Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome! Today we're going to talk about a classic piece of menswear that has fallen into disuse, but has slowly made a comeback and has gained an increasingly stylish air: the suspender!

At the beginning of the last century it was almost mandatory to wear a suspender in social situations. It is an alternative to the belt and has the main function of holding up the trousers. Today, it not only regains this function, but also becomes part of many male looks.

Do you know how to wear a suspender? What are the clothes with which it is most suitable? And in which social situations is it ideal to wear it? In the next few lines, we will talk a lot about this accessory and clear up any doubts that may exist!




The most important facts

  • The primary function of the suspender is the same as that of the belt: to hold up your trousers. So don't wear the two together. Once the accessory does well what it was designed to do, you can move on to thinking about style.
  • There are many variations on braces: colour, strap shape on the back, how they connect to the trousers, width of the straps, among others. You can think of all of these when choosing yours!
  • Make no mistake: braces can be much more than an accessory worn at weddings or in specific social situations. You can be very creative with it on a daily basis.

The Best Suspender: Our Picks

Buying guide

It's time to learn more about the suspender. After all, it's not a piece we usually wear every day.

Let's understand when to wear it and how to combine it, as well as its advantages and disadvantages compared to other accessories

Imagem mostra um homem usando um suspensório sentado e bebendo whisky.

A suspender can add a lot of elegance to a man's look. (Source: nappy/ Pexels.com)

What is a suspender and what is it used for?

The original function of the suspender is quite simple: to hold up the trousers. It is the same as the belt, only exercised with an accessory that passes through the entire torso region. It is also more comfortable and less tightening.

There are two types of braces: those with clips, known technically as clip-on, and those with buttons. To go with the first, any trouser will do, while for the second, it needs to have the holes to allow buttoning.

After a period of ostracism, this piece has made a comeback in fashion. It is still worn mainly in social situations, such as weddings, graduations and parties that require more elegant attire. But some men are also adapting the suspender to casual looks.

Therefore, you do not need to limit the suspender to specific moments in life. You can be creative with it!

Did you know that there is a very curious story about the appearance of the suspender?

A Belgian thief used to fill his trouser pockets with the coins he stole, making them heavy and fall out. To avoid being caught, he needed an adaptation.

So he began to fasten his trousers with straps that went over his shoulders. From then on, the fashion caught on and braces began to be admired. Whether true or legendary, the fact is that this accessory was popular for many years

Suspender or belt?

We have already mentioned that braces and belts are two accessories with the same function. So, you may be wondering: when is it ideal to use each one?

The first rule is the most obvious one: you should wear what makes you feel better and more beautiful. Style is a very personal thing and it should also be linked to comfort. Just don't wear a belt and a suspender together under any circumstances!

What differentiates the two accessories is that the belt is imperceptible, almost always hidden under other pieces, while the suspender is very eye-catching, immediately drawing attention to you.

In all kinds of casual situations, both pieces go well and the biggest question is your personal style. For everyday life, it is good to know where and with whom you are. It doesn't make much sense to wear a suspender to an outdoor barbecue, for example.

In the table below, we compare the two accessories:

Suspender Belt
Appearance Flamboyant: is always on show and standing out in the visual Discreet: will rarely be noticed
With what it combines Social trousers, tailored trousers, jeans All kinds of pieces
Fall Distributes better the shape of the belly and chest Holds the lower part of the belly, highlighting it
When to use Social situations, casual environments more detached All situations

What are the best looks to wear a suspender?

For the best use of the suspender, you should combine it with others that have a more retro or vintage style. That is why we recommend tailored trousers and shirts with differentiated cuts.

An excellent combination for braces, always recommended in social situations, is with a bow tie.

Do not try to wear a suspender with sporty outfits. The ideal is to avoid pieces such as sports shoes, open windbreaker jackets, and caps. All of these will have a far from desired effect.

The ideal is also to always wear the shirt inside the trousers. Otherwise, together with the suspender, a disproportionate volume will be formed. For this reason, wearing it with a T-shirt is not usually the best option.

There are braces with different width straps, ranging from 2.5 to 4 cm. The more social the look, the larger this number needs to be, and the more casual, with jeans for example, the better a thin strap.

For suggestions and comments on the use of braces, we recommend this video from the Daniel Barra channel:

How much does it cost and where to buy a suspender?

As there is a variation between materials, designs and complexity in the production of the braces, there is also a big difference in values. Some models are very cheap, starting at around R$ 20, but difficult to fit into casual looks.

Models of medium complexity, found in large shops and produced in series, may vary between R$ 50 and R$ 100. If you intend to find a handmade suspender, which fits your style perfectly, get ready to spend up to R$ 300.

You'll find braces both in large shopping mall shops or popular shops, as well as in other shops specializing in men's socialwear. It all depends on the type of piece you want for your wardrobe.

To buy online, we recommend the Brazilian Amazon, full of good options. It is also worth visiting the international Amazon, the Mercado Livre and some e-commerce shops specializing in men's fashion.

Purchase criteria: what to consider when buying a suspender

Now that you have some good ideas for looks to wear a suspender, there are a few more criteria to pay attention to when buying:

We'll talk a little more about each of them below.

Size

Most braces come in one size. There are adjustments that make it fit your body, making it possible to use it even if there is weight gain or loss. However, there is a maximum limit that you can stretch it.

So, before buying, measure yourself with a tape measure, starting from the waist, going over the shoulder and coming back to the waist. Many models are 90 cm in total. If you go beyond that, you will need a larger model.

Shape of the back strap

There are braces with three different shapes of back straps: parallel, Y-shaped and X-shaped. Besides the one you like the most, you also need to know which one fits best in each type of situation.

Parallel braces are more spaced in the front, valuing men with wider chests. They are also more casual. For social events, opt for models with a Y or X shape on the back.

Fabric

You will find braces with several fabrics on the market. Canvas ones are the simplest and should be used mainly for costumes. Avoid them when the idea is to put together an elegant look.

Leather and polyester go very well, either for elegance or for casualness. Just remember to combine them well with the other pieces you intend to use and not overload any of the materials in your look.

Imagem mostra um homem de idade andando de costas e usando um suspensório.

The suspender goes well for men of all ages. (Source: Caroline Hernandez/ Unsplash.com)

Colour

It is very traditional to wear a black or navy blue suspender. With the accessory becoming part of casual fashion again, however, is growing production in several other colours, such as red and green.

Another great option is jacquard braces, a handmade interlacing of colours that causes an exceptional effect. You will need to pay more to have a model like this, but it will certainly be worth it.

(Featured image source: SplitShire/ Pixabay.com)

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