In this day and age, men are becoming increasingly more interested in promoting and maintaining their appearance.
With the aid of social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, beauty trends and products are becoming hot commodities like never before.
Reaching a larger number of people that may otherwise take no interest in the beauty community, more and more individuals are starting to experiment with their appearance and try products they might otherwise avoid like pomade for men.
Likewise, men are getting in on this subculture. It’s no longer taboo for them to seek out the best beard grooming kit.
Not only is it more acceptable for men to put effort into their appearance, but it is encouraged.
Across the nation and even the world, fashion gurus are promoting this new wave of fashion, beauty, and self-care for men.
Trends in male style and appearance have taken the beauty world by storm.
Whether it’s the man bun epidemic or No Shave November, men are being welcomed into celebrating their individuality through style just like everyone else.
In tandem with this movement, people of all kinds are reverting to more vintage styles of dress.
Classic looks never go out of style but pinup and other mid-century looks have come back in full force.
Fashion is cyclical, and this is no better demonstrated than the widespread resurgence of suspenders.
What Are Suspenders and Their Benefits
Men’s style has divulged into a multitude of archetypes, all of which come with different labels and lifestyles to accompany them.
Between metrosexual and “lumbersexual”, you can find numerous articles that outline each style and the different facets that go with them.
Suspenders have long been a staple of the “metrosexual” wardrobe.
It’s a style that oftentimes recalls previous trends and emphasizes the importance of grooming and self-care.
In contrast, “lumbersexual” refers to those who play up their more masculine traits such as beards and boots.
Suspenders are common for both metrosexual and lumbersexual styles.
This may have to do with the fact that suspenders have both practical and aesthetic value.
Suspenders are essentially used for holding up pants and trousers.
In earlier times, men with larger middles found them more suitable and comfortable than constricting belts.
They acted as an alternative to a typical belt, but also as a fashion item and accessory.
Today, it’s for fashion that they have become a more prominent feature and the focal point of many trendy outfits.
The benefits that suspenders offer mostly extend to appearance.
With so many different kinds, they can each lend themselves to a wide array of different styles.
Thinner suspenders offer a more casual, punk rock look while thicker and more classical suspenders project a preppy or even a hipster vibe.
You can instantly transform what might be a simple outfit into a stylish and dapper wardrobe.
They’re an easy way to up the ante for any occasion.
Throw on your best chukka boots and you might as well be strolling a runway in Williamsburg.
How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs
The extent to which suspenders vary in style, shape, and material is enough to overwhelm even the most self-assured shopper.
Needless to say, comparing products is always going to begin with your most essential needs.
What are you not willing to compromise with when purchasing? What are you willing to part with? How much are you willing to spend on a pair?
Here are some things to consider when shopping around:
- Range of sizes
- Shape and design
The main function is the ability to hold your pants up.
Other factors such as the quality of the construction, the hardware, and the fit, are all things to compare when on the hunt.
Like any other product, it is here to serve a purpose and to satisfy you as a customer.
When looking for the best hair clay, you want to first and foremost make sure it is providing you with the function it advertises.
Then you can begin to compare the price and other secondary components. Suspenders are no different.
Types of Suspenders
You may not have realized, but there are actually several different kinds of suspenders.
This is to say that there are many specifications you may want to consider before purchasing new ones.
While many newbies may seek ones with easier application like clip-ons, more advanced dressers may start experimenting with the benefits of an X-back versus a Y-back.
Evaluate your essential needs to determine which type is the right kind for you.
Clip-ons are specifically created to be versatile enough for any kind of pant or trouser.
Slightly more casual than other kinds, clip-ons attach easily to the waistband (middle is preferable).
They can be pulled over the shoulders before being attached to the front.
Clip-ons look great with a variety of pants such as jeans, shorts, or any other casual wardrobe.
Their user-friendly quality makes them instantly more appealing to many.
A bit more formal than clip-ons, this type of suspenders require that you have six buttons sewn into the waistband of your pant where you can button the suspender loops.
Like clip-ons, start from the back first before buttoning the front.
While slightly more high-maintenance, these are the classic kind that was originally worn.
Somewhat self-explanatory, this type refers to the shape of the suspender.
With an extra strap on the back end, these are the most popular style for work, as they offer more support and function.
While lacking the support that the X-back have, Y-back suspenders look slightly more stylish.
The trick to wearing these is to attach the strap dead center at the back of your pants to achieve that perfect ‘Y’ shape.
Other Aspects to Consider When Buying Suspenders
If you are new to suspenders, do not underestimate the importance of width.
A good rule of thumb to obey is the notion that the skinnier the suspender, the more casual and laidback the look becomes.
The wider look tends to emote a more formal and classic appearance for those more stringent dress codes.
