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Get Stylish in Suspenders

by Matthew Wexler
Contributor
Tuesday Feb 25, 2014
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Christopher Bates spring 2014 collection.
Christopher Bates spring 2014 collection.  (Source:Fashion GPS)

Suspenders are often seen as old-fashioned or "too vintage", but often this is because the novice wearer might not know how to properly accessorize or stylize these classic men’s accessories. Our friends at ties.com offer a few tips for those who are ditching the belt and opting for an old-school approach to keeping their pants on.

Suspenders are always attached precisely at the waistline, nowhere else, and clip-ons are the easiest way to go. If you opt for buttons, then you’ll have to have your pants properly altered to accommodate. With clip-ons, simply open the jaws of the attached clips and place them equidistant from the back seam and the crotch seam - about where the pelvic or hipbones protrude.

If you’re a first-time suspender-wearer, be sure to suspend with caution as something too dramatic may make you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Start with a neutral shade that matches everything like tan, charcoal or navy suspenders and work your way up from there as you progressively adjust.


  (Source:ties.com)

Don’t start off with anything too trendy or too retro like skinny or wide braces, start with a standard sized pair. However, if you are particularly thin (think Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyer’s Club"), a skinny pair of suspenders would look best on you. But remember: the decision lies between suspenders or belt - never both.

Suspenders are always worn best with a formal ensemble, particularly with a crisp white cotton shirt and a pair of carbon black dress pants. What’s great about this classic look is that it will typically make for a more masculine silhouette, especially for men with broad shoulders. Suspenders are not visible when worn with a jacket, lending a distinctly unique and polished look in either a jacket-on or a jacket-off scenario.

Suspenders are also being seen in hipster styles. Patterned suspenders worn over a vintage T-shirt and skinny jeans or chinos looks more masculine compared to that of the preppy style, which pairs more subtly colored braces over a light plaid or pinstriped shirt.

Can braces be worn with ties? Absolutely! But be sure to never match the pattern or color of your suspenders to that of your tie, unless the color is black. Suspenders can be worn over an array of different outfits, just keep in mind a few basic concepts and you’ll be walking in style - without your pants around your ankles.


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at www.roodeloo.com. He is also a trained chef and currently writing a food memoir.

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