When Is It Appropriate to Wear Novelty Suspenders?

Suspenders come in a wide range of colors and patterns but there’s one category that stands out like a bright, blinking neon light — novelty suspenders. What’s great about this style is that they can help you make a fun fashion statement with a common clothing accessory. And, unlike a T-shirt, they can be slipped on and taken off without a need to change clothing. However, expressing yourself with graphic novelty images may not be appropriate for every situation. The following suggestions can help you choose when to break out those cool novelty suspenders.

Casual Work Days

Many workplaces have casual Fridays, a day of the week when employees can show up at work wearing anything from jeans to business casual. Dress policies vary among workplaces, so before assuming you can rock a pair of novelty superhero suspenders on a Friday, ask your boss, supervisor or co-workers if it’s okay.

Let’s say you find out you can wear them. Does that mean you can choose ones with any type of graphic art? Maybe not. Some images may seem okay to you, but they might make waves at work for various reasons. For instance, a style featuring skull and crossbones may put you in a bad light. At work, it’s best to play it safe and choose suspenders with widely accepted graphic themes. For this work look, a solid or striped button-down shirt in a complementary color should be your go-to top.


Anytime a holiday rolls around, you can look forward to wearing suspenders featuring holiday themes. In general, the bigger the holiday, the more acceptable it is to wear your novelty suspenders. You can usually wear holiday themed suspenders for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas without anyone blinking an eye. In fact, you may receive compliments for your choice of accessory, even at work. That’s because these holidays are shared experiences that tend to put many people in a good mood.

Watch out, though, and be mindful that you don’t go overboard with your outfit, stumbling into tackiness without realizing it. For most situations, novelty suspenders make enough of a bold statement that you don’t need to add funny glasses, a busy-patterned shirt or a novelty T-shirt, unless you want to come across as a kitschy character. Keep tops simple and select, say, a solid white, blue, green or black button-down shirt or T-shirt to wear with your chosen suspenders. By pairing your holiday suspenders with low-key clothing, they become the main attraction and a conversation piece that attracts attention.

Weekend Outings

Weekends outside of work are your own and, therefore, anything goes when it comes to novelty suspenders. It feels good to express your individuality while you’re out and about shopping, hanging with friends or taking the kids to a ball game. The only time you may have to leave them at home is when you go out to a posh restaurant that frowns upon freewheeling attire choices.

Events and Parties with Fun Themes

Small towns and cities have their share of special events, and if certain events allow casual dress, go ahead and wear your themed pair of suspenders. For example, a parade is a great time to break out a pair of colorful suspenders featuring cartoon characters, patriotic American flags, rainbows, etc. Parties with fun themes such as steampunk, Mexican fiesta, 1950s or the big game give you a chance to wear a favorite pair of novelty suspenders.

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