Suspenders are appealing on several levels, but one such plus is how easy they are to properly fit.
Adjustable and able to customize to any proportion, most have a metal clip attached to the front that allows for any adjustments to be made for your height and frame.
Leather suspenders function much like a belt, with the ability to loosen and tighten with a buckle and holes.
Fabric and Material
Elastic suspenders are the standard fabric for most as they are cost efficient, easy to fit, versatile, and available in several different varieties.
The style (X-back, Y-back) may vary, but elastic fabric comes in solid colors that are appropriate for both casual and formal occasions.
This is especially important to note when it comes to the upkeep.
Elastic materials can be tossed in the washing machine or hand-washed, while other more expensive materials like silk or leather will need to be sent out for cleaning.
How to Wear Your Suspenders
If you come from the land of belts, you might find fastening suspenders an intimidating endeavor.
However, just like with learning to tie a tie, it just takes a little practice and some getting used to before muscle memory kicks in and you can do it in your sleep.
Suspender Measurement Guide
- 42 inch suspenders – fit 5′ to 5’9″ tall
- 46 inch suspenders – fit 5’2″ to 6’1″ tall
- 48 inch suspenders – fit 5’9″ to 6’2″ tall
- 52 inch suspenders – fit 6′ to 6’4″ tall
- 54 inch suspenders – fit 6’1″ to 6’5″ tall
The first step is to pull your suspenders over your shoulders as you secure them into place.
Then, fasten them to the back of your pants. Line them up as center as possible and clip them to the fabric (NOT the belt loops).
The X-back style fastens halfway between your side and spine, while the Y-back style fastens to the center of the waistband.
High-waisted pants work best with suspenders, but either way, hoist your pants up as high as possible.
Raise the straps up over your shoulders. They should fit comfortably and not be low enough to slip off the shoulders.
Once this is done, bring the suspenders straight down over your chest to form two straight, vertical lines.
They should look even and feel comfortable, neither too loose nor too tight.
Button or clasp the suspenders to the front of your pants, just as you did in the back.
Finally, adjust the buckles by sliding them to either shorten or lengthen the straps in accordance with the length of your frame.
Different Events and Occasions
One of the many advantages to wearing suspenders is how they can transform an outfit from something more suited to a casual gathering into a full-blown “look”.
Simply adding them to an already existing wardrobe can elevate the outfit to new heights.
Likewise, they are now becoming much more common and a fun accessory added to the typical tee shirt and shorts attire.
Today, there’s a hardly an occasion that doesn’t call for this addition to one’s ensemble.
Oftentimes, many men will opt for suspenders due to working in more strenuous and robust labor.
More so than belts, suspenders excel at holding up heavy work pants or trousers that may have heavy tool belts attached to them.
Work suspenders typically consist of non-stretch material that is created for support above all else.
Formal Occasions and Weddings
Suspenders are often a staple of a groom’s wedding attire, adding a classic and vintage look to the wardrobe.
Adding an accessory like suspenders to a crisp shirt creates a sharp look that can easily be paired with a bow tie or pocket squares.
As stated before, suspenders are slowly but surely finding their way back into a mainstream wardrobe.
Walk into any coffee shop, bookstore, or other casual hangout area and you may very well encounter at least one pair on display, if not more.
If you want to elevate your look at work, you may want to consider adding suspenders to your daily attire.
For those new to this accessory, a good rule of thumb is to choose a modest and neutral color and to coordinate it with your shoes or tie.
If you are truly new to the world of suspenders you might consider physically going into a store (gasp!) to look them over rather than online.
This will enable to really get a feel for the fabric, the mechanics, and the appearance before making your decision.
In addition to this, going to a store in person offers you an opportunity that online shopping does not: personal advice.
If you are truly stumped, locate the nearest sales associate and ask their opinion.
It is their job to know the ins and outs of the products that their store sells.
They can help guide you towards making the right decision and purchase.
With so many different suppliers, you won’t know the exact fit until you try it on for size.
You may surprise yourself by opting for a different kind than you originally thought.
Ways to Wear Your Suspenders
The good news is you have tons of options.
This might also double as bad news for some, but rest assured you can never have too many choices when it comes to style.
For some purchases, like a cordless beard trimmer, it might seem a pretty straightforward decision.
But with suspenders, that isn’t always the case.
However, don’t be afraid to research or look into different ways to mix up your outfits and accessories.
True, there are some looks you should avoid when possible, but you will never be certain until you try for yourself.
In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks on how to wear your new suspenders:
Color coordination is always a good way to incorporate accessories into your look.
Fashion is mostly a visual medium and, therefore, should be celebrated as such.
When it comes to suspenders, you can coordinate them with shoes, your tie, or even your shirt and pants.
