Suspenders were the great necessity in the past, dating back to the 18th century, but it became famous in the 1820s. Currently, however, this retro accessory has made a dramatic return to the fashion road where they are very favorable for gentlemen when they build up their outfits for either casual or formal occasions.
With that coming back, the suspenders have made a shock to the fashion and created so many trends for wearing this one instead of a belt as usual. To catch up with the world, everyone tends to purchase at least one for their wardrobe and learns to mix it. However, you know what? Sometimes you may feel as if you’ve already created some sort of disaster with your outfit.
Don’t let the trend become a fast fashion like a comet, reaching the peak quickly and vanishing quickly as well. If you love the elegant style and would like to follow this road, you need to get yourself provided with the basic concept of this item before making your purchasing decision.
From now, I would like to break down this classic accessory into many small parts for you to easily follow:
I. 3 basic designs for suspenders
1. Button suspenders
You know what? One of the largest categories of suspenders is button suspenders because this type or design is very easy to use as well as the original or traditional design for suspenders.
Button suspenders are the suspenders which are attached to the buttons sewn on your waistband. The buttons are sewn on either outside or inside of the waistband. However, there are also other types of buttons such as permanent metal buttons which are hammered on the waistband or movable buttons that you can clamp on the waistband. With the movable buttons, you can easily move them from one pant to another.
Traditionally, most of the button suspenders were attached to buttons sewn on pants and worn until the clips were invented. This category of suspender is conventionally called braces outside of the US. Most of the products are a dressier suspender with the classic look, but there are also other designs for casual and daily life or even also for the work purpose.
Besides, the vast majority of button suspenders feature the Y-back shape with one back strap and two front ones. The common attachment of this product is leather and it has many names like a mustache, paddles, rabbit ears or you can call it leather strip. This one is attached to the buttons on your pant and is going to be 2.5″ to 3″ apart.
Moreover, there are other types of attachments along with the leather strip like the runner ends featuring the elastic rabbit ears, so they can help you a little bit when you’re trying to get them on the buttons. This one is usually worn with the tuxedos. And, here is another one, which is called the work suspenders. This type has the heavy leather ends to deal with the hard condition of your heavy duty work and sometimes it is called logger suspenders.
That’s all about the button suspenders for you to know what it is. And for more illustrative information, I would love to offer you my particular article about button suspenders where you see different types of this product as well as material. Furthermore, I also give you a brief instruction on how to wear this suspender and how to sew the buttons as well.
2. Clip suspenders
For the greater convenience, but still, in the elegant look, the clip suspenders were invented to meet the need of the customers. These products feature the same structure as the button suspenders, but there is another design besides the traditional Y-back offers. The clips suspenders can diversify your choices with the X-shape which is supposed to be better at spreading the tension force as well as offering a better grip.
People tend to use clip suspenders more frequently because there is a wide selection for this product with a variety of designs, materials and many more. The common or regular clip suspenders are quite simple that the clips, usually metal, are directly attached to the straps and kept securely with a tightly machine-sewn seam.
There is another shape of clip suspenders, which is called side clip suspenders. The design is somewhat like the design of the X- back. This time, however, the two back straps are sewn tightly to the two front ones. Thus, the products only come with one clip on each side of your pants.
Together with many designs, the clip suspenders also come with many types of attachment, unlike button suspenders. People may be afraid of the metal clips due to the sharp teeth which may tear the pants. Thus, there is an innovation for the plastic clip suspenders which can solve that problem, but the construction is still not as good as the traditional metal clips.
On the other hand, many brands have launched a new design for the clip, which is known as the pin clip suspenders. This innovation, from my own view, is the greatest one for more security and safety as well because the regular clip sometimes falls out of your pants due to the severe tension force, especially when you stretch up or bow down. Furthermore, the pin clip suspenders are also favorable because they won’t cause severe damage to your pants, just a tiny hole due to the needle.
People sometimes wonder what the drop clip suspenders are. They look just like the regular types, but the difference is that the clips are not attached to the straps directly, but to the leather tabs instead. The leather attachment can also add an elegant touch and somehow liven up the monotonous mainstream common clip suspenders. For this type, there are many offers that also feature the rabbit ears or leather strip in order to double the clips for each strap, so the security will be enhanced significantly.
That’s all about the clip suspenders such as designs and types of attachment. Before moving on to another type of suspenders, I would like you a brief instruction on how to put on clip suspenders.
How to put on clip suspenders?
So, let’s talk a little bit about what a good clip is. The good one is that when you close the clip, it is supposed to lock firmly and securely that there is no space existing in the clip. I would like to clarify one concern of so many people. They usually attach the clips on the thick material like the belt loop because they think that the thick material will help the clip stay more firmly than the thin one, but they are wrong. The key point here is about the quality of the clips. The bad ones cannot be locked firmly when you close them, so they have to be attached to the belt loops. Meanwhile, the high-quality one can perfectly stay on the waistband.
And now, when wearing the Y-back clip suspenders, you would like to clip the back strap on the center on your pant as long as there is not a center belt loop. Otherwise, you should attach the clip just to one side of the center belt loop. Then, for the two front straps, you just need to let the slide down on your torso and look at yourself in the mirror the see whether they fit best or not. Most of the time, the straps will stay on one side of the belt loop, either outside or inside.
How about the X-back clip suspenders? You can wear them in the same way as the Y-back ones with the two front straps. However, for the back straps, you have to measure by yourself to clip them on the most suitable position because if they are too close, the straps will be slack or if they are too far from each other, there won’t be a good grip to your pants. Thus, it depends on your torso to put them in the most suitable position, but remember that each clip will have the equal distance from the center of the pants.
