Style Guide: Suspenders for Casual Wear

Posted on February 02, 2015 by JJ Suspenders

Over the past few years, suspenders have gained popularity among businessmen (thank you, Don Draper!) but they’ve also become a wardrobe staple among the fashion-savvy crowd. Walk through a hip neighborhood or grab a drink at a trendy bar, and you’re guaranteed to spot at least one person sporting suspenders with a laid-back, relaxed ensemble. 

Here we’ve put together some of our favorite street styles that incorporate suspenders.

Suspenders & Denim/Chambray

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This is probably the most common of all of the street styles, and hands down one of the most versatile and wearable ways to incorporate suspenders into your everyday look. We love the simplicity of dark blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt: it’s the fashion equivalent of a blank canvas, making it easy to be playful with your choice of suspenders. You can keep it simple with suspenders in a basic block color, or go wild with bright, patterned suspenders for a more daring and unique look.

 The other way we love to see suspenders combined with denim is with blue jeans and a chambray shirt. While this all-blue look has recently gained popularity, we urge you to approach it with just a hint of caution to avoid any style faux-pas. Our tips for achieving the perfect look: pair a soft chambray shirt with dark jeans (different shades of blue is key), roll your sleeves up to the elbow, and choose a pair of suspenders that’s neutral—leather, or solid brown or black work well.

Suspenders & Plaid

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While it may not seem like it, this outdoors-inspired look is actually incredibly popular among urban city dwellers. Dubbed ‘The Woodsman’ and occasionally ‘The Beardsman’, it’s a fiercely masculine look that can be adapted to suit your individual style.

We like a simple, classic take on it: a (red) plaid shirt (bonus points if it’s flannel), faded blue jeans, and nicely worn-in hiking boots. And don’t forget the suspenders, as they’re the accessory that really completes this look: leather or brown, worn in, and with a nice mid/wide strap. Well-groomed beard optional (but highly recommended).

Suspenders & Shorts

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While this is possibly the preppiest suspenders look out there, it’s also one of the chic-est and most polished ones –if you get it right. We’re huge fans of pairing shorts with suspenders (in the summer only please) because it reminds us of weekend jaunts out to the Hamptons, and all the best parts of a Ralph Lauren catalog.

The best way to wear this style is: white or navy blue shorts, white shirt (short sleeves, or rolled up to over the elbow), slip-ons, a hat, and suspenders—with matching bowtie, natch—in a bold hue; think emerald green or brilliant blue. And if you’ve got suspenders with a nice striped pattern, those are even better.

Suspenders & Sweaters

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Winter doesn’t mean you have to hide your suspenders under a boring old blazer or coat. Instead, consider suspenders as outerwear and use them to jazz up a plain sweater that would otherwise go unnoticed. We like a bright pair of suspenders to liven up a dreary winter day, and love to see sweaters paired with denim or slim-fit corduroy trousers. Lace-up boots and polished brogues tie it all together.


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