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A strappy statement

Accessorise with suspenders for a casual or sophisticated look

Suspenders have been in vogue for a while, but the trend has been endorsed by fashion industry players this year.

Fashion magazine Vogue touted the accessory as a wardrobe essential, while high-end Italian label Dsquared2 featured bold metallic suspenders in its 2017 Spring/Summer collection. In recent years, celebrity trendsetters such as pop stars Beyonce and Taylor Swift have been spotted pairing suspenders with jeans or a cropped sweater.

While suspenders are traditionally known as trouser adjusters for men,they make sleek and versatile accessories for both men and women.

Mr Matthew Lai, 28, co-owner of tailoring shop Kay-Jen Dylan, located in Telok Ayer, says: "The pros of wearing suspenders is that your trousers will be kept up the whole day and there won't be any gathered material at the side of the trousers unlike when trouser side adjusters are used."

Also, he adds, because trousers are best worn at the waist, suspenders will help keep them there.

Here are more tips on how to wear suspenders fashionably.


For a casual weekend vibe, pair dark-coloured suspenders with a comfortable cotton shirt, according to JJ Suspenders, a United States-based retailer that specialises in suspenders. The shirt should not be buttoned too high up for it to retain a slouchy feel.

Complete the look with a wide-brim floppy hat in a warm colour like red to liven up the ensemble.

Clockwise from left: Black suspenders, $49.90, from Benjamin Barker; Cotton shirt, $45.90, from Mango and Faux suede wool hat, US$18.99 (S$26.40), from Forever 21.

If you're going for a dressier look, pair a skinny tie with suspenders. Fashion website Who What Wear suggests a more androgynous look with slicked-back tresses and a pair of understated low-heeled pumps.

Clockwise from left: Wedding braces in grey, £8 (S$14.30), from Asos; Men's black and white diagonal stripe narrow cotton seersucker tie, £90, from Paul Smith and Basic pointed pumps, $53.90, from Charles & Keith.


Online retailer Trend Suspenders, which is based in the US, recommends a fitted vest and clip-on patterned suspenders for a more laid-back look.

Stripes and polka dots for patterned suspenders are fun without being overly loud, especially if the suspenders are in conservative colours such as black or navy.

If you are feeling extra snazzy, wear a classy accessory such as a bow tie in the same colour as the suspenders.

Clockwise from left: Dotted suspenders, US$12.99, from H&M; Mini polka dot bow tie, $35.90, from Zara and Navy twill suit waistcoat, $89.90, from Zalora.

Add a hint of sophistication to formal attire by pairing black suspenders with a well-fitted suit, according to the website of American menswear label Articles of Style. The suspenders should be buttoned into the waistline of your pants as clip-on suspenders are more appropriate for informal events.

If the suspenders come with leather clasps, remember to match the colour of the shoes with the ends of the suspenders, as mismatched leather elements look jarring.

Clockwise from left: Warren braces, US$195, from Ralph Lauren; Men's stretch wool slim-fit jacket, $79.90, from Uniqlo and Brown leather derby shoes, $89.90, from Topman. PHOTOS: ASOS, BENJAMIN BARKER, CHARLES & KEITH, FOREVER 21, H&M, MANGO, PAUL SMITH, RALPH LAUREN, TOPMAN, UNIQLO, ZALORA, ZARA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'A strappy statement'. Subscribe