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To Suspender or Not: The Struggle Is Real

To Suspender or Not: The Struggle Is Real

For a great many of us average males, the decision of whether to wear suspenders is not a common question. When such a question does arise, it is often met by one of these responses: "Have you been drinking?" or "Who the hell are you, and why are you looking at my pants?" In all honesty, if you aren't a firefighter, new-age hipster, or Larry King - you probably don't think about suspenders at all.

But that doesn't mean they can't have a place in your wedding day wardrobe, dear bro-conut. These unique bits of fashion have a long history, both in the clothing choices of the wealthy and in the needs of the... um... less wealthy? … What? Not every quip is going to be gold, bro. Don't judge. Let's just get to the meat of the matter, shall we?

It's Just a Bit of History Refusing to Die

The history of suspenders can be traced back to the 18th century, in France, because of course it would be France. Back then, fashion dictated that men wore their pants rather high on their waist, making the use of a standard belt rather difficult. In the early 1820s, British designer Albert Thurston designed the first "modern day" suspenders, and the trend stuck. Although, back then, if people could see your suspenders, it was not much different than seeing your underpants; so men were expected to keep them hidden under a jacket.

As times changed and lower-waisted pants came into style, suspenders slowly faded into the background. Sure, the previously mentioned Larry King, as well as famous TV nerd Steve Urkel and "Wall Street's" Gordon Gekko, helped keep the style alive. But for the most part, suspenders shifted into a more "special occasion/indulgence of wealthy businessmen" role in our wardrobes.

Today, suspenders are seeing a bit of a resurgence, but is that enough to garner them a spot in your wedding day attire?

Style: You've Got (A Friend Who Can Help You Understand) It

First thing's first: You almost certainly have a nice belt that will go great with your tux. Don't dismiss the easiest and simplest answer too quickly. If belts are what you use and what you know, they may be what you should go for. Don't over-complicate things, man!

Should you decide to look into the option of wearing suspenders with your tux, start here to decide a type that best fits your needs and tastes. X-style, Y-Style, H-style... Why does looking at suspenders sound a lot like naming types of Star Wars fighter jets?

You have a bit of work to do if you want to include suspenders in the costume. You need them to match, while still bringing their own style to the party. If you plan to wear a vest with your tux (and why wouldn't you?), you need to make sure the two items complement, not overpower, one another.

Don't get us wrong: Suspenders can be a really cool fashion statement for an otherwise usually fashion-mute man. This may be the only chance you really get to sport such a unique bit of fashion history, and you may want to jump on it. Just do so in an educated way... We doubt "Urkel" is the look you are going for at your wedding... Unless it is... Then just do you, bro. No judgment here.

Parting Thoughts, and Other Mediocre Sub-Titles

Do you have a beloved family member who has passed recently, someone you would really love to honor at your wedding? Did said family member wear suspenders regularly? Boom. Get a pair of their old "pants-straps," and wear them proudly. Not only is it a fitting tribute to your departed family member, but it saves you from having to rent an item you might not have the spare cash for. This is the type of decision that can not only be meaningful, but economically sound as well. And, if the style is a bit off, no one will care. Honoring "Grandpa Mel" doesn't have to look a certain way, it just has to mean something.

Or perhaps you're debating ways to differentiate your groomsmen and best man from yourself, and you need an idea or two on how to tweak the wardrobe. Maybe you put suspenders on you, or you and the best man, and belts on the rest. Maybe everyone gets one unique twist to their attire (Bow tie, suspenders, pocket square, vest, etc...), and you let them each decide what piece fits them best. It may be a bit too much to put everyone in suspenders, though, since we doubt your entire crew is made up of suspender aficionados... Unless it is... Still no judgment here, bro.

The point is this: There aren't too many practical pros to wearing suspenders at your wedding. They simply don't offer as much in the "functionality" category as other choices for your suit/tux setup do. This is strictly an aesthetic and personal style decision, and you will need to answer for yourself whether they are good for you. It's the same as choosing between the Steel Collection or the Midnight Collection: The only "right or wrong" answers are the ones that apply to what you like, what represents you best. So go, browse around, and have some fun with it. It's your wedding, bro. Go own that sucka!