Y vs. X Back Suspenders: Which Is Better?

Knowing what to look for when picking out your suspenders can be a tad overwhelming if you’re not familiar with suspenders. That’s why, today, we wanted to give you a little lesson on suspender back styles. 

Because yes, picking the right back for your suspenders can make all the difference in giving you a look that feels modern and fresh. And so, to start, let’s go over the difference between the X and Y back suspenders.  

What are X and Y Back Suspenders?

The two most common suspender back styles come in the form of the X back and the Y back suspender. 

And really, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the X suspender forms an “X” shape on the back, while the Y suspender forms a “Y” shape. 

Effectively this means that with the X shape, the suspender straps meet in the middle of the back, cross over, and then meet on the opposite end of the back of the pant, as shown below in the left image. 

You’ll notice that with the X shape, the suspenders meet at two points on the back of the pant, meaning the suspender has to be clipped onto the pant in four separate spots (two in front and two in back). 

On the other hand, with the Y shape, the straps still meet in the middle of the back, but instead of crossing over and then travelling to two separate points on the pants, the straps converge into one strap that travels down the center of the back, meeting at one point on the back of the pant. 

How To Pick A Y Back or X Back Suspender 

So now that you’re familiar with the difference between X back and the Y back suspenders, you likely want to know which one you should pick when shopping for suspenders, so first, let’s talk about the general style aesthetic of each. 

Let us ask: which of these suspender styles looks most formal to you?

If you’re like most people, you likely answered the Y back. 
Almost always, the Y back is considered the more formal and modern suspender style. 

Not only do Y back suspenders tend to look more fashion-forward, they also usually utilize buttons rather than clips, and if you know anything about suspenders, you know that button suspenders are always considered the more formal option over clips. 

Beyond just the formality of the Y back suspenders, it’s also considered a more modern and stylish suspender style, even for those of you might want to wear your suspenders as more of an everyday look. In other words, just because you want to wear your suspenders in your everyday wardrobe, doesn’t mean you automatically have to resort to an X back with clips. 

This is why all of our suspenders here at JJ Suspenders are Y backs. We want to ensure you always look and feel your best, whether you decide to go with a skinny suspender, a classic suspender, a formal suspender, or a leather suspender. We’ve got your back, no matter what (no pun intended). 

When Are X Back Suspenders Acceptable?

As mentioned, all of our suspenders come in the Y back, because we believe them to be the more modern, stylish choice for our fashion-conscious customers. Not to mention, many of our customers are either in a wedding party, are guests at a wedding, or might be the groom himself. 

In these three cases specifically, the Y back should always be worn. 

However, this might cause you to wonder if there’s ever a case when you should utilize the X back suspender, and really, there’s only one scenario where you might reach for the X back suspender over the Y…

If you’re farming, or are wearing your suspender for an outdoor activity, you might be inclined to reach for the X suspender simply because you’ll likely be wearing pants with belt loops. Because of this, you’ll need to wear clip suspenders, and because most pants have a belt loop in the center back of the pant, the Y back might not be able to clip because the belt loop is in the way. 

Still, even in this case, all of our suspenders come with top-quality clips that should be able to clip onto any part of the pant, so really, it’s very uncommon you’ll ever have to reach for the X back over the Y back. 

Conclusion: When To Pick X vs. Y Suspenders

Bottom line: Unless you’re planning on cutting down some trees, or you’re going on a big camping trip, Y suspenders are almost always the better way to go. 

They’re more convenient, stylish, modern, and much more readily available, especially at JJ Suspenders where we carry all the most stylish suspenders all done in the Y back suspender style. 

Be sure to check out our skinny, classic, formal, and leather suspenders to get a better sense of how great the Y back suspender looks with all four styles. 




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