Suspenders: An Easy Way to Elevate Your Style
There are a few accessories that either work for you or they don't. One can often easily determined this by how you feel about the item. For example, some people hate wearing a tie; others love them. Each look is perfectly fine so long as it is part of their look. One of the things I have found recently that works for me are braces. Today I want to talk about why braces, in my opinion, are a more stylish way to keep your trousers in place. Enter JJ Suspenders.
Before we jump in, a little context, I am a larger guy at 6'0 and 250lbs, most of that is due to a decade and a half of lifting weights. Now don't get me wrong I love being a big muscular guy, but I have always felt like I looked a bit odd with trousers and a button-down shirt. It doesn't look strange, but to me, it feels 'off-balanced.' That said after the suggestion of a local clothier, I set out to find some braces (suspenders) to help me find some balance and eliminate some of the creasing I get when I wear my trousers. In my style journey, there have not been many things that I would consider life-changing, quality footwear, and custom suiting were the first few that I found, and now braces have joined the ranks.
Why would you want to wear braces?
Braces or suspenders are incredibly versatile and give a definite look. They are not for everyone, but being a bigger guy, they have become a staple and part of my signature look. Braces add visual appeal, breaking up large frames into more cohesive silhouettes, improving the drape of trousers, and come in a much broader array of options than belts do. Let's dig into some of these briefly so you can see the benefits more clearly.
1) Braces add visual appeal. The alternative to braces is a belt; however, this can cut you in half visually, or, in contrast, can be the perfect finish to a look. The real key here is what you are trying to accomplish and how your proportions are. If you are wearing a suit, I would stay away from a belt and go with side tabs and braces; this will create a more elegant look. If, on the other hand, you want a more casual vibe, a belt might be the better way to go. Personally I opt for braces every chance I get.
2) Braces improve the drape of your trousers. With braces, you can have a looser cut trouser, and you can wear your trousers higher up; I prefer 1" above where I wear my jeans, this gets tricky when you are using a belt. Making these two changes will improve comfort and give more room for your trouser legs to drape. These changes also create a more balanced look as we talked about earlier. You can still wear trousers with a low rise and braces; I have a suit that was cut with a low rise and the braces compliment it perfectly.
3) Braces come in more variations than belts. When buying a belt, you are just looking at a few different shades of leather. There are more casual belts, but for trousers you are limited. With braces, you can get a myriad of colors, materials, widths, etc. This complexity can make wearing braces tricky, don't worry, we have some tips below, but much more rewarding when done correctly. That said you can add far more detail to your look with a pair of braces.
Now that you have decided to give braces a try, the first thing you need to do is to find a quality pair. Nothing could be more understated than the fact that quality will make all the difference when it comes to your wardrobe, and braces are no exception. There are several brands out there, but for the price and value, some of the best I have seen are from JJ Suspenders. They are committed to quality, and I can say from personal experience that they succeed in producing a high-quality suspender. Both the cloth and leather quality make these feel like they are going to last for a very long time. In fact, I have received compliments specifically on the quality of my braces, not something I can say about many items I wear.
I have had these suspenders for several months now and have worn them for everything from daily wear to my brother's wedding. I have used both the leather loops and the metal attachments, and I can confidently say these are going to last me for a very long time. I was a bit apprehensive at first, and it did take several wears before I found a comfortable wearing height. That said I feel off on those occasions I opt not to wear them. Before these, I had honestly never considered braces, but after these last few months, I will never go back!
So how should you choose your suspenders?
My suggestion is to select colors you already wear in your ties or pocket squares (if you wear them). I have a burgundy grenadine tie and a blue with red windowpane tie that I love, so I went with one pair of navy braces and one pair of burgundy. These two have been sufficient enough that I haven't had to purchase another pair yet. You can match the color of your suit to be a bit more conservative or get crazy colors to be a bit bolder and make a statement, try to make sure the colors compliment each other.
You will want to choose a size that gives you a balanced look. If you go to JJ suspenders website, you will see that there are three different sizes of suspenders. They have them labeled as skinny, classic, and formal. These are just different widths being 0.75", 1.15" and 1.5" respectively. With my chest width being 49" I stick to the 1.5" width, but you should size based on your chest size and preference. For most guys I would say the 1.15" is going to be the right call, but if you wear a size 46" chest or larger stick with the 1.5".
So should you give braces a shot? I think so, and it has added a great deal to my wardrobe to have a couple of pairs. If you are looking for an excellent place for your first or thirteenth pair, JJ Suspenders offers superb value for the money.
Also, we have a discount if you do decide to buy a pair:
Use the code 'Muscular10' for 10% off.
I started sports at age 4, lifting weights at age 12 and have most recently been a competitive Olympic weightlifter in the 102kg class and have a planned meet in powerlifting as a 110kg lifter. I have had issues with finding clothes that fit well for as long as I can remember. In 2017 I stepped up my style game and realized there are few options for muscular men at the average online or brick and mortar store. I started writing about style with the intent to help you avoid all the wasted time and frustration I have encountered in my journey. I want you to be able to buy quality clothing that fits well without leaving your house and without a trip to the tailor.