Super Suspender Holiday Gift Guide
No, the men on your gift list don’t need another tie. They. Just. Don’t. Since you don’t wanna be that guy (or girl), why not show off your flair for fashion this year by gifting something unusual and supremely useful: suspenders!
For one thing, suspenders are a practical present: if you’re sending them somewhere, they’re lightweight and won’t break in transit. They also fit a range of midsections, and best of all, they create a legitimate reason for the lucky recipient to buy all sorts of additional accessories to mix and match with.
The trick is to buy a pair (or five) he doesn’t have, but you know he’ll like and use. How? Simply shop by Suspender Personality (SP). We’ve identified the Top 10 for you, complete with distinguishing characteristics, from the style-conscious to the fearlessly flamboyant. And we custom selected great options for each SP they’re sure to love. That way, instead of spending time worrying, you can spend it, well, spending! Now please step away from the ties and no one gets hurt.
TYPE: Meticulous Manolo
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: A penchant for elegantly muted neutrals and a love of fine footwear. Generally European or wannabe Euro.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Whether he actually hails from the Continent or just wants you to think he does, he has a closet filled with Italian names and favors fancy French fragrances. He’ll air-kiss your cheeks several times if you give him one (or both) of these:
TYPE: Pete Poloshirt
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Owns too many polo shirts. Way. Too. Many.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Pick the two or three most common colors he wears and choose suspenders that match. If he tends to wear polos that are:
kelly green: try a suspender in Forest Green
bright red: opt for Burgundy suspenders
finance-guy pink: go for some fanfare in Fuchsia
...etc...you get the (color-coordinated) picture!
TYPE: Eclectic Ethan
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Quietly treads the offbeat path enroute to places unexpected and fabulous. Loves fashion basics, such as a black pant or white shirt, but always featuring with an interesting twist, be it a funky hemlength or cheeky pattern.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Follow suit (so to speak) with twisty, Ethan-approved basics like:
TYPE: Aaron the Artiste
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Has a tortured soul, but is very fashionable about it. Favors fash-pack colors like charcoal, black, more black and dark designer denim.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Stick to inky and muddy hues with interesting touches - like leather - and he may even feel less tortured upon opening your thoughtful gift.Try sleek leather suspenders in:
TYPE: Patrick the Punk Prepster
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: A prepster with punk leanings, or perhaps a punk soul with a preppy streak….it kind of depends on the day.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Take your suspender-color cues from his bow-ties and neckwear. Since he already owns at least one pair each of suspenders in black and khaki, he’ll love you from bottom of his preppy-punk heart if you expand his color horizons with suspenders shades like:
TYPE: Ivo the Iconoclast
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Inhabits places like Brooklyn before they become cool, patronizes out-of-the-way coffee spots (before they are cool), reads underground writers (before they are deemed cool), collects native art (prior to becoming cool) and has long sported an epic beard...yes, pre-cool.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: If it even has a whiff of cool, Ivo’s not interested, so with this cat, it’s less about the actual suspender and more about the context. Actually, all about the context. So when you come bearing your suspendery gifts, be sure to mention (not so) casually that they’re from this indie-niche brand. It’s run by two dudes from Canada who model their wares after a very old company in England...that is supremely uncool. Which Ivo will find very cool. That being said, he’ll dig:
black with a skull & bones pattern
lavender (because Ivo owns at least one pair of pants in this hue...of course)
TYPE: Cool Calvin
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Fearless choices in clothing colors and silhouettes (think Andre 3000) and an enviable knack for accessorizing.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: The more vibrant and fun the suspender, the better he’ll like it. Try:
wide, canary yellow suspenders
TYPE: Plaid-Mad Chad
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Mad about plaid.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: Anyone adept enough to combine plaid and colored suspenders is awesome in our book and deserves a hat tip. Plus more colored suspenders. The trick is to key your choice of suspender-color off the main color of the plaid. For example, the plaid above is dominated by blue, so a suspender in navy blue is a great choice. If Chad likes to wear:
blue plaids: opt for a suspender in a dark shade of denim, a navy pinstripe or a navy with white
pink or red plaids: these play well with reds on the darker end of the spectrum, especially oxblood and burgundy
yellow plaids: bright sunshine yellow all the way!
TYPE: Flamboyant Flavio
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Peacocking with panache.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: There’s an art to knowing that a flamingo pink shirt, mustard-yellow fedora and cobalt-blue portfolio play well together, particularly in the presence of button-on suspenders. For any Flavios on your list, your best bet is to give the basics a miss (talking to you black and/or white), and instead choose suspenders in natty neutrals that work with his sophisticated eye for color, including:
navy with an emerald green stripe or green polka dots
TYPE: Hal the Hipster
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Hipsters. Hard.
WHAT TO KNOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFT: When he’s not playing his sax at a jazz club gig or paying for his sax-playing lifestyle by hacking code on the side for The Man, Hal enjoys doing what hipsters do best: caffeinating and looking groovy. Porkpie hat or small-brim fedora? Check. Fancy footwear? Of course. Snazzy trousers in all shades of mud? A closet full of them. But what he needs more of are, you guessed it, suspenders! Particularly ones that play well with his collection of shirts in I-love-Havana soft pastels. Some suspenders he’ll love: