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The fashion world is full of rules, which means it's a world full of fashion faux pas. This may leave you wondering if you should wear a belt with suspenders. Knowing the ins and outs of dressing yourself will help you appear more put together, and when the devil is the details, there is no detail too small to overlook!
There is no reason, aesthetically or functionally, to wear both suspenders and a belt. Not only is it unnecessary, but visually it creates the illusion of three sides of a box, cutting the line of the torso. Just wear one at a time.
Fashion is a world all of its own, sometimes seeming like it has too many rules to keep track of. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of this particular fashion issue!
A Belt and Suspenders
Belts and suspenders not only serve a function, but they serve fashion too! While suspenders used to be considered a purely functional item of the wardrobe, over recent years, they have begun to be incorporated into many everyday looks. While they shouldn't be worn together, either one can complement a variety of outfits quite nicely. Here are a few options if you're in the market!
Brown Leather Belt
This basic brown leather belt as a special touch thrown in with the incorporation of a circular buckle.
Black Leather Belt
This black leather belt is made of full-grain leather, which is long-lasting and very high quality. The buckle is made of stainless steel, which means the belt as a whole will last for a very long time. Click here to view this product on Amazon.
Black Clip-on Suspenders
These suspenders utilize metal clips to fasten onto your pants and are one of the cheaper, but more common, examples of suspenders you'll see at most stores. Click here to view this product on Amazon.
These suspenders are meant to be worn with pants that have belt loops, as the hooks fasten onto the belt loops to secure themselves. These are a more casual option, suitable for casual events.
Is it OK to Wear Suspenders With Belt Loops?
It may look a little corny, but yes, you can wear suspenders on pants that have belt loops. Occasions or events where you would wear suspenders on pants that have belt loops will probably be more casual, as tuxedo pants (which you would wear suspenders with if you need help with the waist fit) generally would not have belt loops.
Some suspenders are made to be worn with belt loops. These suspenders come equipped with a mechanism similar to the one you find on a lot of keychains or lanyards. This clip is meant to hook onto the belt loops on your pants instead of utilizing clips or buttons.
Should I Wear a Belt or Suspenders?
Since suspenders and belts both serve the same function, there can be some confusion as to which one you are supposed to wear at different events. It all comes down to the other items of clothing you're wearing, as well as the type of place or function you're going to be attending.
Suspenders have traditionally been a functional item of a wardrobe that isn't displayed, worn underneath a vest, suitcoat, sweater, or other items of clothing to keep your pants up. Suspenders are traditionally worn at black-tie events, like weddings, dances, or other scenarios where a tuxedo or a formal suit is to be expected.
Semi-recently, however, suspenders have become more of a fashion statement, and more acceptable to be seen in more casual areas. Wearing suspenders without a suit coat or vest, over a t-shirt or sweater, and incorporating a variety of colors and patterns has become a more acceptable and common way to use your suspenders.
Belts are a great go-to for casual or semi-formal events. With a variety of styles like leather, cloth, or a braid, as well as the many different kinds of buckles, belts are an easy go-to for accessorizing. Click here to look at more great accessories!
Belts should not be worn with a vest, as the end of the garment in combination with your belt will make your waist look chunky, and will draw attention away from your face. Wear belts that, when secured, will extend to the second loop past the belt buckle. This typically means you'll need to buy a belt that's two sizes larger than your waist size.
Are Clip-on Suspenders Acceptable?
Since suspenders aren't generally meant to be worn on display, there isn't anything wrong with wearing clip-on suspenders. They usually aren't the best quality, which means they won't last as long as suspenders that aren't clip-on. Clip-on suspenders don't have a shortage of styles or patterns, so while you might not be paying for longevity, you probably won't be missing out on any fashion options.
Do You Wear Suspenders With a Vest?
Yes! If you are wearing a vest and need help keeping your pants up, you should use suspenders. A vest will draw attention to your waistline, consciously or subconsciously, because of the garment ending there. Adding a belt to the same area will draw too much attention to your waist, and will make it seem bulky.
Suspenders are traditionally not meant to be displayed. They were initially meant to be hidden, functional items. Click here to look at some great, low profile accessories!
Do You Wear a Belt or Suspenders With a Tuxedo?
You should never wear a belt with a tuxedo! Tuxedo pants shouldn't even have belt loops. If you need help keeping your tuxedo pants up, you should always use suspenders, but the tuxedo look doesn't require those. If your tuxedo pants stay up by themselves, don't wear a belt or suspenders.
A tuxedo is all about smooth lines and elegance. The smoothness of this look is mostly only interrupted by contrast, typically the black and white of the traditional tuxedo. While a suit coat can hide suspenders, a belt introduces additional interruption to your core, defeating the purpose of the minimalism a tuxedo represents.
What Does the Term "Belt and Suspenders" Mean?
When you hear the term "belt and suspenders," or "using a belt and suspenders approach," it generally means doing something extra carefully, or with additional layers of security. The idea is to take preventative measures that are almost over the top, like wearing a belt and suspenders would be over the top when trying to prevent your pants from falling.
The phrase "belt and suspenders" is primarily used by banks. The idea is to have many layers of security or more requirements than is necessary for doing things like taking out loans. This is called risk mitigation.