Style Guide: Suspender Pants & Accessories (what to wear)

Posted on February 02, 2015 by JJ Suspenders

Because suspenders are such a traditional accessory, they come with a few rules on how they’re to be worn. While they’ve now become more of a fashion statement, some basic guidelines still apply, so read on for tips on how to avoid any suspenders faux-pas, and how to always be on point with your suspenders game.

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Should I wear suspenders with or without a belt? 

You should never, ever wear suspenders with a belt. If your trousers have belt loops, that’s ok as long as there is no belt. Wearing suspenders as well as a belt is considered to be bad form. So: belt loops = ok, belt = not ok.

What are the best kinds of pants for wearing suspenders?

Historically, suspenders were used to hold up pants. They were designed specifically so that they would hold trousers up elegantly, without causing any bunching or tightness around the waistline. 

Ideally, the best type of pants to wear with suspenders is a pair without belt loops that has buttons sewn on the inside for suspenders to loop onto. If you don’t have buttons on the inside of your pants, they can be sewn on, making wearing loop suspenders easy to wear. If your trousers have belt loops and no buttons, you can still wear a pair of suspenders, just make sure you choose a pair that clips on. While slightly less elegant, clip suspenders can be affixed to the waist of your pants with ease.

Suspenders can be worn with pretty much any kind of trousers. Loop or button suspenders are considered the most elegant, while clip suspenders are slightly more casual. For formal events, button-on suspenders, preferably in black or white, are required.

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How should I wear suspenders with jeans? 

Wearing suspenders with casual denim is a modern occurrence. Because of this, there are no hard-and-fast rules about how to wear the two together, but our advice is this: keep it simple, and use it as a way to express your personality and style. We like clip-on suspenders for ease of wear and versatility, and we love the idea of bright, bold colors and patterns paired with simple denim. Our favorite types of jeans to wear with this look are slim-fit or skinny jeans in a darker wash, and we like them rolled up at the cuff for an extra stylish touch.

How should I wear suspenders with a suit?

Because a suit is considered formal (or at the very least semi-formal), we recommend wearing suspenders that button on rather than clip on suspenders. Choose a simple style in a color that is either complementary to your suit, or that is in contrast for a nice pop of unexpected color. If you choose to wear clip-on suspenders (this is ok for a business suit but never ok for a tux), make sure that the metal hardware on your suspenders matches any other metal you are wearing, such as your shoe buckles.

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What kinds of outfits and accessories can I wear with suspenders?

You can wear suspenders with pretty much any kind of outfit you like. You can wear suspenders with a tux for a formal occasion, with a suit for work, or even with jeans or shorts for a more casual look. We’ve got some style guides to help give you some ideas about how you can incorporate suspenders into your wardrobe, and which accessories work best with every look.


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