right choice for you.

How to Wear Suspenders: Buttons vs. Clips

Some suspenders have what’s called “whiskers” of the eyelets to be hooked to the buttons of the trousers, and others have clips that are fixed by pinching the waistline of the trousers. 

For an intimate occasion or formal wear, you should try to wear suspenders that can be fastened with buttons.

It gives more of an elegant look compared to those with clips. You definitely need a pair of trousers that have buttons in this particular area, which is why most men wear clips.

They’re easier to adapt to whatever pair of pants they have in the closet. 

Clips are an easier and casual choice and depending on the type of clips you can still pull off a semi-formal attire. Also, keep in mind there are suspenders that have interchangeable options, clips, and eyelets. 

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Pros: Easy to wear and remove.

Cons: They can ruin the fabric of the trousers. Not always appropriate for business, elegant and formal clothing.


Pros: Always elegant and appropriate, regardless of the occasion.

Cons: The appropriate buttons in the trousers are required.

Normally the buttons are inside the pants but on jeans and chinos can also be placed outside for a more relaxed look. Note that originally the buttons were always placed outside the pants, and were hidden by the waistcoats.

 Not all trousers are designed to hook to a pair of suspenders, but we have an awesome method to show you where you can easily transform any pair of trousers with belt loops to hook onto suspenders.  

Size of the Risers: Skinny vs. Wide

 Consider that the very thin suspenders, while they can work well on a certain type of trendy clothing, are useless in terms of function. The wider suspenders in addition to supporting the trousers well, give a stronger and more powerful appearance.

Choosing an intermediate measure may be the best option. 

Also, consider the length according to your height. Normally, the straps have metal length adjusters, but if you are taller than 190 cm, you may need to use standard oversized suspenders.

Suspenders for Big Guys: A Stylish How-To

For gentlemen with larger builds, wearing suspenders can be a game-changer in terms of both style and comfort. When choosing suspenders for bigger physiques, opt for wider straps, as they distribute the weight more evenly, preventing discomfort and ensuring a secure fit.

Pair your suspenders with trousers that have a higher rise, as this prevents them from slipping down and maintains a smooth, tailored appearance. When it comes to patterns and colors, solid and darker shades are generally more flattering, but don’t shy away from subtle patterns that add a touch of personality.

As for the length, make sure your suspenders are appropriately adjusted to provide optimal support without pulling too tightly. Avoid excessively long straps, as they can create an unflattering appearance.

Remember, suspenders are designed to enhance your style, not conceal it. Embrace your size and confidence, and let your suspenders be a testament to your fashion-forward approach.

Choose Your Suspender Material

 The straps are available in different materials: from elastic fibers to grosgrain, silk, and even leather.

Those in elastic fibers allow greater and better adjustment in length while the others are a bit ‘less flexible, not to mention those in leather that allow very little adjustment.

As a first step, I advise you to do some practice with the traditional elastic that can be worn on most occasions and therefore very versatile.

The straps can be in leather or fabric in different colors. Be careful to match the color of the leather to the color of your shoes, and that the color of the fabric harmonizes with the rest of the outfit.

Colors and Patterns For Your Suspenders

There are no limits to the colors and patterns you will find, especially in recent times that are used more as an accessory of personal style than for an effective function.

When choosing the color, always think about the occasion when you have to wear them and the colors of the outfit you will wear.

If the colors you wear are mostly neutral, like beige, white, blue, and gray, you will not have big problems combining a pair of brightly colored suspenders.

There are some colors and patterns suitable for business or for elegant clothing and other totally casual. Usually, stripes and polka dots in classic colors are a very versatile choice, while unusual patterns will be better in casual situations.

When you wear suspenders with patterns, make sure that they are different in size from those of the shirt (if the shirt is not in a solid color). For example large lines on small lines. The rule also applies when the patterns are different, for example, stripes and polka dots.

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Off the Belt?

Do you wear a belt with suspenders? Absolutely not. Here’s why: 

Although it is acceptable to wear the straps on trousers with belt loops (although for a more sophisticated look, without belt loops is better), it is absolutely not tolerated to wear suspenders with a belt.

“How do you trust a man wearing a belt and suspenders? A man who does not even trust his own trousers “(Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West) .

If done right, your suspenders will always hold up your pants. Also, it helps to make sure your trousers are fitted in the waist and not baggy. Baggy pants with suspenders look sloppy. 

Choose your shape – Y or X Suspenders?

 The shape of the shoulder straps is presented in two different styles in the part that attaches behind you. They can be Y-shaped, when the two bands are joined in the middle back, forming only one) or X-shaped (when the bands fall down crossing)

Y suspenders: they are more formal, and perfect for business suits, semi-formal, or formal occasions.

X suspenders: they are more casual, robust, suitable for work clothing (intended as heavy work). These are mostly found with clips.

