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Do Suspenders and Jeans Work Together or is That Weird?

Suspenders and jeans may work together if worn and paired properly. Here's a guide on the right way of wearing suspenders to help you match them correctly with your favorite jeans.

Man wearing suspenders and jeans against a haystack.

Do suspenders and jeans work together, or is that weird? I’ve never tried suspenders, but I suspect they might help someone like me. I have a larger waist size than I did when in my 20s. Therefore, I’d give them a chance if I feel they would help me whether with jeans or another pant type.

Disclaimer

I don’t want anyone to feel like there’s a prescribed “right or wrong” list of fashion decisions. You can still do whatever you want regardless of what I say about suspenders with jeans or any other outfit styling issue. Sometimes, however, I exaggerate my point of view for effect. I just thought I’d warn you.

The Proper Usage of Suspenders

Senior man in suspenders and jeans walking with cane.

For anyone like me, who currently carries a few extra pounds around the middle, suspenders can reduce back pain and improve your posture as you walk. I haven’t tried suspenders yet, but I think they could help in my situation just by the way garter belts with stockings work, as suspenders have similar attachment mechanisms.

My Story

I have flashbacks of times when my pant waistbands have stretched out and fallen below my ab area. When this happens, I usually have to pull up my pants. I haven’t tried suspenders around my waist yet. However, I think suspenders can provide more security than a belt ever did based on my experience using them with stockings and underwear.

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Suspenders could certainly keep my pants where they should stay instead of following below my navel. For this reason, I’ve considered buying a pair for a while. Thus, I did my research to decide for myself as well as you whether to wear them with any pants, including jeans.

My Reservations About Suspenders

Carhartt Men's Utility Suspender, Dungaree Red

I don’t care if you wear suspenders with jeans or another pant type, such as Dickies work pants or suit bottoms. If too wide and bright (usually red or orange), suspenders remind me of circus clowns on stilts.

Usually, circus clowns wear long, wide-legged, striped, polka dot or other busy print on their pants that clash with whatever flamboyant print shirt they might wear with them. Not to mention, these circus characters might also have a blazer on that may not even contain the colors of the pants, shirts or suspenders they’re wearing.

Everyone needs a sense of humor sometimes, and the “clown look” is fine for children, and this style can make an entire family laugh when appropriate. However, I wouldn’t want to wear a pair of suspenders that might cause people to not take me seriously. Even in office environments that allow denim pants, I’d still choose my choice of suspenders carefully.

4 Rules of Suspender Wearing

Man wearing narrow suspenders and jeans.

I think there should be as many laws on the books about wearing suspenders as the Scottish people have about how to identify Tartan plaid patterns. That may seem extreme, but have you seen the alleged hideousness that is some suspenders with jeans or other pants?

However, I’m not the only “voice” out there concerning suspender-wearing. Here’s what Brian Cornwell of Next Luxury says about how men may wear suspenders, some of which instances involve pairing them with jeans:

“Most modern takes on the aesthetic use dark jeans such as black or navy, but stone-washed denim is a popular option as well.”

Cornwell also states that some outfits come together as you cultivate a “single look from many specific parts.”

Using Cornwell’s advice may give you the license to do whatever you wish with your suspenders. Here’s a list of rules I devised based on research about wearing them with any type of pants, including jeans.

1. Less Color is More

Dickies Men's 1-1/4 Solid Straight Clip Suspender, Black, One Size

I say to choose dark or neutral, solid colors that match the shade of your suit pants or jacket. This also applies to situations when you decide to wear suspenders with jeans, especially if you dare not to cover them with an outer shirt or blazer.

2. Color Coordination Matters!

I prefer having a secondary fashion piece, such as suspenders, to bring out at least one of the other colors in my outfit. I’d choose the accent shade that shows up as the least dominant of all the colors I’m wearing.

3. Err on the Side of Narrow

Warrior Clothing England Classic 1/2" Thin Narrow Elastic Suspenders Braces Punk Skin (Black)

I like narrow. I think they draw less attention to themselves, which for an accessory item that happens to have a functional purpose, is appropriate. Usually, you don’t need wide suspenders, unless you feel that they support you better than the narrow ones.

4. Choose Correct Length

If you can’t tighten your suspenders enough, they might They should be long enough to fit comfortably over your shoulders, but not so long that they drag on the ground.

5. Keep Them Discreet

WIDE DEEP BLUE LEATHER SUSPENDERS

Source: Trendhim

“It’s cool if someone gets a subtle peak at them inside your jacket, but throwing them on top of a casual outfit doesn’t make the outfit cool. It looks like your wearing your underwear over your clothes and don’t even know it,” says Articles of Style.

In some semiformal instances, you might have fun showing off your suspenders a little, especially if in an environment where you can take off your blazer or outerwear.

However, I vote for keeping them discreet when using them more for holding up your pants instead of as a fashion novelty. I personally wouldn’t want to show them or see them on other people unless necessary.

6. Understand the Exceptions

I grew up with Madonna wearing suspenders attached to her shorts over the top of a long-sleeved white shirt. Therefore, I do get that they’re might be exceptions to normal suspenders rules.

However, these usually apply to stage presence when performing live. Learn the difference if you care what other people think of you in an “ordinary” rather than live concert environment.

My Increased Enthusiasm for Suspenders

Man wearing jeans and suspenders over a blue button down shirt.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of suspenders. They sound to me like garters for outer layers of clothing rather than lingerie, so why not?

Suspenders with jeans, however, I’m not sure. I think only if I had a long, button-down shirt or blazer that covered over the most of them. Otherwise, I wouldn’t.