Wearing suspenders for the very first time is a positive experience for most people. However, there is a small learning curve when it comes to knowing how to put them on correctly. Fortunately, suspenders are easy to wear once you understand their design and how they function.
How to Put On Suspenders
Construction Design: X vs. Y
Suspenders can be constructed two different ways. One way is called the X-back suspender. This refers to how the straps crisscross each other in the back, forming an “x”. The alternative construction is known as the Y-back, and you can see the “y” shape on back. The main difference between the two is the X-back style has two back attachments versus the one back attachment on the Y-back. For a visual, watch our X-back and Y-back suspenders video.
The Attachments: Button-On vs. Clip-On
When choosing suspenders, you may find that many styles offer two types of attachment options. The button-on attachments (aka rabbit ears) are made of leather and feature two slots for attaching to buttons on a pair of pants. This style requires you to wear pants that have buttons sewn in the right spots in the front and in the back. If buttons are not there, you can always sew them on, or insert non-sew buttons. Attach the suspenders by inserting the buttons into the slots, just like you would do for a button-down shirt.
As for clip-ons, you simply gently pry the ends to open the clip jaws, place the clip over the rim of the pants and press to snap the clip closed. The clips secure the front and back straps. Find a step-by-step guide on how attach this style in our clip-on suspenders video.
Choosing Size and Adjusting Length
Once the suspenders are attached, the straps should feel comfortable across both shoulders. Be sure to read the size chart before making your selection to ensure you get the best size for your body and height. Suspenders should never be too tight or too loose. Because everyone is unique, metal strap adjusters are included for optimizing the fit. These adjusters call fall anywhere between the top of your pants to the front of your shoulders – there is no fashion rule you have to obey. Shorter suspenders will fall closer to the waistband while longer suspenders will fall closer to the top of the chest. If you prefer the adjuster to be higher on your chest rather than lower – try going up one size to get the extra length.
Keep styling options simple by coordinating a solid color suspender with a main color on a shirt, or pants color. Suspenders in neutral colors of black, brown and tan can greatly expand your outfit options. You can also do a lot with navy and red. Every suspender collection should have at least one pair of striped suspenders and one pair of another classic print such as polka dot. Once you’re comfortable wearing the basics, you can expand into other captivating patterns and fashion colors.