Coordinating with your shoes is the safest and classic route in which to go.
If you’re wearing a tie, it is imperative that you coordinate with it to ensure a complementary look.
If you are in the market for socks for men, you might consider coordinating your suspenders with a pair. Subtle AND effective.
Suspenders are a great option for when you slide on that pair of trousers that doesn’t have loops.
You may want to ensure that your pants aren’t going anywhere, but it goes without saying that a belt is out of the question.
Suspenders offer more versatility when it comes to the bottom half of your wardrobe.
Avoid low cut pants when wearing suspenders. It is unflattering and defeats the purpose of using them to elevate your style.
When wearing suspenders, you should always pair them with pants that sit at or above your waist level.
Leave Some Room
Pants should always be slightly loose with a little room to wiggle. This is no less true when dealing with suspenders.
Your buckles should always rest in the center or very close to your torso. Avoid having them end up near your shoulder or collarbones.
Traditionally, suspenders were valued for their utility rather than their style factor.
If you want to wear them in a more classical sense, have them covered up by a vest, jacket, or sweater.
What Is Better – Suspenders or Belts?
Belts vs suspenders used to be a much more common choice not too long ago.
But with old-school styles making a fierce comeback, it’s no wonder that suspenders have also surged in popularity.
While both accessories have the same function, there are multiple differences and features to distinguish one from the other.
Advantages for Suspenders
Due to their elongating of the frame, suspenders succeed in creating a thinner and trimmer appearance.
In addition to this, they also add in lengthening your height and inadvertently cause you to sit and stand straighter, effectively improving your posture.
Many men back in the day would opt for suspenders due to their larger bellies.
Less constricting and not so tight, they offer a little more wiggle room to breathe.
Oftentimes more personalized than belts, you can choose from a bigger range of styles and colors, going from solids to patterns, leather to elastic, and more.
Advantages for Belts
Belts have been a consistent staple in the male wardrobe for centuries and have not wavered.
Because of this, they are much easier to find when in need.
While this isn’t a feature that promotes comfort, if you find you have a pair of pants that are a little too big, belts are more capable of holding your pants up.
Easy to use
Belts are fairly straightforward to fasten and all function the same way. Slipping a buckle through a hole is quicker and easier than suspenders, which can have different ways of fastening.
How to Wash Them
Maintenance of your suspenders is an important part of ownership. Suspenders can produce an air of affluence and privilege.
Indeed, they were often sported by those coined “old money” back in the day.
Because of this, they still give the appearance of sophistication and class.
However, that can quickly go out the window if they aren’t properly taken care of.
Depending on the material, you may be able to wash them in the comfort of your own home or have to outsource to a dry cleaning service in order to prevent damage and destruction.
Here is a brief guide on how to wash and maintain either type:
While you can put them in the washing machine, it’s recommended that you place them in a mesh laundry wash bag to prevent any damage.
Run the cycle on ‘delicate’. Like clothing, make sure to separate your colors accordingly.
Use cool water and a mild detergent but do not add bleach. After this, hang them out to air dry as opposed to using the dryer.
If you can, opt for hand washing and use Tide pens for any stains or marks.
If you are dealing with leather or other expensive material, you will want to keep them in grade-A shape for as long as you possibly can.
Non-elastic suspenders may consist of leather, silk, oxford cloth, or grosgrain.
Do not put these in the washing machine. Seek out a reliable dry-cleaning service that is able to clean delicate materials.
It’s easy to see why suspenders have come back into style after a long hiatus.
It’s a striking accessory that also functions in utility. The beauty of suspenders lies in their versatility.
Depending on how you wear them and what you pair with them, a myriad of styles can be made from them.
Suspenders can accompany all beard styles, hairstyles, and more. Casual or classy, long pants or short, you name it.
Men’s apparel and style are starting to take center stage when it comes to fashion.
No longer relegated to a sub-genre, men are now encouraged to take an active part in the beauty and fashion community.
Because of this, more options are opening up for men’s apparel and grooming every day.
Products like a men’s hair dryer are now being created to fit their needs, which may and often differ from women’s needs.
Experimenting with new trends and recurring trends is part of discovering your personal style.
Don’t be afraid to try something new or even outlandish if you want to.
No matter what you choose to put on, someone has tried it just like you and may have some pointers or tips on how to achieve the look you are going for.
Just like anything else, practice makes perfect, and style is no exception.
The more effort you put into your appearance, the more you will get out of it.
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- What Are Suspenders and Their Benefits
- How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs
- Types of Suspenders
- Other Aspects to Consider When Buying Suspenders
- How to Wear Your Suspenders
- Ways to Wear Your Suspenders
- What Is Better – Suspenders or Belts?
- Advantages for Suspenders
- Advantages for Belts
- How to Wash Them