Suspenders are one of the more uncommon (and perhaps under-rated) men’s fashion accessories. This bold and practical accessory has been a statement piece in menswear since the 1820s, but has definitely fallen off in modern-day men’s fashion. More often than not, suspenders are associated with the persona of a stern, old-school man (think mobsters, principals, your grandpa and Larry King) or the stereotypical nerd (think Steve Urkel, enough said). Here are a few styling tips to wear suspenders without looking like your grandpa...or a complete dork.
What are suspenders?
If you’re going to wear suspenders, it’s important to understand what suspenders actually are. Also described as “suit braces”, suspenders are a functional accessory worn over your shoulders that attach to and hold up your pants. Essentially, they replace the need for a belt.
Also, to understand how to style suspenders, you must first understand the different styles of suspenders. Suspenders can vary by shape (X or Y), fabric (leather, cloth or spandex), pattern (classic or novelty), functionality (functional or decorative), and occasion (casual, workwear or formal).
Ways to Style Suspenders
Classic and Professional
Suspenders can add some extra boldness to your everyday workwear. Add an authoritative touch to your favorite power suit with dark colored suspenders. Style them underneath an open suit jacket for a classy, peek-a-boo effect. OG tip for now: Carry an old-school briefcase for a classic Wall Street professional look.
Stylish and Sophisticated
Suspenders maintain their sophisticated look when paired with dress pants and button-down shirt. To add more style and flair, add a subtly textured pair of suspenders (like woven or leather). This stylish and polished look is a great way to spice up your cocktail attire or semi-formal wear. OG tip for now: Accessorize with a hat or pipe for a sophisticated Great Gatsby vibe.
Sexy and Romantic
Nail the sexy gentleman’s look with a romantic take on suspenders. Keep the look simple and sweet by styling a pair of whimsical and light suspenders with your look. Pair with a bowtie or boutonniere for a charming wedding or date night look. OG tip for now: A sleek hairstyle (and some flowers) will help you embody a 1950s classic gentleman.
Quirky and Fun
Add bright colored or patterned suspenders to your outfit to make a bold and fun statement. Bold suspenders tend to work best with more casual shirts and jeans. But tastefully patterned suspenders (like polka dots) can add some playfulness to a muted, semi-formal look. OG tip for now: Match your socks with your suspenders for a fun pop.
Suspenders for The Modern Fashionable ManSuspenders can be a sophisticated, stylish and sexy men’s fashion accessory. Use these tips to add some unique charm to your daily look, and make suspenders work for the modern man.