If you can always go for the Y shaped suspenders. These are very stylish and come with a variety of patterns and fabrics. The X shaped suspenders are usually worn when working in a job that requires hard, usually manual, labor. These are usually not suitable for any formal event.    

DIY – Make any Pair of Pants Perfect for Suspenders

The Y model will be the one we’re focusing on now to see how to turn a normal pair of trousers into suspenders. This method is for trousers that do not have the buttons attached to them on the outside. As well as those who prefer to wear clip suspenders instead of those that attach with buttons (or whiskers).

There are precise techniques for attaching buttons to trousers for suspenders, but consider that standard techniques may not be suitable for everyone, as they may not work on big or minute physicals, so it’s best to adjust for a nice look, rather than follow the perfect technique.

So we start from the idea that the straps should be placed in the middle of your back, pass comfortably on the shoulders and go down in a straight line until the hooking with the buttons,

Materials needed:

  • 6 buttons
  • needle
  • a thread of the color of the trousers
  • scissors and pins

Spread the pants on a table, open them so that you have the inside back in front of you and place the buttons on the sides of the internal central seam (about 4 cm distant from each other) so that they are symmetrical and central to the height of the waistline of the trousers.

Once the two buttons are fastened, fasten your straps and wear them.

At this point, pass the shoulder straps on your shoulders and let them go straight in on your torso.

With the help of a partner, partner, wife, mother, etc. make a pin the optimal point for you where the front buttons will be positioned., bearing in mind that the straps should go down parallel and should not be too close or too far apart.

Attach the buttons first on one side and then specularly on the other making sure that the buttons keep the same distance and height on both sides.

If this seems a little too DIY for you, there are plenty of places that sell pants that have a place for suspenders. Also using the suspenders with clips is not a deal-breaker either. 

How To Wear Suspenders Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

Wearing suspenders is not just about looking good; it’s also about adhering to certain etiquettes to maintain a polished and put-together appearance.


1. DO Match with Your Outfit: Coordinate the color and pattern of your suspenders with the rest of your ensemble. Complementary colors or subtle patterns can add a touch of sophistication.

2. DO Choose Quality Materials: Invest in high-quality suspenders made from durable materials like leather or sturdy fabrics. Well-crafted suspenders not only last longer but also exude a sense of refinement.

3. DO Wear Suspenders for the Right Occasions: Suspenders are versatile, but some events might call for more formal attire. Reserve bright or flashy suspenders for casual gatherings, and opt for classic styles in muted tones for more upscale occasions.


1. DON’T Overmatch Accessories: While it’s essential to coordinate your suspenders with your outfit, avoid overmatching with other accessories like ties or pocket squares. A balanced, complementary look is more appealing.

2. DON’T Wear Suspenders and a Belt: Suspenders serve the function of holding up your trousers, so wearing both suspenders and a belt can be redundant and visually unappealing.

3. DON’T Wear Suspenders with Incompatible Trousers: Some trousers are not designed to accommodate suspenders. Avoid wearing suspenders with trousers that have belt loops or lack the necessary buttons or clips.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can confidently wear suspenders with finesse and elegance, making a lasting impression wherever you go.

Suspenders with Business Wear

 Using suspenders in the workplace is also the perfect way to show your style and personality; depending on the look as they can be used to create various personalities like serious, authoritative, playful, or creative imagination.

Suspenders are also an excellent addition to your cocktail attire. Check out our Cocktail Attire for Men guide to give you a few examples of how cocktail attire and suspenders can go hand in hand.

Selecting the right pair of suspenders to wear at work depends largely on the type of work, your position, and the dress code to follow.


Opt for suspenders in a fun color or pattern. This is not only playful (perfect for creative work), but also great for a flash of color that will surprise you when you take off your jacket. 

Try the ones below.

Board Room

If you are in an authoritative position that recalls respect you will always need an elegant and powerful appearance and the suspenders will be a great addition to your business wardrobe.

For an authoritative look, match your blue or gray tailored suit with a pair of suspenders in classic color and motif or totally contrasting like red or yellow.

Suspenders with Casual Wear

 With casual clothing, you can only let your imagination go. Wear it on a denim shirt and a pair of chinos (now that you know how to attach the buttons 🙂 Or with dark blue jeans and a checked shirt.

If you have a shirt with a very obvious pattern, keep it as simple as possible, if you wear a sober outfit then you can blow up the colors and patterns you like the most.

For a decidedly preppy look, wear striped suspenders with the Bermudas. White, blue or seersucker, white shirt with rolled-up sleeves and slip-on.

Leather suspenders would also work very well in a casual environment. 

Note: Pants should not be low-waisted unless you want to look like someone who is making a desperate attempt not to lose them on the way.

