Suspenders Suspense: An Overview

Suspenders are sleek, sophisticated, and even suave when worn correctly. Whether under a suit jacket, sports coat or even jacket-free, the suspender’s wealth of style makes its primary purpose of holding up trousers almost seem like an afterthought.

A Brief History

According to Time magazine, suspenders have their roots in 18thcentury France, when they were nothing more than straps of fabric that attached to buttonholes in pants. What we call “modern suspenders” only started being manufactured in the 1820’s in England. Back then, high-waist pants were in style, and suspenders were the only solution to hold them up. In America, the first patents for suspenders were granted sometime in the 1870’s.

But in the early 19thcentury, lower-waist pants became all the rave, so suspenders, rendered irrelevant, fell out of fashion. Yet, certain well-known people enjoyed wearing them, such as Humphrey Bogart. As the decades progressed, belts continued to be more popular, although suspenders remained an accessory for some.

Suspenders Today

Because various Hollywood and television figures (such as Larry King) have embraced suspenders, they have become a regular item in clothing stores, and many men enjoy wearing them. Specifically, men who are a little wider in the midsection tend to prefer suspenders to belts, as suspenders allow the waistline to fall in the middle of their stomachs, not beneath it like a belt.

Some men also prefer suspenders because belts cause their tucked-in shirts to crumple, whereas suspenders allow the shirt to retain its ironed look. Some men say that wearing suspenders helps them with posture, because they know that if they don’t remain upright, their suspenders will become loose, and their waistline will sink lower.

Suspenders Best Practices

If you are one of the men who prefers suspenders, just make sure you are wearing them properly. Here are some general guidelines for wearing suspenders.

  • Do not wear suspenders with a belt.
  • Try to wear suspenders with pants that don’t have belt loops.
  • Suspenders do have a lifespan: When the elastic begins to loosen, get a new pair.
  • The color and/or pattern of your suspenders should suit your outfit.

Not sure if suspenders are for you? Come to Karako Suits, and our excellent staff can help you determine if suspenders can make your day-to-day life more comfortable. You can try on a few styles to see which is right for you.

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Originally published at on January 14, 2016.