Style Guide: Suspenders for Business Attire

Posted on February 02, 2015 by JJ Suspenders

We tend to think there are two types of people when it comes to suspenders: those who wear them, and those who don’t.

Many men are intimidated by the idea of wearing suspenders, mostly because even though they’ve recently resurfaced as a fashion trend, they’re not incredibly common, and they take a little bit of getting used to.

We think the best way to introduce suspenders into your wardrobe is as part of your work attire. Incorporating suspenders into business wear is a great way to gain confidence wearing them because they’re tucked away under your suit for most of the time, but when they’re visible they’re sure to leave an impression.

Suspenders in the workplace are also a great way to express your style and personality; depending on the look you’re going for, they can help you look more serious, authoritative, playful, or creative. Suspenders are incredibly versatile, and can be worn on different occasions and with different styles of suits.

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Choosing the right pair of suspenders to wear to work depends largely on the type of work you do, your workplace culture, and the dress code expected of you while on the job. Here are three examples of how to dress for success with suspenders.

CREATIVE (think Don Draper from Mad Men)

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To emulate Mr. Draper’s laid-back style that’s dapper but not stuffy, and make it relevant to today’s trends, opt for suspenders in a fun hue and pattern. This is not only playful (perfect for creative work), but also great for a flash of color and surprise when you take your suit jacket off. For a contemporary take on this look, we like suits that are slim-cut and made of fabrics in interesting hues and patterns. Accessories such as a bowtie or pocket handkerchief in complementary colors to your suspenders are the ideal finishing touches.

THE BOSS (think Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street)

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If you’re in a position that commands respect and always need to look elegant, pulled-together, and powerful, then suspenders would make a great addition to your work wardrobe. For an authoritative look, pair a tailored suit in a classic color (black, navy, or grey) and cut with a slightly wider tie and suspenders in either a similar hue to the suit, or in an entirely contrasting bold hue like red or yellow. Accessories such as personalized cufflinks and a tie pin are the perfect complements to the final look. 

CORPORATE HOTSHOT (think Harvey Specter from Suits)

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If you like to break the rules as well as make them, and are known for taking big risks and having huge successes on the job, then we think suspenders would make a great addition to your outfit. Keep it slick with suits that feature clean, classic lines in elegant fabrics. We like medium-width suspenders in block colors that complement your suit and tie but that don’t overpower. Choose suspenders in black or grey with delicate patterns. Soft pastels like pale pink and mint-green work great too, particularly with a navy suit. Team this look with polished shoes and a sharp watch, and you’re all set to take on whatever’s thrown at you.


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