The straps are a great accessory, knowing how to choose and wear them in the right way will make you feel at ease, safe, and in selection.

woman wearing suspenders

Elevate Your Style: How to Rock Suspenders with Confidence

Wearing suspenders is not just about functionality; it’s an expression of individual style and confidence. To truly rock suspenders, embrace the following tips and tricks:

1. Mix and Match: Experiment with various suspender styles, colors, and patterns to create unique looks that reflect your personality. A mix of solid colors, stripes, and subtle patterns can add flair to your outfit without overpowering it.

2. Balance the Look: Suspenders draw attention to your upper body, so ensure the rest of your outfit complements the overall style. For example, if you opt for eye-catching suspenders, keep the rest of your attire relatively subdued.

3. Accessorize Thoughtfully: Coordinate your suspenders with other accessories, such as pocket squares, ties, or bow ties, to create a cohesive and polished appearance.

4. Tuck in Your Shirt: Always tuck in your shirt when wearing suspenders, as leaving it untucked can lead to an unkempt and unfinished look.

5. Confidence is Key: Above all, wear your suspenders with confidence. Own your style choices and walk with poise, knowing that you’ve embraced a timeless and sophisticated accessory.

Suspenders Hanging Down: A Trendy Approach

For a more laid-back and contemporary vibe, consider wearing your suspenders hanging down instead of attached to your trousers. This fashion-forward approach works exceptionally well with casual outfits and can add an unexpected twist to your overall look.

To achieve this style, simply fasten your suspenders as usual, but instead of attaching them to your trousers, let them hang freely on either side of your hips. This approach works particularly well with trousers that have belt loops, as the suspenders can act as a unique and eye-catching belt alternative.

young man learning to wear suspenders with jeans

How To Wear Suspenders and Jeans: A Perfect Match

Suspenders and jeans create a dynamic duo that effortlessly combines ruggedness with elegance. When pairing suspenders with jeans, choose a sturdy denim fabric and avoid overly distressed or faded styles for a more refined appearance.

For a casual yet polished look, consider opting for Y-shaped suspenders in classic colors like navy, brown, or burgundy. Pair them with a well-fitted button-up shirt or a casual tee, and complete the ensemble with a stylish pair of leather loafers or boots.

Suspenders with Vests: Adding Elegance to Your Outfit

Pairing suspenders with a vest elevates your ensemble to new heights of sophistication. This timeless combination is ideal for formal events, weddings, or when you want to make a statement with your attire.

Choose a well-tailored vest in a complementary color to your suspenders, shirt, and trousers. Opt for neutral or classic shades for a traditional look, or dare to be bold with rich jewel tones or striking patterns for a modern twist.

Suspenders and Suits: A Classic Combination

When it comes to formalwear, suspenders, and suits create a classic combination that exudes timeless elegance. Suspenders eliminate the need for a belt, ensuring a clean and streamlined appearance that complements your suit’s fit.

For a black-tie event, pair black suspenders with a tailored tuxedo, a white dress shirt, and a black bow tie. For more business-formal occasions, opt for navy or gray suspenders paired with a matching suit and a sophisticated tie.

Suspenders We Recommend: Our Classic Navy Blue Suspenders

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Because we love suspenders so much we take them a little more seriously than most.

In our opinion, suspenders should always be high quality, stylish and dependable. After all, if these are supposed to keep your pants from falling the last thing you want is a clip to loosen or a button to fall off. 

Our suspenders are very high quality and they look amazing. You never worry about if they’ll fall apart and they’ll last for a very long time. We only have navy blue in stock for now, but don’t worry more styles are coming soon.

Blue Suspenders

Also, we have an amazing deal on a box full of accessories that include a pair of suspenders. Check out our Top Shelf Box here

Take-Away Tips on How to Wear Suspenders

1. Comfort First: Ensure your suspenders fit comfortably on your shoulders and do not dig into your skin. Adjust the length to find the right balance between support and ease of movement.

2. Coordinate Colors: When choosing suspenders, consider the color scheme of your outfit. Opt for complementary or contrasting colors to create a cohesive and eye-catching look.

3. Mind Your Posture: Suspenders are not only about style but also help maintain good posture. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your back straight for a confident and elegant stance.

4. Choose Quality Materials: Invest in high-quality suspenders made from durable materials to ensure they stand the test of time and maintain their appearance.

5. Experiment with Patterns: While solid colors are versatile and timeless, don’t shy away from experimenting with patterns like stripes, polka dots, or paisley for added visual interest.


Congratulations! You’ve now unlocked the secrets of wearing suspenders with style and confidence. From understanding the different types and styles to finding the perfect fit, you’re well-equipped to embrace this classic accessory in all its elegance.

Whether you’re attending a formal event, dressing for the office, or enjoying a casual outing, suspenders offer a versatile and sophisticated touch to your attire. Remember to coordinate colors, experiment with different widths, and above all, wear them with confidence.

As you step out with suspenders adorning your ensemble, you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression and stand out as the best-dressed person in any room. Embrace your individuality, express your personal style, and let suspenders be the ultimate statement of your fashion-forward approach. Happy styling!

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