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Types of Men’s Suspenders

Men’s suspenders come in many different styles, each with its unique features. Whether worn for formal or casual occasions, suspenders add a touch of class and sophistication to any outfit.

If you want to add this timeless accessory to your wardrobe, getting familiar with the different types of suspenders available is essential. In this guide, we will go over the most popular styles of men’s suspenders so that you can find the perfect pair for your needs.

Let’s take a look.

Suspender Design

Suspenders come in a few different styles, which include:

Y-Back Suspenders

The most common type of suspender, Y-back suspenders, get their name from the shape of the backstrap which forms a “Y” when worn. These suspenders are also sometimes referred to as “trouser braces.”

Y-back suspenders are the most versatile type of suspender and can be worn with both casual and formal attire.

X-Back Suspenders

Also very popular, X-back suspenders get their name from the backstrap shape, which forms an “X” when worn. They provide more support than Y-back suspenders and are often preferred by those who need to wear suspenders for long periods, such as waiters or construction workers.

The Honest Tailor Says: X-back suspenders are a good choice for those who want a more vintage look, as this was the most common type of suspender worn in the early 1900s.

Suspender Attachment

You have a few ways to attach your suspenders to your pants. The most popular methods are:

  • Clips: The most common type of suspender attachment, clips are strong and easy to use. They attach to the top of your pants and can be adjusted to get the perfect fit.
  • Button: Another popular method, buttons are sewn into the inside of your waistband, and the suspenders attach to them. This type of suspender attachment is very secure but can be more challenging to put on and take off.
  • Side Clip: These are a good choice if you want something easy to take on and off. They attach to the side of your pants instead of the front or back and are a good choice for those who need to take their suspenders on and off throughout the day.
  • Trigger Snap: Commonly used for work suspenders, trigger snaps attach to belt loops.
  • Belt Clip: As the name suggests, belt clips attach to your belt instead of your pants. This type of attachment is not as common.

Suspender Width

From skinny to wide, suspenders come in a range of widths to suit your style. You’ll find suspenders anywhere between .5″ and 2″.

Skinny suspenders tend to be worn with more formal attire, while wider suspenders are more popular for casual or work wear. The extra width provides greater comfort and support and is a good choice for those who need to wear suspenders.

Pro Tip: If you plan on wearing work suspenders for construction or other manual labor, look for a pair of at least 1.5″ wide. The wider width will displace the weight on your shoulders.

Suspender Materials

Suspenders are typically made from one of the following materials:

  • Leather: These are the most traditional and stylish types of suspenders. They are also the most expensive. You can wear leather suspenders with both casual and formal attire. Just be sure to care for the leather properly.
  • Canvas: These are a good choice if you are looking for a natural and animal-friendly option. Canvas suspenders are casual-use only and are much more affordable.
  • Nylon: These usually are offered by the cheaper brands and are not as adjustable or durable as the other materials. This material is worth considering if you plan on wearing the suspenders infrequently.
  • Wool: While rare, some companies make wool suspenders. These can pair well with a nice blazer or sports coat.
  • Spandex (Elastane): Some companies weave in a touch of Spandex to the fabric to provide extra stretch. This can be helpful if you have difficulty finding suspenders that fit just right.

Suspender Patterns

Suspenders are available in a variety of patterns, including:

  • Plaid: These are great for adding a bit of personality to your outfit. Plaid suspenders are typically made from wool or cotton and can be worn with casual and formal attire.
  • Striped: Like plaid suspenders, striped suspenders can be made from various materials and are suitable for both casual and formal wear.
  • Solid: Solid suspenders are the most versatile and can be worn with any outfit.
  • Printed: Printed suspenders are fun to add some personality to your outfit. They are typically nylon and best suited for casual wear or novelty suspenders.

Brands

A few brands that offer suspenders for men include:

  • Charles Tyrwhitt
  • Col. Littleton
  • Dickies
  • J. Crew
  • Perry Suspenders
  • SuspenderStore
  • Duluth Trading
  • Carhartt

If you are looking to buy a pair of suspenders, check out our roundup of the best suspenders for men.

Price

The price of suspenders can vary depending on the material, pattern, and brand. For example, leather and wool suspenders tend to be the most expensive, while nylon and canvas suspenders are the most affordable.

Expect to pay between $30 and $80 for a good pair of suspenders that’ll last.

Other Suspender Types Worth Knowing

Here are a few other types of suspenders that are worth knowing about:

Undergarment suspenders are designed to be worn underneath your dress shirt and provide support for your pants. They are not meant to be seen and are typically made from soft and stretchy material for greater comfort. These are good if you want the support of suspenders but don’t want them to be visible.

Western suspenders are a type of work suspender that cowboys often wear. They are typically made from leather and feature brass hardware. They harken back to when cowboys needed suspenders to hold up their pants while riding on horseback.

Big and tall suspenders are designed for men who are 6’4″ and taller. These suspenders have extra-long straps to accommodate a taller frame.

Common Questions about Suspenders

Are suspenders still in style?

Suspenders are most associated with the roaring Twenties. While they have fallen out of style since then, they still have their place in a man’s wardrobe. They are most commonly worn as part of a costume or fashion statement.

Do you wear suspenders with a belt?

No, you should not wear suspenders with a belt. Suspenders are designed to hold up your pants without needing a belt. Wearing both suspenders and a belt can be uncomfortable and is generally considered to be bad fashion.

Are clip suspenders tacky?

Clip suspenders are the most common type of suspenders and are perfectly acceptable. They are not considered tacky.

About Adam

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam is an expert in all things men's grooming and style. When you don't find him reading up on the latest style trends, he likes to go jogging, attempt to distinguish the differences between IPAs, and play sports with his kids.

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