Are suspenders practical? No. Suspenders, like heels, require discipline in how, when, where, and what they’re worn with. However, worn appropriately, they can be practical and oh so lovely to have on.
Only fitted, boarded, fully-fashioned stockings look like fitted, boarded, fully-fashioned stockings – and stockings require suspenders!. I’ve worn hundreds of pairs of stay-ups (thigh-highs) and hundreds more pairs of pantyhose and tights over the years, and not one gives the look of fitted stockings. To get the look of fitted stockings, you need the suspenders. Period! Embrace them, they’re wonderful…
So, belt up! However, pay attention to some important guidelines because worn improprly, they can appear, well, sleazy… Unless sleazy is what you’re going for… Below are plenty of examples of the almost unlimited variety of shape, style, and material options available in one’s choice of suspenders. Plus some essential rules for proper fit, use and care…
RULE 1: No One Should See Them Unless You Want Them To!
Thin, or tight fitting, sheer outerwear over suspenders can be a very bad choice! A thicker material for your skirt or dress, like wool, will conceal your straps as you move throughout the day. When fully dressed, if you can see the outlines of your suspender straps in the mirror, you need a thicker material for your outerwear, or more layers. Also, if your hemline is too high and your garters can be seen in any position, go longer. Visible straps are just tacky and completely inappropriate for the office!
- Bordelle Suspender Belt
- Chantal Thomass Bows Suspender Belt
- Chantal Thomass Murmure Waspie
RULE 2: Always Layer For Comfort, Convenience & Concealment!
For good measure, always plan on: belt/stockings + full or waist slip + (lined) fitted skirt or dress. This will allow for easy movement without riding, conceal the straps (and clips!), and allow easier access in the ladies. As you move throughout the day, sit and stand, and cross or uncross your legs, your straps need freedom to adjust. Plus, the extra layer of silky material between your under and outerwear eliminates friction… And it feels good too!
- Fleur Of England Eclipse Suspender Belt
- Fleur Of England Lace Suspender Belt
- Folies By Renaud Lace Suspender Belt
RULE 3: Choose The Right Style For Your Body & Your Stockings!
Your suspender belt should sit on your waist (the narrowest part of your torso), not your hips. And it needs to fit snuggly. Bulky belts show more easily so consider a more sheer, streamlined style if they show through. Wider belts will give you a smoother line under your clothing. And be sure the bottom of the belt at least meets the top of your panties – this will help avoid a lot of problems! Shorter straps will ensure less movement of your stockings so avoid long (and especially thin) straps or you’ll be adjusting all day long!
- Folies By Renaud Satin Corset Belt
- Folies By Renaud Mesh Corset Belt
- Fréolic Bianca Suspender Belt
RULE 4: You Can Choose To Wear Your Panties Both Ways!
You can wear your panties under or over the suspenders depending on whatever you prefer – provided when on the outside, they don’t become too bulky (as when worn with a suspender skirt). I prefer full coverage panties with my belts and I always wear my panties underneath… I’ve never had any issues this way. Some girls prefer thongs, I like fuller style panties with suspenders, often high waist panties. It all comes down to personal preference here.
- Fréolic Grace Suspender Belt
- Fréolic Alexa Suspender Belt
- Fréolic Sophia Suspender Belt
RULE 5: No Plastic Clasps… Period!
Nooooooooo plastic garter clasps! Always buy metal (or replace plastic with metal spares). Wear suspenders and you’ll understand this!… For now, just take my word for it and always go with wider metal clasps. Also, if at all possible, when buying suspenders, always inquire if you can purchase spare straps and clasps. It’s best to have them just in case! Belts generally have four or six straps. Usually it comes down to personal prefernce and comfort. However, I find that six straps really help keep seams straight (if you opt for seamed stockings!) Also, when clasping in the back, never pull and clasp the straps directly benind your legs (directly above the seams). Rather clasp them out toward the sides a bit. This will eminimate discomfort from sitting directly on the metal clasps.
- Maison Close Hotel Diva Suspender Belt
- Maison Close Vertige d’Amour Suspender Belt
- Maison Close Mise a Nu Garter Belt
RULE 6: (Needless To say) Always Carry Spare Stockings!
One of the benefits of stockings over pantyhose is if you get a ladder (ugh!) in one of your legs, you won’t ruin the whole shebang! Keep an extra pair in your bag, desk or glovebox! No matter where you go, always have spares. Carry an extra pair of nude sheer garter stockings (since nude sheers go with everything!) Catch a snag and slip on the spares! Nothing ruins the day, more than a snagged pair of stockings!…
- Maison Close Contrast Strap Suspenders Belt
- Maison Close Jardin Imperial Suspender Belt
- Maison Close Villa Bel Ami Suspender Belt
RULE 7: Hang Up, Hand Wash & Drip Dry!
First, unless you make a mess, you needn’t wash every time you wear. However, you should always hang your suspenders over a hanger for the night to let them air out before putting them away. When you do wash, employ the usual rules – hand wash (I’m a Woolite girl!), no ringing, dry flat, etc.. Lay your freshly washed goodies flat on a rack and air dry. Also, I usually check the straps and clasps to ensure they’re good to go for the next time I strap them on.
- Maison Close Villa Satine Suspender Belt
- Loveday London Montague Suspender Belt
- Loveday London Suspender Cropped Corset
RULE 8: Buy Matching Sets Whenever You Can!
Matching bra, panties, and suspenders always make for a sunny day (on the inside at least!) I sometimes match the color of the three to the color of my shoes! No one knows but me, but that’s all that really matters! I have belts that are standalone pieces that are staples of my foundation wear, but it’s nice to coordinate from time to time…
- Ikonostas Suspenders Skirt
- La Perla Secret Story Suspender Belt
- Lascivious Kitty Suspender Belt
- Implicite Addiction Lace Suspender Belt