Friday, September 24, 2010

More on Suspenders

Over the summer I did a post about wearing suspenders that has surely become my most popular post and I've received quite a bit of feedback/questions in response.  It appears that there isn't as much information out there on how to wear suspenders correctly as I had previously expected, so I'm back again with more tips for this continually growing trend.  All the suspenders shown in this post come from Steve & Co.  Their products are all high quality and Italian made, so if you are looking to invest in a good pair of suspenders, they are a great option.

Casual Clothing:

When I say casual, I do not mean business casual here.  I'm talking about t-shirt and jeans or shorts casual.  If there is a situation to break out the clip-on suspenders, this is it.  You don't need specifically tailored pants for them and they don't need to be expensive to look good.  There are just a couple of rules you need to know for casual clip-on suspenders.  First, keep them a narrow to medium width.  You don't want to look like you are wearing Gordon Gekko suspenders over a t-shirt.  They will be overbearing.  Second (and this isn't even really a rule) is experiment.  Yes, narrow black suspenders will look good casually, but they are almost too comfortable of an option.  If you have never worn suspenders before and are cautious about breaking them out in front of the harshest of fashion critics (friends and family), it is easier to start with a plain, neutral color.  However, because it is a casual look, you should experiment with colors and patterns.  Don't wear suspenders that are the same exact color as your shirt and avoid clashing bad color pairs like navy and black and take it from there.  

Steve & Co. - Red Thin Bracers €25 ($33)

Business/Business Casual:

Wearing suspenders with business or business casual clothing becomes a bit more tricky.  At this point, some suspender aficionados will insist that you can't wear clip-on suspenders.  I disagree just a little.  Clip-on suspenders are still ok with business or business casual dress, but I would stick to wider versions that look a little dressier.  Avoid the super narrow pairs that look more casual and go for a pair that is around an inch wide.  This will have a more sophisticated look and work well in a business or business casual setting.  You can still experiment with patterned or striped suspenders, just be careful they don't clash with your shirt.  Absolutely avoid striped suspenders against a striped shirt in all circumstances.  They will clash and you will look like you got dressed in the dark.  Because of the nature of a business casual setting, I would recommend more muted or darker colors.  You want to stand out with the way you dress, but not in a bad way, so avoid any bright or flashy colors.  If you really want to commit to wearing suspenders in a business casual type of setting, I would still recommend going the way of the aficionados and invest in pants meant for suspenders and a few nice pairs of button-on suspenders.  This is truly the classic suspender style and harps back to the sophistication of another era.  When you are trying to pair suspenders with ties, look to match the suspenders with a prominent color in the tie.  Once again, be careful of patterns and stripes clashing.  While I won't say you can't mix patterned or striped suspenders with patterned or striped ties, it is a risky move.  It is easiest to stick with solid colored suspenders that match with your tie or your suit.  Last, but possibly most important, do NOT wear suspenders with a polo shirt in a business casual setting. Ever.  I would avoid it in any setting, but if you really think you can pull off suspenders with a polo shirt, try it as a casual look.

Steve & Co. - Blue Braces Stripe €35 ($47)
This pair will look great in a business casual setting

Steve & Co. - Black Plain Bracers €40 ($54)
This pair allows you to either use a clip-ons or button-ons.  Go with the button-ons if you are considering on becoming a regular suspenders wearer

Steve & Co. - Black Plain Bracers €40 ($54)
The double clasp option is another way to wear clip-on but get the styling of a button-on pair 

Formal:

This is the easiest and probably the least exciting time to try out suspenders.  In formal settings, button-ons are your only option.  Unless it's a cheesy school dance, always stick with a pair that is the same color as your suit.  You want to look sharp, not like a clown at a nice event.  Your suit needs to be made for button-on suspenders if you want to wear them in a formal setting.  They will be tailored differently than normal pants to account for the suspenders and will look and fit much better than a pair of pants that had buttons sewn on the waist 5 minutes before you walked out the door.  No patterns, no fancy designs, simple and elegant is the way to go.

Please keep the feedback coming!  I know I still haven't addressed every single aspect of suspenders, so if you have more questions, leave a comment and I will either answer it there, or do yet another post on suspenders.  If you have any other fashion topics you would like me to cover, leave a comment or email me at: YoungGentsGuide@gmail.com. 


15 comments:

  1. interesting post...great idea...follow you follow me too

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  2. I've bought a pair from Steve and Co. (www.steveandco.com)...they're fabulous!!!

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  3. My mates pulled my leg (and my braces) when I first wore them in public, but gradually some of them have secretly tried them and found them so much more comfortable than a tight belt that they are now sporting them as well.

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  4. I love wearing suspenders and I am happy that they seem to come back in fashion for women and men.

    Sarah

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  5. i have only just started wearing suspenders. and all i can say is good comments about them. my wife loves the look and it was from her suggestion that i started wearing them to work with my suits. i have had nothing but great comment from males and females to how fablous they look and now about 70% of my work mates wear them. even my wife has started wearing them with nice pants or high waisted skirt when she goes out and i have to say they look so sexy when worn with the right outfit on women.

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  6. My gf gave me a pair of braces last christmas, but I haven't yet had the courage to wear them in public. Any tips to stave off my embarrassment?

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  7. I think it's pretty common for most guys to get nervous about wearing something new and attention grabbing in public. For example, if you never wear a hat, the first couple days you try to, everyone you know will make comments. There is nothing you can do about that.

    However, I do have a couple recommendations. Start by wearing them around the house for a couple days. Get use to having them on and let them become comfortable enough that you forget they are there when your family/roommates, whoever is around, sees them. Next, start wearing them out when you run errands, places you will see only strangers. Once you are ok with that, break them out for friends/co-workers/classmates and get EXCITED to see how they will react to the change. Get excited to see their reactions and surprise, make it your GOAL to get noticed by them. That is the point of fashion right? Taking this perspective as opposed to a negative one will make it a lot easier. And finally, remember that most people will think of it as something that is fun and different and not in bad taste. Those that view it negatively are probably jealous, boring, or dressed incredibly poorly.

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  8. I love suspenders, think they look great for casual and business, depending on the style of the suspenders. Suspender store has them all, and great prices too.

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  9. My Gran gave me a pair of braces (suspenders for my US cousins), and I felt compelled to wear them when I visited last week. I gained a number of admiring comments from her neighbours who dropped round, but they were middle-aged plus, so i still have to face my family and mates. I want to continue wearing them as they were very comfortable, but I am dreading it. Any suggestions, guys?

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  10. I love suspenders on guys. You should really do a post with pictures of how to do it right- sometimes descriptions just aren't enough!

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  11. It's kind of tricky wearing suspenders with business attire. But they look good, even in casual wear.

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  12. I've bought a cheap pair beige clip on pair of braces from H&M. I find the clips detach when I'm being more active. Would button braces be better at staying in place and not detaching on their own?

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  13. Tido

    It is probably not the fault of your braces that they fly off your pants, but that the pants material is too thin. I find this is the case with jeans as well. The solution is to place a small piece of cardboard inside your waistbans and clip your braces around this as well as your pants. Never fails, and is easier and cheaper than finding pants with braces buttons on them.

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  14. Just brought a pair of suspenders from H&M and I'm a problem: mine is a y suspender and the intersecting part of it is stretched towards the back of my neck which I'm unsure if it's supposed to happen. Any tips? Thanks.

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