For more illustrations about clip suspenders, you can check here to see my collection of many good deals and hope that you can pick up one for your wardrobe.
3. Loop suspenders
People may think that suspender and belt go along at the same time because they have the similar function. However, in some special case of the heavy-duty work environment like construction, you have to wear the heavy tool belt which causes your pants to fall down. Thus, you have to wear the suspender to pull the belt up.
That special type is call belt loop suspenders which have a different ending from any others due to its use. These have a leather loop at the end to run through your belt and act like a hook, so the leather loop won’t fall out of the belt easily. The endings are mostly the leather loop instead of the elastic ones because their duty is to pull up the belt, so if use the elastic ones, your pants still keep falling down. Then, at one time, the loop cannot stand with the tension force and will be ripped.
Unfortunately, this type of suspender is not very much popular as the two design above, so there are quite a few of colors and options of this one on the market. And, for these suspenders, you can also think ok the belt clip suspenders which have the same function as the belt loop suspenders to offer you with dual support.
II. How to choose the right width of suspenders?
Currently, you can find a suspender from a super thin to excessively wide due to the way you wear. However, just one small and subtle change can impart your whole outfit, so you have to remember that the suspenders happen on a scale: The thinner and skinnier the suspenders are, the more casual you look like, while the wider they are, the more formal and classic you will become.
There are three ranges of width for the suspenders you have to consider when choosing for different occasions. The first range is about 0.5”- 1”. Within the range, the suspenders are the most suitable for skinnier guys to help you look much casual and dressy. Meanwhile, between 1.25” and 1.5”, your outfits will much look classic, modern, but also formal for work and many events. The last one is somewhere around 2”, which features the heavy-duty design to mainly support you in heavy-duty work environment.
This one is just one perspective of the huge world of suspenders, so if you would like to find some tips to wear as gentlemen, check it here.
III. How to clean and maintain suspenders?
For this question, I would like to start first with the materials. Don’t you ever think that the suspenders are only made of polyester and leather. I have to accept that these two materials are the most common ones on the market, but there are still some other offers like silk, grosgrain and oxford cloths.
Let’s start with the polyesters or elastic suspenders first. These ones are much easier to wash the rest. It’s recommended to wash suspenders by hands, but you’re still able to put it into the washing machine. However, there are some simple steps you have to follow if you would like to wash it by machine.
- Step 1: Put it into the mesh bag to protect the suspender in the washing machine from being stretched out and banging around
- Step 2: Apply the gentle cycle mode with cool water.
- Step 3: Use the mild detergent to prevent bleaching the suspender
- Step 4: Let the suspender air dry completely. Don’t put them into the dryer because the heat can damage the suspenders.
About grosgrain, silk and oxford cloths, many producers suggest taking them to store for washing because it’s highly recommended for drying clean only. However, you are still able to hand wash them at home if you follow strictly these steps:
- Step 1: Fill a basin with cold water or lukewarm water to submerge the suspenders.
- Step 2: Add some drops of gentle detergent. You should try the all-natural product because these materials are very vulnerable. Otherwise, you can use baby shampoo instead if you don’t have gentle detergent.
- Step 3: Let the suspender soak in a basin for 3 minutes to interact with the soap.
- Step 4: Agitate the suspender around in the water. Plunge the suspenders up and down to let the water wash out the dirt gently.
- Step 5: Rinse the suspenders in the cold water to wash out all of the soap.
- Step 6: Use the dry towel or cloth to absorb the moisture. Don’t squeeze or wring because it will damage the materials.
- Step 7: let the suspenders air dry completely but avoid the direct sunlight to preserve the color.
How about leather suspenders? The leather is also not very easy to clean and maintain because there may be some stain or even odor if you don’t do it in the right way. Thus, from my own view, you can easily wash the leather suspenders or other things like belts at home by following these steps:
- Step 1: Use the soft cloth damped with warm water to wipe out the suspenders, especially focus on dirty areas. If the suspenders are not very dirty, you can use the dry soft cloth.
- Step 2: Use the leather cleaner to help erase all stubborn dirty spot. Usually, people purchase a saddle soap or you can choose another cleaner, but particularly designed for leather.
- Step 3: Add the cleaner to the damped cloth and rub the cloth into leather, but not too hard.
- Step 4: Let the leather air dry completely to prevent odor.
For the suspenders, due to long time wearing, there may be some stains caused by moisture like water stains because you forgot to let it dry completely. Don’t worry because those water stains are very easy to deal with. You just need to use a damped cloth to wet the whole suspender so that it can dry altogether without any stains left.
Besides, regarding some small physical stains like pen mark or scratches caused by low-quality buckles, you can think of alcohol to do the trick. You just need to use something small to apply it like the cotton swab and rub the alcohol on the stains. When the stains are gone, let the suspender air dry completely or can use the blow dryer because the leather can stand with that heat.
Moreover, there is still one more problem which is about the odor. There are some good ways to deodorize the suspenders that you can easily apply at home. The first way is to sprinkle baking soda on the odor area and leave it for one day or more. After that, you just need to wipe it out and the suspender will be completely clean without any white residue. Or you can think of the kitty litter as an alternative. It works perfectly because kitty litter is purely designed to absorb odor. You have to seal the suspenders in with kitty litter in an airtight container and leave it for at least 1 day. After that, clean the litter away.
Well, that’s all about the basic concept of suspenders you have to know when purchasing a suspender for your wardrobe. I hope that with this article you can have a foundation for suspenders so that you can choose the most suitable one for your case. More than that, you can consult those who take the first step into this world.